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To some, Earth Day is just one day in a year-long sustainability effort; to others, it is a unique one-day celebration to raise awareness of environmental issues.

How much do you know about the history of Earth Day – April 22 – and what can your business do to celebrate?

EARTH DAY BY THE NUMBERS

22: The April day we celebrate Earth Day each year, to raise awareness of environmental protection and reform

1970: The first year Earth Day celebrations gathered participants from more than 10,000 schools and hundreds of communities around the United States

25: Percent of the United States citizens that believed protecting the environment was an important goal in 1970 (a 2,500 percent increase from 1969)

20: Years after the first Earth Day, the holiday became recognized worldwide in 1990

2009: The year Earth Day was officially recognized by the UN as International Mother Earth Day

192: Countries around the globe that celebrate Earth Day today, 44 years later

4: Ideas on HOW Your Business Can Celebrate Earth Day

1.    Evaluate current operations and make environmentally-friendly changes, such as replacing light bulbs or inefficient equipment, setting up a recycling system or switching to sustainable cleaning products. (Bonus tip: Be transparent with staff about these changes, to inspire them to make similar ones in their own homes.)

2.    Host on-site activities for employees and the community to celebrate environmental protection together, including an Earth Day Fair, a recycling drive or even an electric car demonstration.

3.    Encourage staff to form teams and participate in volunteer community events, such as planting trees in a local park, picking up trash for a clean-up day or contributing to a compost project.

4.    Reward internal sustainability efforts by handing out awards to employees who have made a contribution to Earth Day in some way. Recognize your company’s Green Team – staff members who have made pledges to recycle, ride a bike or carpool to work, buy local produce or go paperless for the week.