April is Earth Month, and brands are announcing programs to inspire participation in environmental activities and funding campaigns.
Personal care brand Tom’s of Maine is working to raise environmental awareness in kids through two initiatives: The company has launched a #StartYoungLiveGreen campaign - designed to encourage parents to teach their children the importance of environmental responsibility – and is partnering with TerraCycle to promote waste reduction through the recycling of broken toys. Throughout April, families can sign up for a free Toy Recycling Box where unusable toys – from dolls, to puzzle pieces, to electronic games – are deposited for recycling or upcycling by TerraCycle into new items such as park benches.
Disney has also launched a campaign focused on engaging kids. The media giant will donate to Conservation International (up to $50,000) for every child’s pledge to take environmental actions such as recycling, saving water, or visiting a park. Disney will also donate on behalf of attendees to its new movie, Monkey Kingdom, during its opening week (April 17-23). Fittingly, Conservation International will use the money to support monkey habitat restoration.
In a similar partnership, Johnson & Johnson is using social media to inspire millennials to make public commitments for water conservation. The company will donate $1 to The Nature Conservancy for every individual (up to 50,000) that pledges to use Neutrogena Naturals’ makeup remover wipes in lieu of washing their faces. While the campaign asserts conventional face washing wastes nearly 5 gallons of water a day, Neutrogena has not disclosed the amount of water it takes to produce the wipes (or accounted for the waste they produce). The digital-only campaign hopes to tap into the Twitter audience of Kristen Bell, actress and brand spokesperson, with a video of her pledge to #WipeforWater for seven days.
Meanwhile, KilltheCup.com is again challenging Americans to drink from reusable cups on Earth Day. The campaign is seeking 22,000 coffee drinkers to join the pledge and share their commitment on social media. Last year, the inaugural Kill the Cup University Challenge launched at eight U.S. universities and saved an estimated 15,440 cups, equivalent to 244 pounds of landfill waste, 3,860 gallons of water and 1.93 tons of CO2 emissions associated with the manufacturing process.
Some brands are donating to environmental causes that are selected through public votes online. Disney, ESPN and ABC are teaming up with The National Recreation and Parks Association and committing $20,000 to restore a U.S. park and $20,000 to support park projects such as community gardens and nature learning areas. The public can nominate and vote for their favorite projects through April 30th.
Similarly, Cox Communications is partnering with The Trust for Public Land to honor exceptional environmental volunteers. Chosen by popular online vote, the winner and two finalists of the Cox Conserves Heroes award will receive $10,000 and $5,000, respectively, for their environmental nonprofits of choice.
And on Earth Day itself (April 22nd), people can join one of thousands of events organized around the world to celebrate and nurture our planet.