15+ Ways to Celebrate Earth Day (Even During COVID-19)

As a company focused on helping people improve their impact on our planet, Earth Day is naturally one of our favorite holidays! First established in 1970, Earth Day was founded as a way to show support for environmental protection. 50 years later, no one could have expected that we would be commemorating Earth Day’s Golden Anniversary under these circumstances.

With stay at home orders in place in North Carolina, our team is finding new ways to celebrate the beautiful planet we get to call home (safely and 6 feet apart of course). While our Earth Day festivities are typically focused on the environment, as a B Corp we believe that people, our planet, and businesses are all interconnected and interdependent upon each other. So this Earth Day, we’re sharing our love with not only the Earth, but also the people on our planet and in our communities who need us most. 

Here’s what a perfect Earth Day — during COVID-19 — looks like for us and ways you can take action to spread love across North Carolina this April 22nd, and beyond!  

  6:30 AM  

Wake Up & Work Out!

We’re starting our day strong with a workout led by our very own design master, Eryn! You can jump in on the fun too.

Take Action: Stronger Together

Blood donations have decreased dramatically. For those who are healthy and able, consider donating blood.

  7:00 AM  

Grab a Morning Cup of Coffee

Larry’s Coffee is a local North Carolina B Corp that’s awesome in all ways! Our go-to favorite of Larry’s blends is Gabi’s Grounds. Some of us prefer our coffee to-go, luckily Larry’s sister company, 42 & Lawrence has online ordering for pickup.

Take Action: Help Fuel First Responders

Behind the Gabi’s Grounds blend is a Big Dream. Gabi is working hard to open her own coffee shop where she will employ others like herself with disabilities. In the meantime, she’s supporting our community by bringing coffee and cupcakes to first responders. If you’re able, consider supporting two great missions at once. Every $1 gift will help Gabi donate one cup of coffee from Gabi’s Grounds.

  7:15 AM  

Get Started in the Garden

Getting the day started in the veggie garden is how we want to kick off our Earth Day! We’ll be digging in the dirt in our raised beds from Gardener’s Supply. They are a 100% worker-owned B Corp that you can purchase garden necessities from online so you can stay home and help keep others safe. 

As the North Carolina mosquitoes start to bite, Murphy’s Naturals is another NC B Corp keeping us safe. Right now they’re donating proceeds from each online purchase to Meals on Wheels and The Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina. They’ve also begun producing hand sanitizer to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. The first batch was allocated to the US Navy, and more will soon be available to consumers online.

Take Action: Garden to Give

  • Pledge to join Gardener’s Supply #GardenToGive campaign to help people facing hunger in your community.
  • If you are financially able, consider donating to a local hunger relief program. Maddie, one of our solar team members, has set up a virtual food drive through the Food Bank of Eastern & Central North Carolina that all are welcome to support.
  • Southern Energy Management is also partnering with the Food Bank of Eastern and Central NC, by donating $25 for each virtual solar site assessment and expanding our referral program to include a $250 donation to the food bank when your friends and family go solar with us.

Check out our team member Emil’s Garden!

  8:00 AM  

Wash Up!

Time to give that green thumb a good cleaning. We’re washing up with Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soaps. Also a B Corp, and all around great company, Dr. Bronner’s is allotting a reserve of 2% of all their hand sanitizer production to donate to at-risk communities and the organizations that serve them. 

Take Action: Supply Soap & Hope

Interact Family Safety and Empowerment Center is in urgent need of cleaning supplies, hand soap, and sanitizer.

  8:30 AM  

Pop In A Load of Laundry

While we’re at it, this Earth Day we’re adding more green to our chore routine, starting with Earth friendly laundry detergent from B Corp, Seventh Generation. Check out their Coronavirus cleaning and surface disinfection resources and find lots of great stay at home activities in their Generation Good community portal. 

Take Action: Tag a Business & Wear Your Support

  • Don’t forget to support your local small businesses. We’re all in this together, and right now is an especially important moment for those who can step up to consider helping others keep the lights on. Check out our local NC B Corp friend, TS Designs’ One Nation, Under Local shirt!
  • Recover Brands is also offering online shirt fundraising for businesses! They are Charlotte based, use 100% recycled materials, their apparel is made in the USA. Let your favorite small businesses know!
  9:00 AM  

Breakfast

Who says you can’t mix beer and breakfast? Our Earth Day breakfast would have to be by ReGrained, a California based B Corp that’s upcycling grain left over from the beer brewing process by turning it into nutritious snacks and energy bars. They’re also helping to recharge healthcare workers on the frontlines by partnering with Frontline Strong Relief.

Take Action: Recharge our Frontline Workers

The North Carolina Healthcare Foundation (NCHF) COVID-19 Healthcare Hero Response Fund is partnering with locally owned restaurants in communities across NC to provide meals to healthcare heroes on the frontlines. So far over 5,800 meals have been purchased. For those who are able, you can donate to the fund, or purchase a meal from a partnering restaurant to be delivered to a frontline worker. All are also invited to write a note of appreciation that will be sent with a meal! 

  9:15 AM  

“Get Dressed”

We’ll be honest, for those of us who are working from home, this one’s optional. The stay at home and work from home era has us strategically dressing for the virtual view. But even as we dress down from our usual office wear, the brands we’re supporting are a big part of our pledge to the planet. Our Earth Day outfit would include items from some of our favorite B Corp apparel brands, such as:

Lime green jacket by b corp brand Patagonia

Patagonia

They’ve been a big force in community and environmental activism since long before COVID-19. Don’t forget about their repair guides to extend the life of your gear while their stores are closed! 

allbirds

Allbirds

They’ve donated $500,000 worth of shoes to benefit the healthcare community responding to COVID-19, and now you can bundle any shoe purchase with a donation to immediately supply a pair of Wool Runners to a healthcare professional too.

cotopaxi

Cotopaxi

Cotopaxi is matching the first 1,000 donations to the Cotopaxi Foundation, with all direct contributions going toward the IRC’s COVID-19 Crisis Fund.

Fashionable shoes for men and women by B Corp Brand Nisolo

Nisolo

Check out Nisolo's shoe reclamation program. You can take part to support Soles4Souls while receiving a coupon code for your next Nisolo purchase.

unitedByBlue

United by Blue

United by Blue is hosting virtual cleanups and virtual Earth week events.

bombas

Bombas

Bombas is helping to collect critically needed items to donate to those who need them most.

knownSupply

Known Supply

Known Supply is providing discounts on all custom clothing and accessories to support small businesses during this time.

toms-shoes

TOMS

They are giving one third of their net profit to the TOMS COVID-19 Global Giving Fund, as of April 1st.

Take Action: Give Gear

Transitions LifeCare (the local hospice serving Wake and the surrounding counties) is accepting donations of homemade surgical gowns and masks. If you’re interested in helping, you can contact Amy Hatcher at 919-828-0890.

  10:00 AM  

Walk the Pups!

At SEM, we have a pet friendly centric workplace. We definitely miss seeing all our four-legged co-workers now that we are working from home, but our pets would probably tell you they’re enjoying the extra attention they’re getting right now. So this Earth Day, we’re going to enjoy an extra long walk with our furry friends.

Take Action: Better Together

Consider fostering a shelter animal to keep you company. Most shelters have an online application and have switched to a digital orientation for new foster families.

Meet our team member April’s new fur baby, Sasha!

  11:00 AM  

Lunch Time

Our Earth Day lunch menu includes ingredients from amazing B Corp brands across the country. Here’s our sample menu and how these B Corps are supporting more than our bellies.

Sourdough Pizza Crust

King Arthur Flour

King Arthur is an employee-owned B Corp based out of Vermont. To help their community, they’ve started a sewing collective to make face coverings, coordinate food drops, and have donated thousands of baked goods to local food shelves and pantries.

Cheesy Cauliflower Breadsticks

Cabot Cheese

Cabot Cheese is sending out snacks to ER nurses, EMTs, and all front-line health workers through the month of April. They’ve also sent over 80,000 pounds of sour cream, cottage cheese, and yogurt this month to help feed people in the hardest hit areas.

Sweet Summer Smoothie

Oikos, Danone North America

The parent company of Oikos, Danone North America, is a B Corp! They’ve committed $1.5 million to support food banks and food rescue organizations during Coronavirus.

Justice ReMix'd

Ben & Jerry's

Ben & Jerry’s is partnering with Advancement Project National Office and its #FreeAndSafe campaign to advocate for reducing overcrowded jail and prison populations to limit the possibility of life threatening COVID-19 outbreaks.

Take Action: Fight Hunger

Meals on Wheels of Durham needs drivers to take meals to homebound seniors! Volunteer for a shift here.

  12:00 PM  

Outdoor Adventure

Once you get to know our team, you’ll find that a common thread in the tapestry of SEM is our team’s love of the outdoors. It’s no surprise that we would want to spend a majority of our Earth Day (and really every day) adventuring outside! If you ask Jacob Hauser on our multifamily services team what he’s doing on the 22nd, he’ll tell you a 30 mile bike ride in a national forest is his #1 to-do.

*Don’t forget to check the list of NC National Forest Closures and NC State Park Closures before heading out.

Take Action: Community Cleanup

Earth Day wouldn’t be complete without a community cleanup effort! Wake County is advising residents not to pick up trash because of the potential for COVID-19 to live on surfaces for up to several days. But if you do decide to go Plogging — a combination of Swedish words plocka (to pick up) and jogga (to jog) — please remember to follow proper PPE and sanitation procedures.

Our Charlotte App State grads got to get together and clean the streets before COVID-19 began.

  1:55 pM  

Unplug and Unwind

Each day at 1:55pm our team members are invited to gather, virtually, for a meditation session together. Our B Corp friend, Pela, has a great mindfulness meditation challenge to follow along with at home!

For our younger readers, The North Carolina Museum of Arts recently partnered with Growga, a social emotional learning, yoga, and mindfulness platform, to bring to you NCMA: Recommends Growga Moment | Well Wishes. This is a mindfulness activity for ages 5+, and ties into the NCMA’s at home educational lesson centered around El Anatsui’s 2008 piece, Lines That Link Humanity.

Take Action: Connect with Compassion

  • Help combat isolation and loneliness in local retirement communities by volunteering for Kindness Calls with Seniors!
  • As we all face new obstacles, it’s important to remember and let others know that the Crisis Text Line is always available. This resource provides free, 24/7 crisis support by text. Just text HELLO to 741741 and they'll connect you with a trained Crisis Counselor.
  4:30 PM  

Nature Walk & Scavenger Hunt

Leaf & Limb is an awesome local Tree Care company in Raleigh, NC. They’re also part of our Solar Shine Tribe! Check out the neat Spring scavenger hunt they’ve put together for kids of all ages to enjoy!

Take Action: Better Together

Make this DIY upcycled pie tin butterfly feeder to support our pollinator community.

  5:30 PM  

Dinner To-Go!

Locally owned NC Restaurants need our support more than ever. Our Earth Day dinner would have to be a plant-based burger (to-go) from our NC B Corp neighbor Bull City Burger & Brewery. They’ve also been supporting the Durham healthcare community by partnering with Feed the Fight Durham and work with many local farmers to source their ingredients.

Take Action: Leave an Extra Tip

NC Restaurant Workers Relief Fund – donate to support NC restaurant workers who’ve lost their job due to COVID-19. Over 15,000 grant applications have already been submitted.

  6:30 PM  

Get Crafty

Depending on who you ask at SEM, this is either an hour of craft beers, or time for arts and crafts (why not both?!). Here’s the mesh produce bag tutorial that we’ll be following along to reduce our plastic waste on our next grocery run. For those of us that would rather kick back and relax over a brew from New Belgium (an NC and Colorado Based B Corp Brewery), or perhaps a Carolina Classic from B Corp friend Fair Game, ecoBags (another B Corp) has us covered!   

Take Action: Better Together

  9:00 PM  

Bedtime Story

After such a big day, we’re ready to turn in! Most of us at SEM would agree that if we were to pick a perfect end to a perfect day, it would be to be in bed by 8pm… okay maybe 9pm… Is that too early? On our reading list is The Four Agreements, which is the first book we’re reading together in our SEM Book Club! 

Take Action: Help Write History

 If you need some reading material, you can help improve access to historic documents by transcribing lists, forms, diaries, letters, and other materials from the collections of the State Archives of North Carolina.

#semEarthDayAtHome

Wheew! Thanks for sticking around if you’ve made it this far on our Earth Day Journey. Together our collective actions can make the world a much brighter place and we can help our community shine, even in the most uncertain times. Let us know how you’re spreading love this Earth Day with #semEarthDayAtHome. If you’re looking for more ways to take action or need extra support, check out our COVID-19 resource hub and our events page for more ways to get involved.

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