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Earth Day: How a Bit of Change Makes a World of Difference

Earth Day may not inspire as many elaborate celebrations as other holidays, but it marks an important pivot — a shift in how modern societies view our planet and humanity’s responsibility to care for it.

Ever since a destructive oil spill in 1969 — which resulted in the death of over 10,000 birds and sea mammals — every year on April 22, events are held worldwide to demonstrate our support of the environment.

Since our inception, agencyEA has operated as an environmentally conscious organization. We are committed to our sustainability policy, and even have a dedicated Sustainability and Environment committee, which bring more sustainable efforts — including a robust recycling plan — to the EA office. Though we have objectives in place to help us fundamentally reduce our impact on the environment, this year, to celebrate Earth Day, we’re taking it a step further. Below are some of the practices we’ve implemented to advance our commitment to sustainability.

1. Level Up

Reuse, the second of the three R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle), is one of the biggest ways we work towards sustainability. One way to  reuse is upcycling. Events require a lot of materials, but with some smart planning and creative thinking, many of these goods can be repurposed in unique ways. Our office is full of furniture from events we’ve executed and textiles we’ve salvaged. Artwork and décor, rescued from being  tossed in the trash, can be found around the office or on team member’s desks, creating the bespoke aesthetic of our office.

2. Goodbye, #NoFilter

It’s no secret that the U.S. has a bad bottled-water habit. The fossil fuels required just to manufacture and transport these bottles is enough to make an eyebrow-raising carbon footprint. But even more detrimental is the rate at which these bottles are not recycled. Instead, they are left in landfills, leaking dangerous chemicals into the soil, or they are discarded as litter in public areas.  

As a result, several years ago, EA stopped purchasing plastic bottles in favor of water filtration systems, and provided reusable water bottles to each team member.

3. Flip the Switch

We certainly weren’t complaining when our energy bill went down after switching to energy efficient light bulbs. But the burden of the less efficient bulbs was not only financial. Ninety percent of the energy used to illuminate a regular bulb is spent producing heat, which doesn’t even serve the function of the bulb.

Making the switch to energy efficient bulbs means the electricity is being spent significantly more on illumination, cutting down on power used. And consuming less energy reduces the amount of toxic fumes released from power plants.


4. It Keeps Going and Going…

Recycling is important in general. But battery recycling is a especially useful — and sometimes mandated — practice. In our fast-paced workplaces, it can also get lost in the shuffle. Which is why we implemented a battery recycling program to make recycling in our office more convenient than not.

Alkaline batteries, though allowed with other household waste, offer valuable resources when recycled. Lead-acid batteries contain neurotoxins, and recycling allows for the reuse of lead. Lithium-ion batteries are especially important to recycle, as it prevents a future shortage of the rare metals cobalt, nickel, and lithium in the batteries.

5. Spread the Word

We can have as many sustainability practices in place as we like, but it takes a concerted effort from the masses to make a real difference. So we work to give our team members the resources to implement these changes both in the office and at home. And to give them the tools to be ambassadors of change to their friends and family.

Commitment to sustainability is just one of the reasons Crain’s Chicago Business named agencyEA a Best Place to Work in Chicago. Read full press release here.