If you’re wondering how your small business can help the planet without funding or participating in politics and legislation, it’s actually easy: Volunteer! Whether it’s a team of one or 50, anyone can affect change by cleaning up a local waterway, removing invasive species, or lending a hand in a local community garden. There are many organizations out there looking for volunteers, and servicing your community is a great team-building activity. Research shows, people want to work for companies that are environmentally and socially responsible.
Team building is just one of the benefits of encouraging your employees to volunteer – how about free marketing and advertising? For more benefits, check out this blog from SCORE, the nation’s largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors that is dedicated to helping small businesses grow and achieve their goals. They are a non-profit that partners with the US Small Business Administration. Need some inspiration to get out into nature and help the planet? Read about Ecological Restoration and why it’s important, from the Society for Ecological Restoration.
Environmentally Friendly Companies
Once you’ve decided that you’re ready to volunteer, we have some resources to help you find opportunities. If you’re in the US, you can search and find local events through Keep America Beautiful. If you’re EU based, take a look at the European Environment Agency’s site for organizing clean up events. Their program, Marine LitterWatch (MLW), focuses on ocean and waterway pollution. MLW can help existing and emerging communities to organize clean-up events and to coordinate their volunteers. Volunteers can use the MLW app to make surveys and register litter items they find on a beach, at the same time as they are removing these.
Looking for a meaningful day to get out and volunteer. Don’t forget about Earth Day! Earth Day always falls in April and it’s a great way to celebrate Spring and your team at the same time. You can find out more about Earth Day and local events on the Earthday.org site.
Finally, if you can’t physically volunteer but want to financially support worthwhile organizations, Donorbox has a good list of 20+ global non-profits that are always looking for support. If you are US-based, you can locate more localized charities and non-profits through Charity Navigator’s Protect the Environment list. In addition, while Wikipedia may not always be the best source of information, it does have some good lists of environmental non-profits as well. Check out these links here and here.