04/18/2013 09:38 am ET Updated Jun 18, 2013

Keeping Your Town Beautiful

The beauty of travel is that it gives you the chance to explore places you've never been to, but as they say, home is where the heart is. Keeping the place you live beautiful, green and healthy should be an every day priority, but on Earth Day, it receives special treatment.

I work in an industry that's often referred to as green -- it's made up of professions like landscapers, arborists, groundskeepers and more -- all focused on making outdoor spaces like parks, lawns and playgrounds great places for people to enjoy in their own hometowns.

On Earth Day, the green industry comes together to give back. Through an event called PLANET Day of Service, held on Earth Day each year, companies nationwide create volunteer projects to beautify their communities. Last year, more than 2,600 people worked on more than 150 projects across 36 states, Canada and Puerto Rico.

Over the past four years, my coworkers at STIHL Inc. here in Virginia Beach, Va. have participated in this event and volunteered more than 1,400 hours, saved our city more than $60,000, and beautified our city parks through plantings, prunings and gardening projects. This year, we're teaming again with a local landscape company, K&D Round's Landscape Services, to plant a wetland garden and prune trees and shrubs in a park near a local middle school. The PLANET Day of Service is an event that allows our employees and their families to give something back to our community and leave something lasting that others can enjoy for years to come.

So, on Earth Day, take a look around at your own community. Find a way to get involved or create your own project and make it an even better place to live, one that you're proud to show off to travelers.