Celebrating Earth Day

April 22, 2021 Owen Cooney

Earth Day holds a special significance for me; it’s the day my son was born. That’s not to say that if he’d been born on Tax Day, I’d have a special place in my heart for remembering where I put my W2 form. Rather, it was the day that the future of the planet stopped being an altruistic, abstract concept, and became something I had a stake in. To paraphrase 1987’s ‘Jaws: The Revenge’ and many lazily written action movies since then, this time…it was personal. Faced with a warming planet and a small person who was completely dependent on me for the next eighteen to hopefully not thirty-five years, I couldn’t just do nothing (if you’ll forgive the double negative).

 

So when the opportunity arose to help co-head Live Green – Workhuman’s Employee Resource Group for Sustainability – I was more than happy to step in. Workhuman® was already committed to working toward achieving carbon neutrality; as a company, as human beings, we consider it our responsibility to be a force for change toward a greener, more sustainable future. The ERG is a great way for Workhuman’s people to help ideate, implement, and encourage adoption of additional sustainable business practices.

So, on this Earth Day, I wanted to share a little bit about its importance, as well as how we celebrated here at Workhuman, and a few steps you can take to make life a little greener.

 

Why Earth Day Matters

Since 1970, Earth Day has been a time to draw awareness to environmental sustainability. Fifty-one years later, with carbon emissions accelerating, animal species populations in decline, rampant deforestation and ocean acidification, it’s more important than ever (unless you’re really into the whole post-apocalyptic wasteland thing). Fortunately, the demand for solutions to these problems have never been louder, with more than a billion people worldwide engaging in Earth Day.

 

How Workhuman is celebrating Earth Day

In addition to our ongoing efforts to achieve more sustainable business practices, here’s a few fun ways the humans of Workhuman are doing their part.

 

• Neighborhood Clean Up – We’re keeping plastics out of waterways and beautifying our own local spaces with an old-fashioned litter pickup. Is my son thrilled to do this on his birthday?  Not hugely.

Planting a Workhuman Forest ­– Fun fact: The WorkhumanCloud® lets you use your points to support select charities, including planting a tree via Treedom in select regions. I planted a cacao tree in Cameroon, all without getting dirt under my nails.

We’re going meat free ­– Our multi-talented humans are sharing some of their favorite meat-free recipes (more on this below) as we build the first-ever Workhuman recipe book.

• Special Guests ­– Workhuman was happy to welcome Jim Boyle, the CEO of Sustainability Roundtable, a consultancy that’s helping Workhuman achieve its broader sustainability goals and sharing individual actions each of us can take to live a little greener. Check them out below.

Three ways you can make a big difference

 

Calculate Your Carbon Footprint – The first step to living greener is knowing where you have room to improve. Check out Berkley University’s carbon footprint calculator, which includes detailed suggestions for reducing your carbon shoe size.

 

• Eat Greener (literally) ­– Food production and transportation accounts for a whopping 24% of greenhouse emissions, with 14% of that coming from livestock production. Eating locally, eating a plant-heavy diet, and reducing food waste is one of the single biggest steps you can take to reduce your carbon footprint.

 

Go Solar ­– Household electricity accounts for 24 Gigatons of CO2 every year. While home solar can seem prohibitively expensive, many states, counties, countries, and utility providers offer incentive programs, leasing and financing options, or opt-in programs to source your electricity from renewable sources.

 

And like my Dad always said. “Don’t touch the thermostat (or the immersion for my Irish friends). If you’re cold, put on a sweater.”

 

Happy Earth Day!

 

 

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