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  • Writer's pictureKevin Watson

Green Days or Greenwashing? Unpacking Environmental Awareness Days

World Earth Day. What is it and what does it actually mean?


At Tidal Links we've never really been focussed on the various environmental awareness days throughout the year. From World Earth Day to World Environment Day to World Cleanup Day, there are a wide range of awareness days covering a range of environmental topics. Sustainability is engrained in our mission, vision and values meaning that every day we are focussed on the environment by championing more sustainable alternatives and challenge what's comfortable and convenient, and not just on awareness days.


However, awareness days do have a role to play in society, with noble intentions around raising awareness and encouraging action. In this post we look to unpack awareness days and things to look out for. Let us know what your view is on environmental awareness days.

 

The Ripple Effect of Awareness:

Environmental awareness days draw focus to the environment, encouraging greater involvement in conservation and sustainability initiatives, with greater engagement on social media platforms and across other media outlets. This creates a ripple effect throughout various industries and households across the world, showcasing the power of dedicated days in mobilising collective action and raising global awareness around particular issues.


That being said, the enthusiasm often fades as quickly as it arises. Critics argue that the impact of these events is often short-lived, with many returning to their unsustainable habits shortly after. The challenge lies in translating a day's worth of activism into long-term commitment and change.


We believe that communications to raise awareness should be an ongoing approach amongst businesses who are either supporting or coordinating initiative, or looking to raise awareness around how they are improving their processes, services or products or otherwise to improve their environmental impact.


Although ultimately desirable, it isn't realistic to expect all businesses to be perfect in terms of sustainability. We see this as an evolving process that relies on continuous improvement and encouragement around change. Of course we want this change to happen as quickly as possible, but we feel that in order to get the most out of environmental awareness days, there should be more focus on sharing knowledge in an ever changing landscape that encourages discussion, and understanding this is a transition.

 

Corporate Greenwashing:

Unfortunately some companies use these days for greenwashing, making misleading claims about their environmental efforts. Without transparency and accountability, these pledges can erode public trust and distract from the urgent need for genuine sustainable practices.


A key thing to look out for is whether companies promote environmental factors or initiatives outside of awareness days. It can also be beneficial to review larger companies ESG reports to gain a better understanding of their environmental impact and the things that they are doing to improve.


ESG reporting is still relatively new for most large businesses and is still a developing field as businesses look to improve data collection, relying on more quantitative than qualitative data that is not subjected to as much personal interpretation.

 

Educational Impact:

Schools and educational institutions leverage environmental days to integrate environmental education into their curriculum, engaging students with projects that teach the importance of things such as recycling, conservation and sustainability. This hands-on learning experience can sow the seeds of lifelong environmental stewardship in young minds.


This is an essential part of how to ensure there is better awareness amongst future generations.

 

Summary:

While awareness days play a crucial role in raising awareness and catalysing action, there effectiveness is tempered by challenges such a sustaining momentum and avoiding corporate greenwashing. The true measure of success lies in the ability to turn a day's awareness into everyday action and a culture.


At Tidal Links we believe it is important to promote change and use awareness days as an opportunity to encourage improvements in sustainability. Sustainability is an extremely complex topic, with multiple competing factors; however, continuous improvement is imperative and should be encouraged to help transition to more sustainable practices.



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