There are only a few days left until Earth Day 2015 – is your business ready to take a stand?
April 22 is the 35th anniversary of Earth Day, and people around the world are preparing to spread awareness. Schools, companies and individuals brainstorm ways to take better care of the planet through pledges, events and campaigns.
Take the next two days to create an Earth Day plan for your company, including promotions and social media posts.
“Make your brand’s feelings about Earth Day clear.”
A brief history
Just before Earth Day began, Americans were still in the post-Industrial Revolution mindset: dark clouds of smoke billowing from factories and cars were a sign of progress and prosperity, rather than pollution and peril for living creatures. A few specific events led to the creation of an official day dedicated to environmental awareness. In 1962, Rachel Carson published “Silent Spring,” a best-selling book that highlighted how chemical spills and other human actions were harming plants and animals. A large oil spill in Santa Barbara, California, in 1969 drew more attention to the fragility of the environment. Protests were popular at the time – especially in regard to the Vietnam War. On April 22, 1970, the first Earth Day was celebrated by roughly 20 million Americans with demonstrations across the country.
As a result of Earth Day, the U.S. government took steps to protect the environment. Soon after, the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts were passed. Additionally the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was formed. Earth Day went global in 1990, helping the celebration grow to 200 million participants.
Earth Day deals and discounts
One way to merge sales promotions and this celebration of Mother Earth is by rewarding customers for participation. Head to a craft or discount store for paper leaves – don’t worry about breaking the bank for these, as they don’t need to be fancy. When customers line up at the register to make purchases, ask them if they’d like to make an Earth Day pledge for a discount. Anyone who writes a commitment to protect the environment on a leaf can receive a certain percentage off the sale price. Tape the leaves up in the store window or on a wall so other shoppers can become inspired. If customers aren’t sure what to write, suggest options like switching household light bulbs to eco-friendly varieties or riding their bikes instead of driving somewhere once a week.
Get your stock of Reusable Tote Bags moving with Earth Day specials. You can give customers a bag for free if they spend a certain dollar amount or give out coupons for their next visit if they add a tote bag to their purchase. Along the same lines, offer some type of discount to people who return plastic bags to your store for recycling.
Bring it to the people
You already know how important it is to interact with your patrons on social media. With the ability to build brand recognition, keep shoppers up-to-date on store news and respond to customer service inquiries, your business’ profiles on various platforms can be quite valuable.
To start, make your brand’s feelings about Earth Day and the environment clear. You can post related quotes or images and share what your store does to be eco-friendly, whether it’s choosing environmentally-friendly materials, such as Sugarcane Hangers or reducing transportation pollution by using display fixtures made in the U.S.
Foster conversations with your followers with Earth Day facts, suggestions and questions. Highlight interesting moments in environmental science history, groups who have launched impactful campaigns and ask customers how they’re celebrating. Consider listing ways your patrons can partake in Earth Day, and include links to local events and ideas on how to change daily habits to better the environment.