Earth Day was first observed on April 22, 1970, and it brought together 20 million American citizens to support environmental protection. Realizing we truly only get one Earth-this holiday is now celebrated worldwide by more than 193 countries. Every year this day is celebrated in different ways by individuals, schools, colleges, private and public organizations.
Like many other businesses, construction businesses contribute its share to environmental damage. Construction of buildings uses an average of 41% of the world’s energy. Not only the actual construction process but the preparation of sites and the maintenance after construction also adds pollution. Minimizing air, water, noise pollution, and carbon footprint can be done in many ways.
Bringing in positive change without affecting the efficiency of your work is not an easy task. But, at the rate at which environmental degradation is happening, it is only appropriate to make your contribution in ensuring the Earth can survive humanity.
As a construction business owner, Earth Day is the best time for you to bring environmental awareness and initiate changes in your organization that will positively impact the earth and prove you a leader in your industry.
Here is How Your Construction Business can Celebrate Earth Day:
An activity or a seminar addressing environmental issues may not bring in immediate change but, it is a start. Bring in local environmentalists or industry experts who are leaders in sustainable construction to inspire your team. Make sure to implement key takeaways in your business processes and track progress over time.
There is nothing better than being the starting point of positive change. Consider re-visiting the fuel efficiency of the vehicles you use. If you feel there will be a financial crunch while doing this, then you may opt for short-term financing options.
Talk about consumption and how your employees can reduce the plastics and waste they use. The United States has less than 5% of the world’s population but is responsible for consuming 25% of resources. One American consumes the same amount of resources as 35 people living in India. So starting a recycling program and educating your employees is a great way to make positive change.
Have a community service day. Though community service is not a new way to celebrate Earth Day, it is an effective and popular one. This year’s Earth Day theme is ‘Protect Our Species’, but it is not necessary to stick to this theme alone. Motivate your team to take up different causes such as cleaning plastics and papers in the parks or beaches, planting more trees, etc.
However noble the cause is, the best way to catch the attention of the mass is by making them compete. Think of innovative and useful contests pertaining to Earth Day. One contest idea that might be helpful for your business is asking your team to create construction plans for future projects in the most eco-friendly way possible. Contests like these gain more popularity only when they are rightly incentivized.
Social media will be busy on days like these and it is the best time to make your mark in the digital space. A carefully thought-through campaign can go viral among the Twitter and the Instagram community. You can also produce a short film for Earth Day to create awareness among your employees and also make them share it on their social media pages.
How to Prevent Environmental Damage on Job Sites:
Celebrating Earth Day does not end only with this one day. It is a start for something more meaningful. The clearance of the land before construction, usage of diesel-run vehicles and working with toxic materials are some of the factors that contribute to various types of pollution in the construction industry. Oil, paints and other solvents are also abundantly used in this line of work which proves to be toxic when mixed with water and flushed out as waste. Once your business is conscious of the environmental damage, you can take measures to prevent it.
- Dampen the construction site before the cleaning process to reduce air pollution.
- Try finding non-toxic substituents for paint, solvents, etc. and also package or seal the toxic materials properly to avoid leakage.
- Avoid burning of materials on the site. Find alternative ways of disposal.
- Replace the traditional equipment with low-impact technology and more silent tools.
- Have high fences around your construction site to avoid spreading of dust.
- Dispose all the wastewater collected in the construction site in a safe and government-approved way.
Most businesses are under the impression that they can control environmental damage only during the construction phase. But that is not true. Cleaning up after the construction is also a huge responsibility that the business should take up. Dispose of wastes produced and the leftover materials after construction in the safest way possible.
There are many ways in which you address the growing environmental damage, but if you are not sure where to begin then verify the United States Environment Protection Agency. It is essential for your business to comply with the environmental parameters set by the government. If you fall behind in any of these parameters, then it is a good place for you to begin your sustainable business journey.