Earth Day – good for the earth, good for business

There’s no doubt Going Green is “in.” Hosting an Earth Day event or beach clean-up is a great way for people to think globally and act locally. It’s also a great way to attract new customers.

At DEMA, Project AWARE presented some interesting statistics on volunteering – which is at an all time high. Here are some of the stats:

• Volunteering is at a 30-year high.
• HS/college students and adults 45-64 are the largest demographic
• Most volunteers prefer “episodic volunteering” – 100 hrs or less per year
• College-educated people volunteer more than non-college educated

What does this mean for you?

Beach clean-ups require volunteers both underwater and topside. Besides being a valuable activity for the local environment, they’re a great way to raise awareness about your business. Utilize your customer database as well as community bulletin boards such as craigslist to attract volunteers. Interaction with staff and your dive team will “soft-sell” scuba as a fun activity with feel-good benefits.

It’s important to give volunteers clearly-defined roles. Here are some sample job descriptions:

Assistant event coordinator:
Approx hours required: 10 (over 3-5 days)
Duties: maintain contact list of all volunteers, work with store manager to develop email reminders for volunteer team, coordinate snacks and drinks for clean-up day, distribute and collect paperwork.

On-site clean-up coordinator:
Approx hours required: 6 (one day)
Duties: assist dive team in bringing in trash topside, maintain itemized list of trash collected, submit clean-up data (in an electronic format) to Project AWARE.

Media coordinator:
Approx hours required: 15 (three days)
Duties: Pre-promote the event to local media. On clean-up day, collect event coverage (photos, quotes from volunteers, etc). After the event, assemble a one page press release with three good photos. Distribute to local media and pass on to dive club / dive store webmaster.

Don’t hesitate to solicit support from local corporations, many have employee volunteer programs. Locally, we have clean-up volunteers from Starbucks, B of A, St. Regis, the County of Orange, and even Disney. If you have a college or university in your town, the alumni association can also be a great resource.

Register your Earth Day Event to receive free support materials from Project AWARE.

Check out A-2-Z Scuba’s clean-up last weekend and the Les Davis (Tacoma) Pier. In addition to pre and post event coverage in the Tacoma News Tribune, they attracted TV coverage on the local ABC and NBC affiliates.

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