Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ten Things a Company Can Do to Support Earth Hour

On March 28, 2009, at 8:30 p.m., tens of millions of people around the world will turn out their lights for one hour -- Earth Hour — to demonstrate their concern for our living planet, and send a loud message to our leaders that they support action on climate change. Here are a few ideas for ways your organization can support and publicize the annual World Wildlife Fund-originated event:

1. Hold a contest among employees, with a prize for the best ideas for reducing waste and cutting energy consumption in your company’s daily operations.

2. Ask your business partners, suppliers and industry peers to support Earth Hour. Hang banners and posters so that your support is visible to all who enter your offices or buildings.

3. Turn your website “go black” during the week leading up to Earth Hour; make all white backgrounds black and all black text white. [Google did this in 2008!] Post a blurb about the event on your homepage that links to the Earth Hour home page.

4. Hold a companywide event or celebration for employees the week proceeding Earth Hour and serve “green-themed” refreshments. Host an Earth Hour “lights out” party for your staff, customers and vendors on the night of the event. Be sure to turn out the lights, etc., at 8:30 p.m. local time.

5. Schedule a meeting or send an e-mail to employees from the chairman or CEO explaining why the company is supporting Earth Hour, and urge them to “turn out” at home. The entire executive team, including the CEO, should pledge to participate as well.

6. Create an Earth Hour section on the company intranet where employees can post ideas for celebrating Earth Hour and photos following up the event.

7. Hold employee contests, with awards going to the staff member who recruits the most people to sign a pledge to say they will participate, or who comes up with the most creative promotional idea for Earth Hour.

8. Ask the company cafeteria to hold a special candlelight lunch the week of Earth Hour, featuring dishes prepared using organic and sustainably products to remind employees about the event.

9. Create special TV, radio and newspaper ads to showcase your company’s participation in Earth Hour, and to urge others to join.

10. Issue a news release and contact news media and radio stations and tell them what your company is doing to support Earth Hour and why.

For a variety of Earth Hour-related downloads -- e.g., T-shirt logos, posters, postcards, iPhone wallpaper, stickers -- go to: http://www.earthhour.org/downloads/.

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