When we conceived of the idea to upcycle our used leather seats from our cabin redesign, we hoped to accomplish three things: to do something innovative, help people look at waste a little differently, and make a difference in people’s lives. The story of James Jafya illustrates how a commitment to sustainability and upcycling can make a difference. James' story epitomizes what I hoped to achieve through the LUV Seat project, and I hope you are as moved as I was hearing it. In this world so much is wasted that could be put to good use. And at Southwest we are trying our best, but we need your help. We need your help to find ways to use the 43 acres of leather we removed from our aircraft, and we want to see more great stories like James’. Let us know if you have an idea on how to repurpose the leather or an organization that can benefit. Tweet or Facebook your ideas using the hashtag #LUVSeat. You can find more stories of the LUV Seat project at www.swamedia.com/luvseat or at www.facebook.co.m/southwest. We’re starting with leather, but who knows where the journey will take us from here.
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Today Southwest Airlines is excited to launch LUV Seat: Repurpose with Purpose, our Company’s newest global sustainability initiative that will upcycle the used leather seat coverings from the Evolve retrofit into brand new products that support local communities. Through the initiative's pilot program, the products will benefit communities in Kenya, Malawi, and the United States by providing access to employment, skills training, and livelihoods.
LUV Seats leather arrives at SOS Kenya to be stored, prepared, and shipped to partners.
Upcycling—not to be confused with recycling—is the process of converting waste materials into new materials or products of better quality/better environmental value. During the Evolve retrofitting we removed the equivalent of 43 acres of leather seat covers from our aircraft—leather that we didn’t want to discard in a landfill or shred. We wanted to do something better, which is exactly what we are doing through LUV Seat.
At Life Beads Kenya, teaching beading skills helps young adults find new lives.
Today, phase one of the project begins with a training program in Nairobi, Kenya, where young adults learn skills to make shoes, soccer balls, backpacks, and other leather goods—giving them the critical skills needed to participate in the economy. By donating our leather and providing grants to create this training program with local social enterprises, Southwest is able to ensure that these products are given back to the local community, reinforcing our commitment to global citizenship, and strengthening and expanding our focus on sustainability. When visiting the organizations we are partnering with in Kenya—SOS Children’s Village Kenya, Alive & Kicking, Maasai Treads, Seed of Hope, and Life Beads Kenya—it was amazing and humbling to realize that something we place little value on—used leather—is life changing for these organizations, its members, and the local community.
Leather from the Evolve redesign will be made into shoes and donated to the Nairobi community.
Realizing that 500 leather seat covers will make nearly 2,000 pairs of shoes to help prevent Kenyans from getting jiggers in their feet, or 1,000 soccer balls so kids can learn about health education while playing with a real ball, shows the importance of looking at used goods in a new way and giving them a second life. It makes me very proud of everyone at Southwest who worked on this special project—the Company's Green Team who developed the idea; VP of Supply Chain Management Bill Tiffany, who grew up in Kenya, pointed us in the right direction and advocated for the effort; and Southwest’s Senior Leadership, including CEO Gary Kelly, who supported the idea and helped make it come true. And this is just the beginning. We have even more used leather from the retrofit, and we need your help to find other opportunities where it can make a difference! Have an idea? Use hashtag #LUVSeat and tweet or post to Facebook your great ideas and organizations that could benefit. To learn more about the project and meet James and Robinson, two of the many Kenyans that we hope will benefit from the program, go to www.facebook.com/southwest and click on the leather tab or visit www.swamedia.com/luvseat.
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I don’t know many Southwest Employees who don’t feel like a member of the Southwest Family. Our Family is never truer than when we face a significant life moment or something that requires a little TLC. When I had surgery, receiving a Southwest blanket and heart pillow brightened my day and made me feel better! These little bits of comfort came from the Internal Customer Care (ICC) Team whose whole responsibility is making Southwest Employees feel like family.
Recently, FORTUNE Magazine was on the lookout for cool jobs at FORTUNE 500 companies–jobs that are unique to their Company that you probably won’t see anywhere else. I am thrilled that FORTUNE chose our ICC Team as one of those cool jobs and highlighted the Team in a recent article.
As FORTUNE was talking with the Team, I was able to sit-in on the interview and hear the stories and life-changing moments they face every day as our Employees go through life. I cried and laughed with them hearing about how they support our military Employees and their families while they’re deployed; how much Southwest’s support and caring meant when a family was facing a cancer battle and, ultimately, a loss; and how they celebrate the joy of the birth of a long-awaited child. It made me realize how unique and special this Team is and how amazing it is that we have a Company that considers Internal Customer Care such a priority. Congrats to the ICC Team for not only having a “cool job,” but also for making a difference each and every day for Southwest Employees.
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Over the past few weeks we’ve observed a number of Customers and community members reach out to Southwest Airlines regarding our partnership with SeaWorld. We want our Customers to know that we’ve heard your concerns and we do not take them lightly. I felt it was necessary to share our position on the partnership and hopefully address any concerns.
We have a longstanding relationship with SeaWorld that is based on travel and bringing families together. We are engaged with Sea World related to the recent concerns being raised. We are in a listening and education mode with the goal of upholding our commitments as a good corporate citizen. As a responsible member of the community, we support several organizations and events that are devoted to maintaining the natural world.
At this time, our partnership with SeaWorld will continue. If you’d like to know more about Southwest’s commitment to the triple bottom line of Performance, People, and Planet, please read our Southwest Airlines One Report at www.southwestonereport.com
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Gift wrap is one of the most wasteful items—we use it once and then toss it. Each year, the annual trash from gift wrap and shopping bags totals four million tons!
Instead of ending the holidays with a mountain of trash, consider making it a green Christmas:
Paper grocery bags: Brown paper packages tied up with string; these are a few of my favorite things! This time of year, most stores will make their bags extra festive with holiday designs, so if you forget your reusable shopping bags don’t fret, the holidays can give them a second life. For the final “Von Trapp” touch, finish with twine.
Yarn: If you like to give fruit or other small, round objects (hopefully not coal!), try using yarn as a fun, tricky option for those hard-to-wrap items. Use a small piece of tape to get it started, and enjoy watching your friends and family unravel it later. Just roll the yarn back up and it’s ready for next year.
Newspaper: The Sunday comics section is bright, colorful and easy gift wrap. Even if you have black and white paper, it doesn’t have to be boring! Add a quick newspaper bow to turn black and white into something chic and festive.
Odds & Ends: Look for items you already have—old maps, magazines, and fabric can turn into great gift wrap. Even unlikely items like balloons can be repurposed—those foil Mylar balloons make excellent gift sacks. You can re-use just about anything, so keep your eyes peeled and experiment.If you prefer buying your wrapping paper, look for rolls with a high percentage of recycled content. Or, select cute, reusable containers like tins or baskets to use instead.
What do you use for green wrapping paper? Let us know by commenting below. DING! You are now free to be Green!
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At Southwest, we are committed to honoring and thanking our service men and women who safeguard our country all year long, but during our fourth annual month-long celebration in November dubbed “Military Heroes Month,” we have the opportunity to show how much we care by recognizing the incredible sacrifices of Veterans, service members, and their families across the country. Through activities with nonprofit organizations to special communication and engagement opportunities, Southwest has themed each week in November to reflect how we will commemorate our service men and women: Service, Honor, Sacrifice, and Celebrate. You’ll see, hear about, and read blogs about service, how we honor the military, the sacrifice these heroes make, and how we celebrate the brave who fight for our Freedoms. You’ll also get the chance to tell us what service, honor, sacrifice, and celebrate mean to you.
We are proud to have been recognized numerous times by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) for our commitment and support of Southwest Employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve; been named a Top Military Employer by GI Jobs Magazine; and received recognition for our partnerships with nonprofits focused on active duty military, Veterans, and families of military members. As the daughter of a veteran and retired Navy Officer, Military Heroes Month is close to my heart, and I am proud of my Company for honoring my father and all the others who have served or are serving. Each week we will ask you to express in photos what each of the Military Heroes Month theme means to you. For this first week of November, the theme is Service. Share your photos using #MilitaryHeroes and #Service.
Southwest gives thanks to the military with the following activities:
Oct. 25 | The Mission Continues, Fellow Initiation, Houston, Texas
The Mission Continues (TMC) currently has more than 200 Veteran Fellows committed to community service across the country, empowering them to transition their military-based skills into civilian life. Southwest Airlines is sponsoring and supplying volunteers to the TMC Fellow initiation in Houston, welcoming in a new class of Fellows and volunteering alongside them to benefit the community.
Oct. 31 | Armed Forces Foundation “Busch-Whacked” Event, Texas Motor Speedway Dirt Track, Fort Worth, Texas
Southwest Employee Volunteers will donate their time to the Armed Forces Foundation’s (AFF) “Busch-Whacked” mud run event at Texas Motor Speedway’s Dirt Track to help raise money for military families.
November | Honor Flight Network, Nationwide
Since 2008, Southwest has had the privilege of helping make Veteran’s dreams come true as the official commercial airline of the Honor Flight Network (HFN). To date, Southwest has donated more than 5,800 tickets, connecting WWII Veterans to their memorial in Washington, D.C.
Nov. 6 | Faces of Freedom and the Texas Rangers, Sendoff to Washington, D. C., Dallas, Texas
Southwest Airlines and the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation have teamed up with Faces of Freedom to offer the trip of a lifetime for 14 military heroes and their families to travel from Dallas to Washington, D.C. to visit the World War II, Korean and Vietnam War monuments.
Nov. 9-11 | A Million Thanks, We LUV Our Troops Customer Card Campaign, Nationwide
To commemorate Veteran’s Day, Southwest is distributing Support Our Troops cards to all Inflight bases for Flight Attendants to share with Customers, allowing them to write their messages of thanks and support as they travel to their destination. The cards will be sent to the nonprofit organization, “A Million Thanks,” who will distribute them to deployed U.S. Military Troops stationed around the world.
Nov. 9-12 | Operation Freedom Bird, Welcome Home Celebration, Washington, D.C.
Now in its 25 th year of service, Operation Freedom Bird (OFB) provides a unique healing journey to Arizona’s combat veterans of all wars. Each year, approximately 50 Veterans are selected to participate in the four-day healing journey that includes visiting the War Memorials in Washington, D.C. and experiencing Veteran’s Day celebrations. For the past 14 years, Southwest Airlines has supported OFB by providing all program transportation and hosting a surprise celebration of the Veterans’ return home.
Nov. 11 | Veterans Day Parade, Dallas, Texas
Southwest Airlines is sponsoring and volunteering at the Dallas Veterans Day Parade to celebrate and show appreciation for our men and women in uniform who have fought tirelessly for our freedom.
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Each year, about this time, I am on pins and needles. Why? Because this is when FORTUNE’s World’s Most Admired Companies list is released. Southwest has been on the Most Admired list every year since 1994 and all but twice we’ve ranked in the Top 10. So, I am always filled with anticipation to see the results. I am pleased to announce that the 2013 list was released this morning and Southwest Airlines is the 7 th Most Admired Company in the World – we are the highest ranking airline and the only commercial airline to make the Top 10. The only other commercial airline on the Top 50 World’s Most Admired Companies list is Singapore at #31. It is a testament to Living and Working the Southwest Way that Southwest Airlines continues to be among the World’s brightest and best companies. More importantly, I think it reflects the hard work and dedication of our Employees to triumph, making sure we connect People to what’s important in their lives , even in a most difficult industry. Each year, the Hay Group, the consulting service that works to compile the World’s Most Admired Companies list for FORTUNE, contacts executives, directors, and security analysts to select the companies they admire most. As part of the Team that manages Southwest’s award and survey participation, I have the opportunity to oversee our FORTUNE submission and work with our Board of Directors and Executive Planning Committee to complete the survey. It is our reputation for doing the right thing and the respect we garner that leads executives at other companies, including our competitors, to consistently vote Southwest among the Most Admired Companies. Though we ranked as the seventh most admired company in the world overall, we ranked as the fifth most admired in the airline industry. You may be wondering how Southwest could be ranked seventh most admired company overall in the world, yet only fifth in our own industry. The answer is the methodology of the survey. For the industry-specific lists, executives, directors, and analysts rated companies in their own industry on nine criteria, among them investment value, global competitiveness, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), people management, and innovation. For the 50 Most Admired Companies overall, executives, directors, and securities analysts selected the companies they admired most from a list of the companies that ranked in the top 25 percent in last year’s survey, along with those that finished in the top 20 percent in their industry. They were able to vote for any company in any industry, which explains the seeming inconsistency in the rankings. To see the entire list of the 2013 Top 50 World’s Most Admired Companies, click here. Congratulations to the People of Southwest who have made our Company one of the most admired in the world for nearly 20 years.
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I know how lucky I feel to be working at Southwest Airlines. The airline industry is an exciting one, but one that is full of uncertainty, as the last 11 years have shown. I can’t imagine working anywhere but Southwest where I feel like I matter to our success. As the $5 A Day Campaign and other initiatives show, small changes can lead to big results. So, for this edition of Going Green, think about what one or two small things you can do to contribute to the success of Southwest – we know environmental decisions make good business sense, so go Green and save Green for Southwest. Below are a few suggestions – which one will you implement?
Bring your own mug or reusable cup to work – save on plastic and paper cups! Don’t print! Try going paperless. If you have to print, use the copiers, which save on ink costs and print on both sides, which saves on paper costs. Recycle! Every time you put a recyclable (paper, aluminum, cardboard, or plastic bottles) in the blue bin, we are saving Southwest’s bottom line by reducing waste pickups and paying for our recycling program – it’s a win-win.
What else do you do to make a difference for Southwest? Let us know by commenting below. Have a tip ? Email us at Green@wnco.com.
DING! You are now free to be Green.
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Happy Green Tuesday! It’s that time of year when kids head back to school. Did you know that about 1.6 billion pens get thrown away each year? Or, that on average, a U.S. elementary school cafeteria will generate more than 18,000 pounds of trash? In honor of the back-to-school season, here are some great tips to keep in mind for going green this school year: Hike, Bike, or Carpool. Walking or riding a bike to school allows kids to get the daily exercise they need. If neither option is possible, carpool and save the gas. Buy reusable supplies. Instead of purchasing pens and pencils you’ll toss as soon as the ink/lead runs out, pick up refillable pens and pencils! Also, opt for the solar-powered calculator rather than the battery-operated one. Ditch the brown bag lunch. By investing in a lunch box that you or your child can use daily and using Tupperware rather than Ziploc bags, you’re reducing the waste pileup greatly! Carrying a reusable water bottle every day is also a great green investment and helps kids keep hydrated. LUV your backpack. Choose styles or designs your kids like and will reuse that can last a few years. When it’s time for a new one, pass them along to someone else or donate them! Happy “Back to School” to all the parents out there! Do you have a tip on how to live, learn, or work Green? Let us know at by commenting below or at Green@wnco.com. DING! You are now free to be Green!
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Visiting friends across town, heading into work, or going shopping means that, for the majority of us, we have to hop into our cars and drive. Brian Lusk wrote a great Green Tuesday post a couple of weeks ago about his commute on public transportation to work, and we certainly encourage you to think of the alternatives to driving, such as public transportation, carpooling, and discovering bike paths. But, if you have to get into the car, here are some tips to help you save Green and go Green: Smooth and Steady. Braking frequently and rapid acceleration can really lower your gas mileage. Avoid the rush. While vehicles perform differently, gas mileage usually decreases above 60 mph. According to www.fueleconomy.gov, you can assume that each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.29 per gallon for gas. Take a load off. Avoid keeping unnecessary items in your vehicle, especially heavy ones. An extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could reduce your MPG by up to two percent. Air! You can improve your gas mileage by up to 3.3 percent by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure. Under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.3 percent for every one psi drop in pressure of all four tires. Properly inflated tires are also safer and last longer. For more information, visit http://www.fueleconomy.gov/. How do you live, work, and transport Green? Let us know at by commenting below or at Green@wnco.com. DING! You are now free to be Green.
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I’ve written before about my rescue dogs, Polly and Samuel Adams—great dogs that really brighten up my day and my life! I’m always looking for ideas and tips to help make sure they stay healthy and happy well into senior-hood. I stumbled across these great ideas to help your pet go Green from http://www.treehugger.com/, and thought you might enjoy them too. Adopt from a shelter. Why buy when you can adopt one of the 70,000 puppies and kittens born every day in the United States? Love knows no pedigree. Check out Petfinder.com to find your perfect match. Spay or neuter your pet. As we mentioned above, 70,000 puppies and kittens are born every day in the United States. In addition to controlling the population, spaying and neutering helps dogs and cats live longer, healthier lives. Think organic. Since nutrition is one of the key determinants of health and resistance to disease in your pet, you’ll want your pet's chow to be comparable in quality with what you would eat. Natural and organic pet foods use meats that are raised in sustainable, humane ways without added drugs or hormones, minimally processed, and preserved with natural substances, such as vitamins C and E. Certified-organic pet foods must meet strict USDA standards that spell out how ingredients are produced and processed, which means no pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, artificial preservatives, artificial ingredients, or genetically engineered ingredients. Pooper Scooper Scoop up your dog waste in biodegradable poop bags so it isn’t in a landfill somewhere for hundreds of years. Eco-friendly cat litters avoid the clay sediment found in clumping cat litter that can contain carcinogenic silica dust and sodium bentonite that can hurt your pets’ lungs and organs. Go sustainable. Look for toys, collars, and leashes made from recycled materials or sustainable fibers (sans herbicides or pesticides) such as hemp. You can even get pet beds made with organic cotton or even recycled PET bottles. Natural Clean Lather up your pets with natural pet-care products for clean goodness that’s also good for the planet. Also, look for cleaning products that are earth-friendly or that you know are gentle on the Planet and your pet’s delicate senses. Have fun with your pets and let us know what you do to Green your pet by commenting below! Do you have a tip for Green Tuesday? Let us know at Green@wnco.com. DING! You are now free to be Green!
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I really enjoy the Green tips we receive in the comments on the blog and in our Green mailbox. I am consistently impressed with the ingenuity of Southwest and AirTran Employees and the ways you try to reduce your impact on the environment, use resources wisely, and save some Green! Below is a roundup of tips received: I am trying to go green and found out that used coffee grounds, set out on the counter, help to absorb odors and acts as an air freshener. I was tired of all the mailed envelopes I receive (with three teenagers we still have plenty) and started cutting the old envelopes to use as scrap paper! For composting and helping the garden our rule is if it came out of the ground, put it back into the ground to yield better crops in the garden. This includes the used coffee grounds, celery stalk ends, carrots, onions, peelings from any fruit/vegetable, and egg shells. The egg cartons can also be cleaned and used by kids to paint and mix different paints in the separate spaces. Kathleen Bleam, AirTran Savannah Res Ask your dry cleaner or launderer to not bag your clothes. Surely your car isn’t that dirty?! Kent L. Larson, Corporate Facilities I have yet another use for dryer lint. A good "hot" compost pile should have a roughly 70/30 ratio of green (nitrogen) material to brown (carbon) material. A good brown source is dryer lint. This info came from a recent lunch and learn session on composting at Headquarters. Rick McKinley, DAL MX I’d like to remind my Co-Hearts who leave for the day and leave various office and desk items on (lights on their cubes, lamps, computers, etc.) to turn these things off at night to help the Company save money on energy costs. Megan Simon, CS&S Keep the tips coming by sending them to Green@wnco.com or by commenting below! DING! You are now free to be Green!
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Southwest Airlines achieved record revenues of $15.7 billion in 2011. It took Southwest its first 24 years (1971-1994) to generate a cumulative $15.7 billion in total operating revenues. Southwest’s Employees volunteered more than 114,000 hours, which is enough time to fly from Baltimore/Washington to Los Angeles 24,516 times. More than 2,600 tons of material was diverted from landfills and into recycling facilities through Southwest’s co-mingled recycling program, which is equal to the weight of more than 61 Boeing 737-700s. The below infographic puts into perspective some of these amazing things Southwest accomplished in 2011. Our recently released integrated annual report, the 2011 Southwest Airlines One Report™, illustrates our commitment to the triple bottom line of Performance, People, and Planet, which creates a Culture of consistent yearly profits, enthusiastic Employees, respected Customer Service, active community involvement, and environmentally responsible decisions. The One Report details Our Performance and record load factors, illustrates that Our People are our greatest asset, and discusses how we use resources responsibly to help Our Planet. We are proud of our commitment to being a good citizen of the world, so go read the One Report. When our Customers or your family and friends ask, you will have even more reasons why Southwest is the best Company to work for!
Enjoy reading the 2011 Southwest Airlines One Report™, which, in an effort to conserve our natural resources, can only be found online at www.southwestonereport.com or www.southwest.com/citizenship.
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Thanks for all the great comments on last week’s Green Tuesday post – dryer lint was a very popular topic! Some of the comments made me think, and I wanted to explain why I think it’s important that Southwest focus on the triple bottom line, specifically the Planet. Yes, we are a Company that burns fossil fuels, and it's integral to our business and will continue to be. For 41 years, Southwest has had a philosophy of operating efficiently, and efficiency is the foundation of our environmental commitment, because, at its heart, efficiency is the elimination of waste. Whenever we put a Green filter on our business decisions, it usually translates back to our bottom line. We wash our engines, because cleaner engines run more efficiently, which saves fuel and reduces emissions. We recycle because every time we do, we reduce our waste pickups, which is a direct bottom line savings. We don’t waste, we reuse what we can, and we are always looking for ways to be smart about our business – that, to me, is the essence of a sustainable Company – we are built for the long haul and contribute in a positive way to society, each other, and the world in which we live.
We're in the business of "go, see, do," so I think it's even more important that we do our part - in whatever small way we can - to help our Planet, so our Customers will have something and someplace to go, see, and do. It makes me proud to work at Southwest for many reasons, but also because we are focusing on the triple bottom line of Performance, People, and Planet. If you want to read more about what we accomplished in these areas in 2011, go read the Southwest Airlines One Report at www.southwestonereport.com. Now, summer is here and this is a great time to go, see, do. Here are some opportunities to experience nature, give back, and relax:
Camping! Get in touch with nature and save some green. Camping fees are pretty inexpensive and so are the activities that go along with camping like hiking, bird watching, and fishing. Take the opportunity to visit one of our National Parks. Visit www.nps.gov to find the perfect park for you. Volunteer! Spend your time giving back on a volunteer vacation in a way that is meaningful for you, whether it is working with Earthwatch on an environmental project or Habitat for Humanity building homes around the world. Check out www.volunteermatch.org and www.idealist.org for vacations that can help you make a positive difference. Relax! If spa treatments and gourmet cuisine are your idea of a great vacation, why not find an eco-lodge that is sustainable and sumptuous! Find green retreats at www.concierge.com
Have a great summer, and keep the comments coming! Let us know what you like to do on vacation by commenting below. If you have a tip for Green Tuesday, let us know at Green@wnco.com. DING! You are now free to be Green.
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Have you ever heard of World Environment Day? Me neither. Apparently, World Environment Day is held every year on June 5 and was established by the United Nations in 1972 to stimulate worldwide awareness of the environment. This year, the conference will be hosted in Brazil and the theme is Green Economy. One aspect of “Green Economy” that I found interesting was recycling—using resources wisely and reusing where possible. This seems like a perfect opportunity to give you a recycling update for our first quarter. A big thanks to our Cabin Services Team and our super-mega stations for participating in co-mingled recycling. We processed 683.5 tons of recyclables, up 6.8 percent from 640 tons in first quarter 2011. We were able to reduce our waste pick-up costs by nearly $20,000 as a result of diverting our recycling—way to go! For those Stations that are not able to participate in our systemwide co-mingled recycling, nearly 73 percent of you are recycling in some way. Our Facilities Maintenance Team is actively working with those Stations who have expressed a desire to expand their recycling efforts, as well as working with those that don’t have a recycling program in place, but would like to implement one. Thank you all very much for being so Green and for working for ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Southwest is known as being one of the best when it comes to the Green filter we put on business decisions, because we know that environmental decisions can make good business sense, and our recycling program is one of the leading the industry. Keep recycling and keep looking for ways to reduce and reuse—even things you think can’t be recycled, sometimes can be. Here are some ideas for recycling dryer lint (I know, crazy!!) from the website http://www.recyclescene.com/.
For paper mache projects, use dryer lint for paper mache paste. To make modeling clay, mix 3 cups dryer lint, 2 cups water, 1 cup of flour, and 1/8 teaspoon of vegetable oil in a large saucepan and stir over medium heat until smooth. Make sure it has cooled before using, and allow it to air dry several days before painting or decorating. Use dryer lint along with recycled egg cartons to make homemade fire starters. If you don’t feel like taking the effort to make fire starters, dryer lint makes great kindling. Just add it as-is, along with your kindling and newspaper when starting a fire in your woodstove or while camping. Some people use dryer lint as mulch around plants, but gardeners say it doesn’t last very long.
What are some of the off-the-wall things you recycle? Let us know by commenting below. Have a tip for Green Tuesday? Send them our way at Green@wnco.com. DING! You are now free to be Green.
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It’s that time again—time to spring clean and time for our annual spring cleaning post! Below are some great tips to help you clean, save money, and reduce the use of chemicals in your home. Below are some ideas from The Daily Green at www.thedailygreen.com to help you make your home sparkle: Baking Soda and Water: Dust surfaces with baking soda, then scrub with a moist sponge or cloth. If you have tougher grime, sprinkle on some kosher salt, and work up some elbow grease. Lemon Juice or Vinegar: Got stains, mildew or grease streaks? Spray or douse with lemon juice or vinegar. Let sit a few minutes, then scrub with a stiff brush. Disinfectant: Instead of bleach, make your own disinfectant by mixing 2 cups of water, 3 tablespoons of liquid soap, and 20 to 30 drops of tea tree oil. Looking for even more money-saving ideas? Repurpose: Take those old T-shirts and sheets and use them for dusting and cleaning rags, so you can limit the use of paper towels. Clean the Air: Some houseplants—such as Boston ferns, English ivy, rubber plants, and peace lilies—can help clean your indoor air by absorbing toxic chemicals. Let us know how you live, work, and clean Green by commenting below. If you have a tip for Green Tuesday, e-mail us at Green@wnco.com. DING! You are now free to be Green!
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I consider May 1 to be an especially awesome day, because this is my Southwest anniversary—who knew I was in for the flight of my life!? May also brings beautiful flowers. We’re been lucky that many parts of the country have had some rain this spring, and already there is evidence that April showers really do bring May flowers. As you are planning your flower beds through the spring, summer, and fall, check out the great online resources to help you maximize the “pretty factor” while reducing the water and replacement factor! Help your garden go Green!
Check out http://www.wildflower.org/plants to find plants and flowers that grow great in your region. You can type in a kind of plant to see where it grows well, search by state, or by a variety of characteristics, such as appearance and lifespan. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has a terrific plant database that you can find at www.plants.usda.gov. For all things nature, check out The Nature Conservancy, which has interesting information about the science behind conservation with practical information you can use. If you are interested in how to design your own native plant landscaping and other tutorials, including best plants to use, check out www.plantnative.org.
Have fun, and let us know how you garden Green by commenting below. And, take some photos for us and submit them, along with your gardening tips to Green@wnco.com. We will feature them in a future post. DING! You are now free to be Green!
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Did you know Southwest Airlines has an industry leading program with our electric ground support equipment? It’s pretty amazing to think that we have more than 1,150 pieces of cleaner-burning GSE in our fleet. We do buy new electric equipment to enter new markets such as GSP, CHS, and EWR, but did you know we have a small but mighty shop in PHX that works to convert diesel burning GSE to electric? No? Well this video is going to show and tell you about the great work this group does. Our electric GSE conversions were some of the first in the airline industry, and our GSE Mechanics at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport can convert up to four belt loaders or two pushback tractors to electric power each month, depending on the availability of supplies. Since the upgraded GSE are converted rather than new, GSE operators don’t need to be retrained—only reminded at first to plug in the electric GSE at the end of a shift. Because environmentally responsible decisions make good business sense, these conversions not only positioned Southwest Airlines as a sustainable innovator in GSE, but have also saved us millions in new equipment costs. Mechanics in Phoenix can convert an older unit into a virtually new unit for less than a quarter of the cost of a new piece of equipment. These conversions also cut costs by lengthening the lifespan of aging GSE by a decade and benefit the environment through fuel savings and emissions reductions. So, take a look at the video, marvel at how innovative Southwest and our Employees are, and give a shout out to this great team in PHX!
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Hello, everyone and Happy Green Tuesday! April is a pretty special month and one that is right up our alley! Did you know that Earth Day is on April 22? Did you know that the week leading up to Earth Day is National Volunteer Week? April is an opportunity to celebrate our planet and taking care of our communities and each other! We all know that we are an airline that relies on fossil fuels to keep us flying high, but we also know environmental decisions make good sense and that it’s important to use our resources wisely and be efficient. In the coming weeks, you will see a bunch of blog posts from volunteers around our system, fun Customer and Employee opportunities to celebrate those that give back their time to our planet that sustains us, and plenty of ideas if you want to get out in nature and combine volunteerism and environmental stewardship. So, to get you started, below are a couple of resources on National Volunteer Week and Earth Day. Enjoy the month and a big thank you to all our Employees who make a difference each and every day, whether it’s by volunteering time, showing compassion to those less fortunate, lending a helping hand, recycling, or demonstrating a Servant’s Heart. Want to learn more about Earth Day and opportunities to get involved? Check out Earth Day Network’s site at www.earthday.org/2012. Ready to get out and volunteer? Go to http://www.volunteermatch.org/ to find an opportunity that’s right for you. Looking for some great Green tips? For the kids, National Geographic Kids has some fun ideas at www.nationalgeographic.com/kids. For the adults in the house, the Environmental Protection Agency has tips on saving energy and using water efficiently at http://www.epa.gov/earthday/tips.htm. Have any plans to give back this month or celebrate Earth Day? Let us know my commenting below. Have tips for how to live and work Green? E-mail us at Green@wnco.com! DING! You are now free to be Green.
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Laurel Moffat wrote a really great post last year about Apps that help you go Green (May 31, 2011). This year, I wanted to do a similar post in honor of approaching Earth Day about apps for your iPad and iPhone. With help from the really great site www.appadvice.com/, here are some great free and paid Green and Earth-appreciation apps: Green Outlet by Key Lime 314 LLC This app helps you identify which of your household appliances are the biggest energy suckers, as well as which can help you make informed decisions and save some Green. My Recycle List by 1-800-RECYCLING.com This app helps you find recycling locations for items you pick from a list. Using zip codes and GPS, you can find locations close to you to recycle all the stuff you find when cleaning out your garage or attic. The Lorax - Dr. Seuss by Oceanhouse Media This app works great on the iPad and brings the environmental story The Lorax by Dr. Seuss to life with narration, a tool to help early readers, and picture/word association. It’s great for ages 3 to 6. Earth Day is all about reminding us to protect this beautiful planet. The following apps remind us of the beauty of nature by showing us: Google Earth by Google This app puts the world in the palm of hand and lets you explore global satellite and aerial imagery, along with geo-located Wikipedia articles. Fotopedia Heritage by Fotonauts, Inc. Celebrate the beauty of our world with more than 30,000 photos created in cooperation with UNESCO World Heritage Center. This site is a virtual passport to hundreds of sites and locations. Geowalk HD 3D Facebook by Vito Technology, Inc. Discover new things with GeoWalk, an Internet globe model with articles that are geographically located on topics like animals and plants, history, and people. If you are an information geek, this app is for you. I hope you enjoy testing out these apps or finding others that help you green your everyday life or inspire you to consciously appreciate the planet! What are your favorite apps? Let us know by commenting below. Have a tip for Green Tuesday? Let us know at Green@wnco.com. DING! You are now free to be Green.
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Hard to believe it’s the first day of spring with such dreary rain here in Dallas! These April (well, March) showers are sure to make for beautiful May flowers. With so much rain recently, it brings to mind rain harvesting and how we can repurpose this “natural” water to keep our water usage and water bills down—something especially important in drought-prone areas. Rain harvesting is simply the term for “catching” the rain to use in other ways, such as watering lawns and flower beds. This is not an expensive process—many barrels with lids can be purchased for about $20 at local hardware and outdoor stores. The tip is to make sure it is opaque (or dark) and not clear, or it will grow algae. Once you purchase a barrel, find the best spot to capture the rain and install it about a foot or more off the ground, so you will be able to utilize the pressure to move the water back out of the barrel. Cut a hole near the bottom of the barrel and install a faucet. Cut a larger hole in the lid and divert your rain gutter into the barrel. Install a bit of netting over the whole top to keep out bugs and debris. If you aren’t this much of a do-it-yourselfer, you can purchase ready-made rain barrels with small pumps. Have fun with this, and if you try it out—or you are already harvesting the rain—let us know by commenting below. Also, keep the tips and ideas coming for Green Tuesday by e-mailing us at mailto:Green@wnco.com DING! You are now free to be Green!
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Happy Green Tuesday, everyone! Since I am not a morning person, Daylight Saving Time each spring is a hard one for me—it seems to be happening earlier and earlier! Well, that’s because of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which mandated a month-long extension of Daylight Saving Time starting in 2007. Daylight Saving Time is somewhat controversial in that some believe this change in time doesn’t really save energy, but in a report to Congress in 2008, the Department of Energy said that springing forward does save Energy. According to the report, extended daylight saving time saved 1.3 terawatt hours of electricity. That figure suggests that daylight saving time reduces annual U.S. electricity consumption by 0.03 percent and overall energy consumption by 0.02 percent. That may seem like a tiny amount, but given our nation’s enormous energy use, that could represent some major savings. Whether you think Daylight Saving Time is a good idea or a ridiculous one, saving energy is important for our wallet and our planet! Below are some tips from the U.S. Department of Energy (www.energysavers.gov)—beyond waking up an hour earlier—that can help you prepare for the warm months ahead:
To combat the summer sun, install window coverings to prevent heat gain through your windows. Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible in the summer. The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be. Summer is a time for vacations! Keep your house warmer than normal when you are away. A programmable thermostat can make it easy to get the temperature just right. If you use air conditioning, a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4°F with no reduction in comfort. When you shower or take a bath, use the bathroom fan to remove the heat and humidity from your home. Your laundry room might also benefit from spot ventilation. Make sure bathroom and kitchen fans are vented to the outside (not just to the attic). On hot days, avoid using the oven; cook on the stove, use a microwave oven, or grill outside. Add caulk or weatherstripping to seal air leaks around leaky doors and windows, so the cool stays inside.
What do you do to stay cool and go Green? Let us know by commenting below. Have a tip for Green Tuesday? Let us know at Green@wnco.com. DING! You are now free to be Green!
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We all have to get to work, but how we get to work can determine whether or not we are “going Green.” Below are some tips to help you be at your fuel-efficient best, because when you use less fuel, you reduce emissions and save money. Environmental decisions make good business sense!
The Need for Speed: One of the best ways to improve fuel economy is to change the way you drive. Speeding, accelerating, and braking hard can deplete efficiency by 33 percent, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), so drive smooooothly. Lighten Up: If you have a heavy car, you are going to use more fuel. Clean out that junk in the trunk and lighten up your vehicle. Air: Proper tire maintenance is an often overlooked way to increase your fuel economy. The easiest way to use your tires to save money is to make sure they're properly inflated. Tires that are underinflated negatively affect fuel efficiency. Share the Ride: Look for public transportation options in your city or like-minded folks to hitch a ride—you will save money, avoid traffic, and reduce emissions.
How do you go Green? Let us know by commenting below. Have a tip for how to live and work Green?
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What does a patient do when they need specialized treatment at a hospital that is thousands of miles away from home? Often these patients are forced to travel for treatment without their families or caregivers, and the travel expense can too often be prohibitive. That’s where the LUV airline has the opportunity to step in. Southwest’s Medical Transportation Grant Program seeks to lessen this burden by providing complimentary, roundtrip airline tickets to hospitals and medical organizations that then provide the tickets to patients and their caregivers who must travel for treatment. Now in its fifth year, the program has quadrupled the number of participating hospitals since its inception and has provided more than 70 hospitals and organizations in 26 states with more than 18,800 tickets. This year, the Southwest Medical Transportation Grant Program will provide more than $2.4 million in free transportation to patients seeking medical treatment. To see a full list of recipients, please visit: www.southwest.com/citizenship. Recently, Southwest Employees rolled up their sleeves alongside special members of the community to participate in a hands-on (and, I literally mean hands-on!) display of how we LUV making a difference. In honor of Southwest’s Medical Transportation Grant Program, Robert Fogarty of the Dear World photography project, photographed Employees and special members of the community with impactful messages written directly on their bodies. The Dear World project allows its subjects to speak simply and profoundly through photos. Dusty Johnson, Southwest Employee, is a three-time cancer survivor. Korban Best, a patient from grant recipient Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, shows his confidence and perpetual spirit with the message, “I’m cool.” And, his parents share that normal is different for all of us. Don Virostek, Director of Orthotics at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, reminds the world that he has no limits. Todd Painter, Southwest Employee shares his medical miracle with the message, “Liver Recipient.” To see all of the Dear World photographs, please visit www.swamedia.com. [PHOTO SHARE ALERT] Now, it’s your turn. You’ve seen what making a difference means to Southwest, but what does it mean to you? Let these photos be your inspiration, and we encourage you to share in your words (literally on your hands or arms!) how you make a difference and give back in your community. We’re asking you to take a photo, tweet to @SouthwestAir, and include the hashtag #giveback no later than Tuesday, March 13. We’ll pick our top five favorites and share them on the NUTS About Southwest blog on Thursday, March 15. Nathan Tyson, Southwest Employee At Southwest Airlines, it’s important for us to give back, and we couldn’t be more proud to have the opportunity to not only keep growing this program, but to have the chance to make a difference and provide travel assistance during such a tough time for families. In the last five years since the program began, you can imagine the stories we’ve been blessed to hear about and the connections we’ve made with folks along the way. Here are just a few sound bites that we’ve heard along the way from caregivers of patients and hospitals who have benefitted from the grant program. “We are so thankful and blessed that your organization helped our family along with so many others. I pray that others can learn about this so they can help a child receive needed treatments.” – Caregiver “We just want to say thank you for all that your charity has done for our family. We would not have been able to afford these trips to Boston so that he can get his medical treatments without your help.”- Caregiver “All recipients of Southwest Airlines’ generosity greatly benefited from being close to family members or friends, which accelerated their emotional and physical healing. We offer our profound thanks to Southwest for helping Barnes-Jewish Hospital provide truly exceptional care to patients with limited financial resources.” - Lisa Peckler, a Social Worker at the Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, MO. Making a difference and giving back is part of what we do here at Southwest—I can’t wait to see what you do!
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Did you know that our Headquarters Building received an Energy Star rating from the Environmental Protection Agency for energy efficiency? Our Facilities Maintenance Team has done an awesome job helping us Green Headquarters with sensor lights, compact fluorescent bulbs, and many other features, so thank you!! But, there is more to being Green than how a building performs—it’s also the behaviors of those of us that work at Headquarters, in the Stations, and at our CS&S Centers, so here are some tips to help us Green our workplace!
First, try to go paperless—today's technology makes it easier to go digital. But, when you have to use paper, reduce paper usage by printing on both sides of the paper. Another neat trick is to modify the format of your documents with wider margins and smaller font size to fit more text on a single page. When you have to print, instead of recycling that paper after first use, convert old single-side pages into scratch pads. Power down. Turn off your computer monitor when you leave at night, and don't forget about the lights and the lamps! Recycle! Put all recyclables (paper, plastic bottles, cardboard, aluminum) in the blue bin to help Southwest save money on our waste pickups and divert these items from the landfill. Go Reusable. Use a reusable lunch sack when bringing your lunch, drink your morning coffee in a reusable mug or cup, and drink your water from a reusable water bottle or cup.
These are just a few things we can do to use our resources wisely and cut costs—do you have more ideas? Let us know by commenting below! DING! You are now free to be Green!
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We all know how wonderful our Conservation in Action: 40 Projects for 40 Years tour was last year, and how much good we did in the Communities where we live and work. Well, we are excited to announce that a documentary video of the tour - created by our amazing Multimedia Team - has been submitted in the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship 2012 Film Festival. The festival highlights entries that demonstrate the power of video to communicate the positive impact of a Company’s work in its Community. We need you and your vote to help us become one of the ten finalists, which will then be reviewed by a panel of judges to choose the winner. Voting is open now and will run through March 3. You can vote here. Enjoy watching the video and reliving the good works of Southwest across the United States and then go VOTE!--- And, tell all your friends!
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Happy Green Tuesday! Love is definitely in the air, especially at the LUV airline. I love how we “own the holidays,” especially this one, and I love the traditional celebration we undertake each year – Heroes of the Heart. The winners this year are very near and dear to my heart, but I won’t give it away in case it hasn’t been officially announced! This Valentine’s Day, here are some suggestions to help you not only show your love to your Valentine, but also to the Planet: Look for natural beeswax or soy candles – pleasant scent, romantic glow, no chemicals! What’s smoother than delicious fair trade and organic chocolate? Show your sweetie you care about her and the forest The perfect gift for him is something with a hint of blueberries and oak – organic and biodynamic wine, of course. These wines are made using sustainable farming practices Of course, the perfect Valentine’s Day is the one you spend together – have dinner at a restaurant that serves organic and locally grown food or take a walk or hike and enjoy being together It’s easy to show love for your Valentine and your Planet. Make this Valentine’s Day a Green one. Happy Valentine’s Day! How are you celebrating this Valentine’s Day? Let us know by commenting below. DING! You are now free to be Green.
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Hello and Happy Green Tuesday! I get very excited when I learn of clever ways to repurpose everyday items. There are some great ideas out there, and here are my favorites:
Used dryer sheets are amazing dust picker-uppers! They seem to work on just about any surface such as blinds, furniture, leather, etc. And, they smell pretty good, too! Olive oil seems to be a miracle oil, and it’s not just for cooking! A great “other” use for olive oil is to free stuck zippers. Simply apply olive oil with a cotton swab to the teeth of the zipper and ease it down. My other favorite use for olive oil is moisturizing cuticles—it really works! Are you a tea drinker? A great way to reuse old tea bags is to use them for your plants. Tea bags can be used as an organic fertilizer for potted house plants; you can even remove the bags and mix the tea leaves inside with your soil, helping absorb water and retaining moisture. And, finally, toothpaste—the most versatile of household products! My favorite use for plain white toothpaste is to use it to repair holes in the wall —I used this one a lot in college. The other great use for toothpaste is to repair scratches on CDs and DVDs. Simply put toothpaste on it, scrub, wipe clean and you are good to go! No guarantees, of course.
There are many other great articles and new uses for everyday things at http://www.curbly.com/. What fun uses do you have for old things? Let us know by commenting below. Have a tip for Green Tuesday? Let us know in the comments section below. DING! You are now free to be Green.
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Hello, everyone! Happy Green Tuesday. This edition of Green Tuesday is going to talk about onboard recycling. First, thank you to all our Flight Attendants and Provisioning Agents for recycling onboard the aircraft and supporting Southwest’s commitment to using our resources wisely. By recycling onboard and on the ground, we are able to fund the recycling program, so there is no cost to Southwest, and it removes more items from the waste stream. This is a big accomplishment, and we are being recognized by our Customers, the industry, and by environmental organizations for our commitment, so thank you to all who participate in recycling—it’s important! You may have noticed recently that plastic wine bottles are appearing onboard. By switching from glass to plastic, we are saving weight, introducing another recycling element onboard, and saving money—what a win! This is another testament to the fact that environmental decisions also make good business sense. The decision to switch was made for all the reasons mentioned and because our wine supplier now offered us the option. The wine retains its quality in the plastic bottles, and we know our Customers will continue to enjoy this onboard offering. If you are attending a Message to the Field, please stop by the Green table, say hello to some of our Green Ambassadors and Green Teammembers and learn more about recycling and ways you can make a difference. DING! You are now free to be Green. Let us know how you recycle by commenting below. Have a tip for Green Tuesday? Let us know at Green@wnco.com.
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