Earth Day is one of the (many) days when businesses can create or reaffirm a commitment to practicing sustainability. Business owners must take time out to create awareness, especially when climate action is more important than ever.
Along with the environmental implications, sustainability is growing in awareness among consumers. A 2021 study by Deloitte found that 34 percent of consumers choose brands that have environmentally sustainable practices.
Here are some ideas for small businesses looking to highlight Earth Day on Instagram.
Keep it simple with an informative message.
Sometimes, a simple approach is better than an elaborate campaign, especially when there’s an important message to get across. So these brands decided to take the simple route, with a bit of their own added flair.
Agnes LDN, a fashion brand aiming to educate its customers about sustainability, shared an Earth Day post with a simple but effective message. They ask readers not to focus only on the discounts and offers on Earth Day but also on its core themes of environmental restoration. They also highlight a creator, Poppy Okotcha, an ecological home-grower based out of the U.K., who shares information about foraging and regeneration gardening on her Instagram.
On the other hand, Reclaim Wellness, a sustainable self-care brand, offered a discount (15 percent off on all their products) and shared ways users could be more sustainable daily. Some of their tips include growing some of your own produce, recycling, and upcycling clothing.
You can choose to share how your product helps people cultivate sustainable habits as Circular & Co, a reusable cups brand did in their Earth Day post. The team member that wrote the post highlighted that his own reusable coffee cup had saved ~85 disposable cups from the landfill, a great example of small changes making a big difference.
Or, you might share the different ways your brand practices sustainability as natural skincare brand Cln and Drty did in their Reel. The Reel specifically highlighted reusing leftover products as samples and recycling at all points of production.
Whatever you choose to do, remember to keep Earth Day and its core purpose – making life more sustainable – at the forefront of your messaging.
Highlight or collaborate with another sustainable brand or creator
Earth Day is all about working together as a community to improve the state of the world. Focus on the community aspect by highlighting someone else like a brand or creator doing great work in the sustainability space by giving them a platform to let their voice and vision be heard.
Love Stories Bali, a sustainable fashion brand highlighted Closed Loop, a sustainable fashion consultancy in their Earth Day post. They spoke about the brand’s sustainability efforts and shared images and videos of Closed Loop’s work to upcycle used clothing.
Practical Tip: There are many ways to collaborate. You can do an Instagram takeover with a creator focused on sustainability. Or you might just pick up the activities of a fellow brand in the sustainability space and put a spotlight on them.
Conduct a giveaway
In the days leading up to Earth Day, you can plan to give away some products or services if that’s a good fit for your business. A giveaway can be a simple way to create engagement for your brand and create awareness around Earth Day. That’s the approach these three brands took, asking participants to like the post, follow both brands on Instagram, and tag a friend in the comments.
Practical Tip: You don’t have to only giveaway using one format. You can do a giveaway that requires less effort on the customers’ part, including a free item in every order made on Earth Day or during that week or month.
Donate your profits
In the weeks or days leading up to Earth Day, consider offering a promo on your products and donating the proceeds or a portion of them to a good cause.
Sense of Shelf donated 100 percent of their profits to black-led farming organizations, with information about why in their Earth Day post. They also encourage their audience to forgo shopping and instead support the farms directly if they can do so.
If you’re on the hunt for organizations to donate to, here at Buffer we’ve vetted and donated to environmental charities in the past like Cool Earth and VertueLab. You can also check out Giving Green to help you find the right cause that aligns with your brand’s values.
Practical Tip: Donating large amounts can be a big ask for many small businesses, but if you have any deadstock or cash that you can donate, that works great.
Encourage followers to participate in sustainable activities
The impact of Earth Day needs to be felt physically and online. As a brand, you can encourage people to participate in more local activities that practically help improve the environment.
Sense of Shelf did an IG takeover with Tuesdays for Trash, an environmental conservation organization. The post encouraged people to clean up their neighborhoods and take a selfie to be entered into a raffle.
Practical Tip: There are great Earth Day activities for every type of business, even if you have a primarily local audience. Consider organizing cleanups of a local beach or park or a recyclables collection event.
Practice what you preach when it comes to sustainability
Aside from being active on social media, it’s essential to keep practicing sustainability throughout the year. Make it a core part of your business ethos, from paying your workers fairly to recycling materials.