April 22, 2020, marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, but many utilities have gone silent on the topic due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But you don’t have to choose between the fight against the virus and the climate crisis, and utilities have the platform to create change for both. Now is the time to make or increase environmental commitments, promote the value of energy efficiency, and offer energy upgrades to businesses while their doors are closed.
Despite widespread social-distancing and shelter-in-place orders, Earth Day 2020 will go on virtually. Utilities and nonutilities alike have found the following creative ways to bring their Earth Day celebrations into customers’ homes:
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Providing online educational activities
Participating in or hosting virtual Earth Day events
Communicating about environmental initiatives
Sharing energy-efficiency or sustainability tips
We encourage you to join in, and hope the following examples will inspire your utility’s virtual Earth Day 2020 celebration.
Earth Day educational activities
Schools may have closed, but learning hasn’t stopped. Parents have assumed the role of teachers and could use your help keeping their little ones engaged. Take this as an opportunity to revisit your educational materials and make them online-friendly (figure 1).
Earth Day virtual events
Just because you can’t gather in person doesn’t mean you should cancel your Earth Day 2020 events. The following utilities and nonutilities worked quickly to bring their Earth Day 2020 events online, no pants required (figure 2).
Earth Day environmental initiatives
Earth Day 2020 is a great excuse to talk about (or rethink) your environmental commitments. Approach this topic with empathy and make your customers the hero of your sustainability story (figure 3).
Energy-efficiency and sustainability tips
With people spending more time at home, there’s never been a better time to share energy-efficiency and sustainability tips. Your customers are likely bracing for higher bills. Help them feel more incontrol by sharing simple ways to save energy and money (figure 4).