Earth Day 2024: How Franchise Businesses can Lead by Example

Earth Day 2024: How Franchise Businesses can Lead by Example

7 Eco-Friendly Practices to Ensure a Greener Future and Attract a Stronger Customer Base

With Earth Day fast approaching, the spotlight is on our relationship with the planet. Since its inception on April 22, 1970, Earth Day has become the largest civic event in the world, mobilizing billions across 192 countries to protect our planet to ensure a sustainable future.   

And Earth Day’s impact is profound and far-reaching and has led governmental bodies to pass substantial environmental legislation. For example, the first Earth Day led to the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts and the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency. Other countries enacted similar measures, and global agreements such as the Paris Climate Agreement, which was ratified on Earth Day 2016, came into action.  

Individual actions like recycling, conserving water and energy and following certain dietary lifestyles like veganism and vegetarianism help decrease our impact on the planet. But how can businesses become more environmentally friendly and celebrate Earth Day 2024 in a meaningful way?

Below are seven ways that franchise businesses can embrace sustainable practices and make every day Earth Day.

1. Go Plastic Free

Franchise business owners can celebrate Earth Day 2024 by going plastic-free for the week or even all year long. Plastic waste is a major environmental issue, taking hundreds of years to decompose and releasing toxins into the surroundings. By opting for alternatives made from plants, wood or bioplastics, franchises can significantly diminish their ecological footprint. This commitment not only reduces environmental impact but also resonates with customers. Gen Z and Millennial customers are 27% more likely to purchase from brands that demonstrate awareness on their environmental and social impacts than older generations.

2. Establish a Recycling Program

An easy way to commemorate Earth Day 2024 is to begin a recycling program. Recycling minimizes landfill waste, conserves natural resources, saves energy and curbs pollution. By placing recycling bins in your business, you actively promote environmental consciousness among your customers.

3. Support Local Farmers and Businesses

Restaurant franchise owners looking to decrease their carbon footprint can buy produce from local farmers. Shipping products from far away locations contributes to emission and pollution. Not only are you decreasing your negative impact on the environment by buying locally, but you are supporting the local economy and creating connections with your community

4. Hire a Speaker to Educate Your Staff

Education is an important part of Earth Day’s legacy. Inviting experts to speak about topics like climate change or energy efficiency in the workplace can inspire your team to embrace sustainable and eco-friendly practices. 

5. Host a Community Event

One of the best parts of franchise ownership is getting involved in the community. Consider having a fun Earth Day party that invites the community to participate in creative and sustainable activities. For example, a clothing swap allows people to exchange their old outfits instead of discarding them, supporting recycling and charity donations. Another idea would be to organize creative activities, such as making sculptures from recyclable bottles. The more creative ways to get staff members and customers involved, the better. 

Everybody loves a good promotion, especially when it supports a worthy cause and rewards customers for their participation. For example, coffee shop owners can discount a drink or offer free refills when customers bring their own cups. Social media is a great way to spread the word about any promotion, so reward guests who tag your business with a gift card or redeemable voucher.  

7. Donate to Environmental Charities 

Donating to environmental charities helps businesses improve their public image, comply with regulations, reduce costs and ensure the sustainability of resources — all of which are crucial for long-term success. Many communities have their own environmental organizations (look into yours!), but there are many worthwhile national charities, including the Sierra Club Foundation, GreenpeaceEarthjustice, National Geographic Society, Waterkeeper Alliance, and Friends of the Earth.

Earth Day 2024 and Beyond

Even though Earth Day 2024 falls on April 22, you and your business can be good stewards of the environment every day of the year. Committing to sustainable practices not only helps preserve our planet for future generations, but also boosts brand appeal, as consumers increasingly support businesses that are eco-conscious.

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Haley Cafarella is a passionate journalist and writer for IFPG. In her role as content and marketing specialist, she creates original articles for FranchiseWire and Franchise Consultant Magazine. Her specialties include educational articles about buying a franchise and franchise consulting. She also reports on franchise professionals who were recently promoted or hired through FranchiseWire’s popular HireWire series.

Haley has contributed to a variety of regional publications, including Quo Vadis, New Brunswick Today, and the Trenton Monitor. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Rutgers University.
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