Natural Habitat Adventures loves celebrating the holidays! Each year, Nat Hab’s office employees come together for a huge Thanksgiving potluck, an epic St. Patrick’s Day feast and an unforgettable holiday party, to name a few. Though we love celebrating all holidays, here at Natural Habitat Adventures, our favorite holiday by far is Earth Day.

This year, Natural Habitat Adventures’ Green Team came together to discuss ideas to turn their 2019 Earth Day celebration into a day full of conservation projects. With so many sustainability initiatives underway at Nat Hab, including the World’s First Zero Waste Adventure, the team decided to focus this year’s Earth Day on waste education and reduction.

The day started with several employees riding their new electric bikes to bike to work in an effort to reduce the carbon emissions from their commutes. Natural Habitat Adventures Founder & President Ben Bressler gifted 85 e-bikes this past holiday season in an effort to encourage employees to bike to work instead of driving. Nat Hab’s employees have set an ambitious goal: to bike 24,901 miles in 2019, equivalent to riding around the circumference of the Earth.

Employee bikes to work

Sara Higgins, adventure director at Natural Habitat Adventures, used her e-bike to ride to work on Earth Day 2019.

Nat Hab’s Green Team decided to focus a large component of Earth Day 2019 on creating starter plants and home gardens. Coworkers gathered to paint recycled pots, fill them with nutrient-rich soil and plant a seed or starter plant to take home. The team provided a wide variety of seeds (including basil, spinach, chives and leeks) so employees could choose between their favorite herbs and vegetables. The goal of this station was to inspire coworkers to lower their carbon footprints and individual waste by growing their own food at home.

Planting starter plants in the office

Natural Habitat Adventures employees gather to plant starter plants on Earth Day.

The next session of the day was led by Francisco Di Poi, a Nat Hab destination manager and avid gardener. Francisco demonstrated how to start your own worm compost at home. He taught curious employees about this process and explained the benefits of vermiculture. Creating your own compost decreases waste, as one is able to use food scraps and paper to create compost. Approximately 45 percent of all fruits, vegetables, roots and tubers are wasted, according to World Wildlife Fund. Homemade compost also creates a nutrient-rich product that can replace store-bought compost and fertilizers.

Making homemade compost

Francisco Di Poi shows office employees how to make homemade compost with worms at Natural Habitat Adventures’ headquarters office.

In an effort to reduce waste even further, Natural Habitat Adventures’ Green Team led an afternoon session on making your own toothpaste from scratch. It is estimated that 400 million toothpaste tubes are discarded each year in the United States, according to the Oracle. With this in mind, Brooke Mitchell, an adventure concierge at Natural Habitat Adventures and conservation biologist, led a class on how to create toothpaste at home using coconut oil, baking soda and peppermint extract. Making your own sustainable products at home can both reduce packaging waste and save money.

Making homemade toothpaste

Brooke Mitchell shows Nat Hab employees how to make homemade toothpaste.

Natural Habitat Adventures employees are always looking to raise the bar on conservation, and Earth Day 2019 presented the perfect opportunity to expand environmental education and awareness in the office. The company also increased their recycling efforts by asking employees to bring in hard-to-recycle products like cellphones and computers to be recycled.

With all of these conservation efforts underway, it’s no wonder why Earth Day is Nat Hab’s favorite holiday!