Why your workplace should participate in Clean Up Australia Day

24 February 2020

Clean Up Australia Day is just around the corner. One of the best ways to magnify your impact is to get others involved. Think your workplace could take part? 
 

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According to Clean Up Australia’s most recent Rubbish Report, the last Clean Up Australia Day netted 708,258 volunteers, and together, they removed 16,942 ute loads of rubbish. Probably the only thing that could be more inspiring than that kind of turnout is not having any rubbish on the ground in the first place.

Until that day comes, however, this nationwide volunteer outing will prove inspiring in its magnitude as Australians of all ages, backgrounds and abilities band together to leave our public spaces free of debris. Local ecosystems across the country would probably thank these kind-hearted volunteers if they could.

You might already be thinking of joining their ranks this year. If so, how would you like to multiply your impact without lifting an extra finger?

Bringing other people along is a great way to help build the movement. You could encourage your friends, family members, and even your coworkers.

Here’s why you should convince your workplace to stand beside you as you green the country on Clean Up Australia Day. 

Reducing litter

This one might be the most obvious, and the most easily demonstrable benefit of cajoling your coworkers into joining you. Together, you can haul a lot more litter.

The most recent National Litter Index from Keep Australia Beautiful found that litter had actually increased by 1% over the previous year. That might not seem huge at first, but it follows previous declines.

Together, take-away food, beverage packaging and general plastic accounted for 14% of the litter reported. While it’s important to reduce plastic consumption in the first place, removing it from parks and beaches is absolutely essential.

For every hour you plan to spend cleaning up your town, multiply it by the number of officemates who will join you if you stand up and ask for their help. The impact could be astounding.

Building teams

Regional flora and fauna aren’t the only beneficiaries of workplace turnout. Your team will also benefit from the experience.

Like you, many of your work colleagues may have a desire to give back to your community now, instead of waiting to fight for the environment in retirement. By joining together now, you have an inexpensive team-building opportunity that provides real, immediate value to your friends and neighbours in the area.

Leaving the office for some fresh air and sunshine while working together with people from outside your normal department will help your company grow together and bond more meaningfully.

By pushing each other to collaborate outside your comfort zones, you and your work pals will learn new things about each other, making your normal coexistence at work closer and more familiar. 

Reaching out

Just as volunteering alongside your coworkers can help bring your community together, it could also help bring your workplace closer to connections outside of the organisation. It’s not just do-gooder types who will be interested either. Plenty of other people will be looking for ways to follow up on their sustainable New Year’s resolutions.

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Kickstarting conversations

While it’s one thing to get everybody pitching in to clean up public spaces, it’s another thing entirely to stop that waste from getting there in the first place.

By bringing Clean Up Australia Day to the attention of your workplace, you can help people start thinking about deeper organisational commitments they can make to drive change.

First of all, just by participating in a public project together, you’ll have a touchpoint to use if you want to bring up future environmental concerns at the office. Are there ways your facilities can be greener? How about your core products and services. What is their carbon footprint? Can you reduce the amount of waste they generate or eliminate the toxic byproducts they create?

In addition to encouraging those conversations internally, your company can engage directly with Clean Up Australia Day on advocacy initiatives. They’ll work with businesses to help them become more environmentally friendly, and they’ll accept sizable direct donations from businesses or a percentage of their sales to help drive bigger change.

Going green

On that last note, Clean Up Australia Day can be the launching point for your business to green their brand. Everyday actions are essential, but systemic change can occur when whole organisations change tack. As a result of committed efforts by employees on public projects, and because of corporate-level commitments spurred by those organisations and the Clean Up Australia Day organisation, your company can show that environmental commitment is a core value of the brand.

If you’re looking for additional ways to green your life, consider what you can accomplish with responsible investment.


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