Be a Blue Business

Photo: El Nido Resorts

The focus of World Oceans Day is spreading the word about the importance of our oceans for our health, food, climate and enjoyment. No matter what country we live in our how far away from the coast we are, our actions impact the ocean and we have an opportunity to effect positive change for ocean conservation. Why not make an even bigger positive impact by working together with your coworkers? Holding a corporate volunteer event is a great way to spend time with your colleagues and get to know each other better while improving your community.

Here are some amazing corporate volunteer efforts from World Oceans Day 2015 and ideas to plan your 2016 World Oceans Day event!

Clean it Up!

Keeping with the theme “Healthy Ocean, Healthy Planet,” beach cleanups were a popular activity for corporations celebrating World Oceans Day last June. With the help of Clean Up UK campaign, Gosport and Lee Litteraction brought together dozens of businesses to pick up debris at Hampshire Beach in England. Check out their tips on organizing a litter cleanup in your community.

Chennai Trekking Club also brought together NGOs, corporations and individuals with their massive beach and underwater cleanup in India. This is their 6th annual cleanup- starting out as 150 volunteers they now have several partners and sponsors, dozens of participating organizations and over 5,000 volunteers. By making your World Oceans Day celebration an annual event you can have plenty of time to plan and build excitement all year long!

 Get Creative

El Nido Resorts in the Philippines not only engaged staff but also educated their guests and their community. With educational booths and activities at the resort, guests learned about the Better Bag Challenge and how plastics are harming the ocean. The staff also partnered with a local elementary school volunteering to teach students to make reusable bags out of old t-shirts. They then used these bags to collect marine debris during a beach cleanup. What a great way to reduce waste and reuse old material! Here are the instructions for a no-sew t-shirt bag.

Make a Difference

Your organization doesn’t have to be conservation or science based to help the ocean. Hoffman Fabrics held a beach clean up in southern California to give back to the community and improve ocean health. In Abu Dhabi, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation held a cleanup on Barakah Beach involving over 70 employees and collecting more than half a ton of debris.

Think about how your business can use its expertise to aid the ocean.  If you work in healthcare consider sharing information on the impacts of the ocean on human health. If you work in retail, go a whole day without giving customers plastic bags. Instead, offer reusable bags and information on the Better Bag Challenge. Your company could also adopt an area like a park or beach and pledge to keep it clean. Focus on your local community and what its needs are. Read some more tips on creating a successful volunteer event.

How will your business take part in celebrating the oceans this World Oceans Day? Submit your event here!

Abby Tripler 16-Mar-2016