How a 1-Month Competition Encouraged Employee Engagement And Sank Our Carbon Footprint

The Startup Grind Team
May 7 · 3 min read

Grace Lancaster

11 months out of the year, I’m Grace Lancaster- Sr. Events + Community Manager at Startup Grind. But in April, I became the reigning champ of our team Earth Day Challenge.

As a fully remote + global team, it becomes difficult for all of us to connect in real time and there are few things that we all have in common. But when the Impact Committee introduced our newest initiative- a 1-month Earth Day challenge- we were all hooked. Mix a bit of friendly competition with sustainability, and you’ve got a surprisingly wonderful way to engage your whole team.

Reusable Water Bottle Squad

Here’s how it worked:

We were broken into teams of three. My teammates were in Chicago and Barcelona. We were instructed to come up with a team name- ours was Three Musketrees, competing against Gretas Angels, Three Green Beans, Reduce Reuse Recycle Rihanna, to name a few. Then, we received a list of action items that had points associated with them. The idea was to accomplish the tasks on your own, take a photo for proof, and post in the dedicated Slack channel. At the end of the month, the team with the most points would win.

Feel free to REUSE our ideas

Being born and raised in the Bay Area, I came out of the womb composting. This competition was already in the reusable bag. I knew with the help of my environmentally friendly teammates, we’d win this thing.

What I didn’t know was how nice it would be to see my co-workers posting photos of themselves out hiking, visiting their local farmers market, and sharing a bit of their personal (and sustainable) lives. It gave us a reason to check in on each other, and break from work to encourage each other to do something good for our planet.

Living in a remote world is tough. We all yearn for the days when our entire team will be able to meet back up again. So in the meantime, activities like this fill a void and bring us all back down to earth. It encourages healthy behaviors, celebrates leaving your computer for a while, and puts a focus on being a global citizen.

Nothing but blue skies!

We encourage you to give an activity like this a try at your startup. Choose a theme that your company values, and turn it into an excuse to engage with your team.

Did you try this at your startup? How did it go? Let us know by emailing

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