Celebrating and taking care of our planet has never been more relevant and important. Despite having existed for over 50 years, Earth Day has taken on new meaning and power as awareness and activism about our Earth’s health and future has become a global phenomenon. It no longer seems feasible to appreciate the planet just one day out of the year, and for many, it has become an essential part of their lifestyle.
Not Just a Day… Earth Week
Atrium decided to make celebrating Earth Day a key event early on in the year by putting on “Atrium Earth Week.” Atrium Earth Week, as the name suggests, was a week-long event during the week that Earth Day is celebrated, where employees were invited to participate in a number of Earth-friendly activities, such as using alternative means of travel, planting a tree or other vegetation, volunteering in the community, or visiting a state or national park in your area. Participating in these activities would earn the employees “Drops” (i.e., points) that were tallied at the end of the week to award participants with environmentally conscious prizes.
With this being the first event of its kind in Atrium’s history, we didn’t know how excited or willing to participate our teammates would be. Fortunately, the event proved to be a tremendous success and the results were better than I could have hoped for. Hundreds of “Drops” were awarded among company participants — by taking 130 vehicle miles off the road, planting 130+ plants and trees, dedicating 15+ hours of service, and more… all to show gratitude and appreciation for our planet.
Below are some thoughts and experiences from Atrium teammates on what it meant to participate in Atrium Earth Week and help make a positive impact for more than one day a year.
Katy August, Associate Consultant
Nature has always been my escape, my outlet, my playground. So with Atrium Earth Week, I really wanted to invest my time, energy, and money to give back to this incredible planet that does so much for each of us physically, mentally, and emotionally. Through volunteerism, I am able to backpack and mountain bike across incredibly diverse and beautiful terrain all over, and I really wanted to use this opportunity to get involved with some local trail maintenance in my area to show my gratitude for all that they do. Organizations like the Redwood Trails Alliance make it possible for nature-loving folks of all fitness levels to enjoy this beautiful planet more and more each day, whether it be through mountain biking, hiking, or small neature walks through our magical and luscious state and county parks.
If you don’t already, I highly recommend reaching out to your local county, state, and/or national park representatives to learn how you and your friends can get involved with supporting your local trails, too! Even if an investment of time or energy isn’t an option right now, a lot of these organizations accept monetary one-time, monthly, or annual donation options. A little bit goes a long way to maintain advocacy for our local trails and the planet as a whole.
And if you are already involved, awesome! Let’s stay involved! For me, my goal is to not let this become a once-a-year, pat-on-the-back situation. I plan to keep giving back on a consistent basis and hopefully inspire others to do the same. After all, we only get one of these beautiful planets, right? Might as well keep it in tip-top shape!
See you on the trail!
Stacy Adams, Director of Change Enablement
“Think globally, act locally.”
For Atrium Earth week, I focused on planting flowers to support pollinator habitats. My specific interest is in supporting bee and Monarch butterfly populations. I live on the “Monarch Highway” corridor that follows highway I-35 from the southern border of Texas to the northern border of Minnesota. Having seen a substantial Monarch population decline, and the beginnings of a rebound, it’s important to me to play my small role in creating an environment that supports our pollinators by planting water-wise flowers to sustain them along their migratory route.
Likewise, bee populations have seen a rapid decline over the past three decades. According to the USDA: “Pollinators, most often honey bees, are responsible for one in every three bites of food we take, and increase our nation’s crop values each year by more than $15 billion.” Planting bee-friendly perennial flowers just makes sense, and it is a great way to express your support not only for the bees in the ecosystem but for all the people that rely on our local food supply to thrive.
Jess Cantu, HR Manager
“It’s important to remember that what we need is inside us and to take care of ourselves and the world around us each and every day.”
It was great to see my colleagues at Atrium make an effort across the globe to improve the communities where we live, work, and play.
The ocean produces over half of the world’s oxygen and absorbs 50 times more carbon dioxide than our atmosphere. It was an honor to collaborate with a friend to organize a local beach clean-up event on South Padre Island, South Texas. We even brought our children to inspire the next generation in the fight against the epidemic of plastic pollution. (Learn more about the microplastics crisis.) It was beautiful to see the impact of our global team within our local communities.
Kristin Mangan, Strategy Consultant
Indianapolis is a very unique city when it comes to the merging of rural and urban communities. Atrium’s Indy office is located in the heart of the city and we’re surrounded by some of Indiana’s busiest streets and highways. However, just a short distance outside of the city, you can find yourself in the middle of some of the highest-producing fields of crops in the state. For Atrium Earth Week, we wanted to participate in ways that help showcase Indiana’s juxtaposing landscape.
Inside of our office, we were able to plant a variety of seeds that we will watch grow into herbs, flowers, and cacti. Aside from making our space beautiful, indoor plants provide several advantages — including air purification, which is extremely beneficial considering our office location. Additionally, several people celebrated Earth Week by visiting White River State Park, which is less than a 15-minute walk from our office and held over 50 blooming Japanese Yoshino Cherry Blossom trees.
How You Can Keep Earth Week Going Every Day
Your company or organization can also positively impact its community, whether it be for Earth Day (or Earth Week!) or another charitable event. However, knowing how to effectively engage your team without being burdensome or inconvenient can present a challenge — not to mention that making a real impact can feel near impossible when the forces at play can feel so immense. To help make your event a success, I would encourage you to take the following steps:
- Establish a programmatic, initiative-based culture of giving and charity beforehand
- Extend the event to a week or a month instead of just one day
- Make the event asynchronous to allow your global and remote workforce to participate in their own communities
- Gamify the experience to be able to measure achievement and make it fun
- Make participation attainable for everyone by having a variety of activities with varying levels of effort
- Give your organization plenty of notice through multiple channels and people (preferably from senior leadership) to ensure the word gets out and people get excited
Interested in joining a compassionate, creative team? We’re hiring!