The celebration of Earth Day’s 50th anniversary was yet another victim of COVID in the spring of 2020. This year isn’t a major milestone like that one – but since April 22 falls on a Saturday in 2023, it’s the perfect opportunity to hold an event highlighting your store’s environmental awareness.  You’ll be reflecting your customers’ values, because according to a recent study by NielsenIQ, 78% of US consumers say that a sustainable lifestyle is important to them. 

The official slogan for this year’s Earth Day is “Invest in Our Planet.” What investments have you made in reducing your shop’s carbon footprint? In honor of Earth Day you’ll want to share the story of how you’ve made eco-savvy decisions about your physical plant, energy usage, recycling, and store packaging supplies.

The products you carry also represent the ways in which your store is earth friendly.  Do you look for merchandise that is made of recycled materials, or is biodegradable? Carry products such as kitchen compost bins and reusable Swedish dishcloths? Avoid excessive plastic packaging?

There are lots of fun ways to highlight your shop’s environmental efforts while encouraging more awareness of what needs to be done.  Here are a few ideas for an Earth Day event:

  1. Offer a percentage off on all products featuring recycled materials
  2. Reward those who come on foot, bike or public transportation with a small gift
  3. Donate a percentage of sales to an environmental cause
  4. Sponsor outdoor children’s activities relating to the environment (plant seedlings, make art with recycled materials, pick up trash)
  5. Support the planting of trees in your community
  6. Hold a scavenger hunt in which participants need to find something eco-friendly in a certain number of the businesses in your neighborhood
  7. Post about some of your best practices on Instagram and Facebook
  8. Do a prize drawing for a gift basket of environmentally-friendly products
  9. Offer a sampling of regional foods, highlighting the advantages of eating locally
  10. Hold a poster contest for kids on the Earth Day theme; post the entries in your window and that of your business neighbors

I’m excited to see what good we can do on Earth Day this year by getting our customers involved. I hope you are too!

Happy retailing, 

Carol “Orange” Schroeder