Community Building Ideas on Earth Day

I know it can feel overwhelming to ‘do something’ positive when it comes to sustainability and supporting your local economy. But you know what? They are not mutually exclusive. I attended a really helpful class held by Small Business Britain and Ciaran Armstrong from Sustainable Pathways a few years ago and Ciaran shared some top tips with my cohort on how we all can do our part as SMEs.

Here are some tips when it comes to building a sustainable community, today and every day. Happy Earth Day – every little action matters.

Keep it local when giving gift baskets or corporate gifts

We can all find local suppliers to do business with. Just ask. Do your research, ask around. Recently a travel company asked our team who the local independents were and we were more than happy to help them find suppliers who offer products for their gift baskets. The same thing happened today in a meeting with the theatre company.

It’s all about relationships

You never know who you are talking to or responding to, so be kind. That’s my rule anyway: I only work with kind, nice people and I don’t do anything that isn’t aligned with my values. Building relationships with local suppliers and manufacturers also helps to ensure continuity of supply and quality of goods. It is also really important to join or participate in local business networks and organisations to promote and support local businesses.

Educate people about supply chain and their place in it

We all have a role in the economy, in the value chain, and in the impact not supporting local and what happens to the environment. Encouraging customers to support local products by educating them about the benefits of buying from local suppliers is all of our responsibility. 


Well this is just a no-brainer. This matters whether it is about sustainability or marketing in general. It is so important that we partner and collaborate with other local businesses to cross-promote products and services.


Doing something you are good at is really important, but creating a business model that aligns with the local community’s values and culture will help to get the locals on board and bought in to your local business. It is really important that you have the buy-in of your local community, so have a look at supporting local events, initiatives, and organisations – such as charity events and community development programmes. Finally, it doesn’t hurt to review and update your own sourcing and procurement approaches to ensure you’re reaching out to others for collaborative opportunities.