You can do a lot to reduce your organisation’s energy costs by changing equipment and processes. To bring about and maximise improvements for lasting benefit, it’s vital to get your colleagues on board with your energy efficiency initiatives. We have a number of excellent resources available in our staff engagement toolkit that will help you train staff and run professional campaigns.
However, there are also many national campaigns that you could take part in to boost your efforts.
We have rounded up a number of dates you can add to your diary – covering a whole host of environmental themes. There are campaigns you could take part in as a business. And there are also lots designed to engage and educate people when they are at home or in the community.
Veganuary is a global awareness event to encourage people to try eating vegan for the month. Every year, at least 600,000 people make the pledge to adhere to plant-based eating. Veganuary “aims to inspire and support people to try vegan, drive corporate change, and create a global mass movement championing compassionate food choice with the aim of ending animal farming, protecting the planet, and improving human health”.
RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch is the world’s largest wildlife survey from 27 January to 29 January. All you have to do is sit back, relax and watch the birds in your garden, local parks or beaches and then let RSPB know what you’ve seen. Doing this helps provide visual information about how garden birds are doing in the UK – it’s held annually so that the RSPB can compare results to previous years.
Nearly 90% of the world’s wetlands have degraded since the 1700s and we are currently losing wetlands three times faster than forests. The aim of World Wetlands Day on 2 February is to raise awareness about wetlands in hopes to reverse their rapid loss and encourage actions imperative to conserving and restoring them.
Fair Trade Fortnight celebrates the farmers and workers who grow the world’s food, promotes fair trade, and helps raise awareness of the importance of choosing fair trade. From 21 February to 6 March, thousands of individuals and companies across the UK gather to share stories of the people who grow and gather resources to raise awareness of the people in our supply chains that are often exploited and underpaid.
International Polar Bear Day is on 27 February to raise awareness about the conservation of polar bears. Keeping mothers and cubs save, while also addressing the climate crisis, is a critical part of this awareness day.
World Wildlife Day is an annual, global event on 3 March to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants and the vital role of wildlife has in sustaining the planet. Continued loss of species, habitats and ecosystems threatens all life on Earth, including us. We rely on wildlife and biodiversity to meet all our needs, from food to fuel, medicines, housing and clothing.
Global Recycling Day on March 18 helps to recognise the importance that recycling plays in saving carbon dioxide emissions. Each year, recycling alone saves over 700 million tonnes in CO2 emissions and is projected to increase to 1 billion tonnes by 2030. This annual awareness day seeks to tell world leaders that recycling is too important not to be a global issue and that a collaborative approach to recycling is an urgent need.
The Big Walk and Wheel takes place from 21 to 31 March and is the UK’s largest inter-school walking, wheeling, scooting and cycling challenge aimed to inspire pupils to get active.
Earth Hour is a global movement on 25 March organised by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and aims to encourage individuals, businesses and communities to turn off non-essential lights for one hour as a symbol of commitment to the planet. WFF says “Earth Hour reminds us that even small actions can make a big difference. When we make changes in our own lives to reduce our footprint, we inspire those around us to do the same. And together, we are a powerful global movement that governments and businesses can’t ignore”.
Earth Day is an annual event on 22 April which seeks to demonstrate support for environmental protection. With over one billion people taking part, from more than 193 countries, it’s one of the biggest environmental days going.
International Mother Earth Day, falling on the same day as Earth Day, brings people across the globe together to promote the needs to live in harmony with nature and the earth.
Stop Food Waste Day is an environmental awareness day held on 27 April that seeks to educate and ignite change around the issue of food waste. The day aims to tackle this issue by helping to half food waste by 2030.
Meat-Free May is a month-long challenge to eliminate meat from your diets for all days in May. Find meal plans, and recipe ideas to help you get started. You can also encourage your friends, start a workplace team, plan some fun foodie events, and join the No Meat May online community for support and inspiration.
International Compost Awareness Week (ICAW) is the largest and most comprehensive education initiative in the compost industry held from 7 to 13 March. The goal of ICAW is to work together to raise public awareness on why we all should be composting our organics recycling and using compost. The awareness week includes poster and video contests, and activities and events.
Walk to School Week is a long-established annual campaign held 15 to 19 March from the sustainable transport charity Living Streets, which encourages school pupils to travel sustainably to school every day of the week. During the week, pupils can track their progress each day on the fun and interactive classroom wallchart, unlocking new levels and knowledge as they go. Individual activity diaries, daily stickers and end-of-week pupil rewards help to complement this activity, reinforcing the benefits and keeping children engaged.
World Bee Day is an international day on 20 May to raise awareness around the vital role of bees and other pollinators play in keeping people and the planet healthy. The day also seeks to raise awareness around the many challenges bees face today.
World Bike Day on 3 June draws attention to the benefits of using the bicycle – a simple, affordable, clean and environmentally sustainable means of transportation.
World Ocean’s Day on 8 June seeks to raise awareness of the major role the oceans have in everyday life. As well as being the lungs of our planet, our oceans are also an important source of food and medicine and a critical part of the biosphere.
World Refill Day is a global campaign on 16 June to prevent plastic pollution and help people live with less waste. Join thousands of everyday activists around the world to call on businesses, brands and governments to join the refill and reuse revolution. Together we can all help make single-use plastic a thing of the past.
World Rainforest Day recognises standing, healthy forests as one of the most powerful and cost-effective climate change mitigation tools we have and creates a global movement to protect and restore them. Each year on 22 June a summit brings together rainforest guardians to explore solutions for forest ecosystems under threat, to help conserve our rainforests.
Net Zero Week runs from 1 – 7 July. The UK’s national awareness week highlights our challenge and provides the best expert advice and information to help us all better understand the challenge and how to benefit from making changes.
Plastic Free July is an annual month-long event that encourages people to choose to refuse single-use plastic products and packaging.
International Tiger Day, led by the WWF on 29 July, is a chance to learn more about this critically endangered species and what you can do to help them. Find out more about one of our planet’s most iconic big cats, the threats they face and what you can do to help safeguard their future. Show your support for tigers, or even adopt a tiger to help protect this big cat and its habitat.
National Allotments Week started in 2002 as a way of raising awareness of allotments. Particularly the role they play in helping people to live healthier lifestyles, grow their own food, develop friendships and bolster communities. Take part from 7 August – 13 August.
World Plant Milk Day is an international day that celebrates plant-based alternatives to dairy milk. Take the 7-day dairy-free challenge., and encourage your friends and family to join in too. Aiming to accelerate the transition from dairy milk to the rich variety of plant-based alternatives, it’s a great way to reduce your impact on the planet.
Secondhand September is a campaign led by Oxfam to encourage people to buy only second-hand items for 30 days in the month of September. Oxfam says that “when a new pair of jeans is made, an estimated 16.2kg of CO2 is emitted – the equivalent of driving over 58 miles in a car. So, by recirculating our clothes – buying, wearing and donating second-hand – we can help to reduce the demand for new clothes. And this could in turn help to reduce the damage to our planet”.
World Clean Up Day unites millions of volunteers, governments and organisations in 191 countries to tackle our global waste problem on 16 September.
International Day for the Preservation of The Ozone Layer commemorates the date of the signing, on 16 September 1987, of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.
World Car Free Day is a great opportunity to host events in your local community and start the conversation around what would make walking even better where you live. Living Streets, the sustainable transport charity that co-ordinates the UK activities for World Car Free Day on 22 September, can offer you all the information and helpful starting points you need. This could help to transform your street into a place for seating, cycle parking or lanes, gardens, play areas or art.
Unblocktober is a month-long national campaign and awareness month to improve the health of our drains, sewers, watercourses and seas – driven completely by the British public. Campaigning to clean our drains helps to reduce the impact that our waste is having on our climate and ecology.
International Walk to School Month is a month-long celebration where children across the glove celebrate walking to school. Even if your child can’t walk the full way to school, parents are encouraged to park a short distance away from the school and walk the last little bit to ease congestion and improve air quality around the vicinity of your school.
World Vegetarian Day is an annual celebration on 1 October of all things vegetarian. For those new to vegetarianism, it serves as an enticement to give meatless fare a try (even for a day) and learn about its many benefits. And, for vegetarians and those already moving towards plant-based diets, it’s a great opportunity to celebrate their food choices.
No Disposable Cup Day is an annual environmental awareness day on 4 October to encourage people to stop using disposable cups. By highlighting the environmental problems caused by disposable cups, the campaign encourages everyone to permanently switch to reusable cups.
World Food Day promotes worldwide awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and for the need to ensure healthy diets for all, leaving no one behind. With collective action on 16 October in over 150 countries, hundreds of events and outreach activities bring together governments, businesses, civil society, the media, the public, and the youth. Working together in this way helps to prioritise the right all people have to access food, nutrition, peace and equality.
World Vegan Month , set up by the Vegan Society, is celebrated around the world as a time to shine a light on the vegan movement. You’ll find the promotion of vegan events, recipes, clothing and more during this month-long celebration.
National Tree Week is the UK’s largest annual tree celebration from 25 November to 3 December. Here people are encouraged to plant trees to mark the start of the winter tree planting season.
World Soil Day is held annually on 5 December to focus attention on the importance of healthy soil and to advocate for the sustainable management of soil resources.
International Mountain Day was set up in 2003 by the UN to highlight the importance of sustainable mountain development on 11 December.
If you liked this blog post, make sure you sign up to receive our regular ezine ‘The Bottom Line’. It’s an easy way to keep up to date with all the latest news including grants and funding, free training, case studies, the latest blogs and other useful resources that can help your organisation improve its environmental performance, reduce resource use and save money.