Brands celebrate Earth Day in 2015
Brands celebrate Earth Day in 2015

Brands big and small have been making contributions to Earth Day awareness.

First celebrated in 1970, Earth Day is about bringing people together to raise environmental awareness and generate support for environmental protection.

“Earth Day Network's year-round mission is to broaden, diversify and activate the environmental movement worldwide, through a combination of education, public policy, and consumer campaigns,” states the Earth Day Network’s website.

Nonprofits, big box businesses and individuals are all getting in on the action.

Through a partnership with nonprofit Trees for the Future, Planet Sub is planting a tree for every sandwich they sell on Earth Day. Last year, the Kansas City-based sandwich shop planted 8,149 trees; this year their planting goal is 15,000.

Minneapolis-based Caribou Coffee is giving customers unlimited coffee through April with a $30 “Earth Month Tumblr.” Customers can purchase the mug on Caribou Coffee’s Facebook page.

After offering customers a buy-one-get-one deal on Tax Day, KFC is celebrating Earth Day by giving customers a free velvet cake when they order a meal of 10 pieces of chicken or more.

Earth Day has been noted to attract bigger brands and monetary contributions. For four consecutive years, Publix Super Markets has celebrated the yearly day of awareness with a $40,000 contribution to Sustainable Fisheries Partnership. Their donation this year will fund research to improve fisheries and assist southeast Asia with shrimp aquaculture sustainability.

The beverage industry is also a proud supporter of sustainability, and with its large influence, has been a leader in reducing environmental impact and carbon footprints.

"America's beverage industry is committed to conserving and protecting natural resources so we can continue to lower our carbon footprint and make for a more sustainable world," said Susan Neely, American Beverage Association president and CEO, in a statement. "When it comes to environmental sustainability, the beverage industry is united and continuing to lead."

The ABA has the largest fleet of fuel-efficient hybrid commercial vehicles in North America and has increased fuel economy by 3 percent since at least 2010. This represents a 12.6 percent increase in fuel efficiency over the past five years. It has also reduced its water usage every year for five years and is working with The Nature Conservancy and the World Wildlife Fund to restore and protect watershed areas.

Consumers can also celebrate Earth Day. Small actions such as recycling, turning off water when brushing your teeth, use public transportation and installing energy efficient light bulbs are all great ways to reduce your environmental impact and promote a healthier and happier Mother Nature.

We want to hear about the ways you’re making a difference. List ways you plan on helping the earth in the comments.