I recently volunteered at the Texas Tree Foundation with my fellow interns, and it really reaffirmed for me how important it is to be aware of the world around us and the importance of our natural resources … like trees! According to Urban Forestry Network, a single acre of a forest absorbs up to 2.5 tons of carbon every year. I had the opportunity to help care for young trees, and I learned that a single tree can provide oxygen for two people. Volunteering at a local nonprofit like the Texas Trees Foundation, the Student Conservation Association, or with your local park is a great way to make a difference and protect the Planet. Another way is to reduce your impact. Here are a few suggestions:
Cutting Energy in the Kitchen: We use kitchen appliances every day, and they can make your energy bill skyrocket. Using the microwave more often actually uses less energy compared to your conventional oven. Did you know food cooks faster in the microwave when it’s placed on the outer edges of the rotating tray instead of the middle? Your typical meal can take 15 minutes in the microwave versus one hour in the oven. The microwave is an efficient and quick way to reduce energy in the kitchen.
How You Read Your Daily News: Today, most everyone reads the news on the internet opposed to reading newspapers, but which uses more energy? If you’re more a newspaper reader, make sure you recycle after you’re finished. Instead of reading your daily news on a desktop, read your daily headlines on a tablet or laptop. You’ll be saving energy by not being hooked up to an outlet.
Drink Filtered Water: Driving to the store to pick up water bottles sure wastes a lot of energy, why not invest in a filtration pitcher? If you own a filter, you’re saving the planet from the millions of water bottles that are thrown away every year in the U.S.
How do you make a difference? Let us know by commenting below!
... View more
What kind of font do you use when printing out documents at the office? A recent news story about a 14-year old who had an idea that would save the U.S. government $400 million, simply changing the font on printed documents. According to his studies, 21 percent less ink is used when using the font, Garamond, opposed to other default fonts. Changing the font on your documents is one of the many creative and fun ways you can be GREEN at work every day.
Who doesn’t love a nice cup of coffee or tea in the morning? But, did you know the average coffee drinker throws away 250 cups a year? That totals 58 billion cups thrown away every year. I LUV having a cup of hot tea in the morning. I leave a mug at my desk so it will be there for me in the morning. Whether you make your drink of choice at home, or fill up at the office, bring a thermos or mug with you. You’ll be cutting waste and feeling even more energized for the LUVly day ahead!
The number one rule in an office setting is to always recycle! Though we are in the digital age, the average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper a year. Not only can you throw paper in the recycling bin, there are other ways you can reuse paper. As an intern, I like to take a lot of notes and write down task lists. I write them in my notebook often and always use both sides of the paper. You can use both sides by changing default printer settings to print double-sided. If you have scrap paper lying around, those are also perfect for taking notes.
Next to our LUVing hearts, computers use a lot of energy in the office. They have a lot to do, and are constantly going. When you’re leaving for the day, make sure you turn off your monitor, as well as your desk lights.
What are some ways you go GREEN at the office? Share with us by commenting below!
... View more
Do you LUV baseball? How about going GREEN? These two go hand-in-hand in today’s Green Tuesday. It’s the perfect time to celebrate since yesterday was the official Opening Day for Major League Baseball, and today is the Texas Rangers’ opening game versus my home team, the Philadelphia Phillies.
In 2006, MLB became the first sports league to partner with the Natural Resources Defense Council and subsequently formed the "Commissioner's Initiative on Sustainable Stadium Operations and Team Practices." Now it is simply known as the MLB Greening Program.
With initiatives like harnessing wind; installing solar arrays; carbon offsets; hydropower; recycling and composting; paperless ticketing; conservation awareness; sustainable food practices; and much more, MLB is going Green at the ballpark.
Since I am here in Dallas for my internship, I used the Rangers and their stadium, Globe Life Park, to show examples of how baseball is swinging into action by being GREEN this summer:
The Rangers are covering all their GREEN bases when it comes to their green initiatives. A day at the Ballpark is full of fun and homeruns, which results in a lot of leftover waste. That’s why plastic, food containers, and other packing supplies are recycled after each game. In addition to recycling those products, cooking and motor oils also are recycled.
We LUV the environment, and so do the Rangers. They use the grass clippings from the field as mulch, as well as leftover tree trimmings and broken pallets, particularly for landscaping.
If you’re planning on attending baseball games this summer, there are some great ways for you to cheer on your team and go GREEN. Make sure to recycle your drink containers! Like Globe Life Park, many ballparks have conveniently placed recycle bins to deposit aluminum cans and plastic bottles. Also, be conscious of the waste around you; be sure to pick your trash and maybe an extra piece that was left behind. You’ll be a helping hand for post-game cleaning!
Enjoy the baseball season, and let us know how you Go Green at the game by commenting below! Have a Green tip? E-mail us at Green@wnco.com.
... View more
Did you know that more than 70 percent of foods sampled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture contain pesticides? Pesticides can cause a lot of health problems and even more problems for our Green environment.
We always make efforts to keep Mother Nature healthy, but what about ourselves too? Adding organic foods to your diet can help nature look greener and YOU feel more healthy and energized!
The foods that are susceptible to pesticides and chemicals—even naturally—are, unfortunately, our favorite fruits and vegetables. The Environmental Working Group made a list of what they call the “dirty dozen,” or produce that should be bought locally. Peaches, apples, sweet bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, pears, grapes, spinach, lettuce, and potatoes make up the list.
The demand has grown tremendously for organic foods, and many stores now supply them. So how is organic food grown differently? The main difference is that these foods are grown with no chemicals or pesticides or, with a limited amount of approved fertilizers. Unlike private gardening, organic food production is a heavily regulated industry, with many countries, including the United States, requiring producers to obtain special certification based on government-defined standards in order to market food as organic within their borders. Treating animals with care; not treating them or the food they eat with chemicals; and water conservation are among other traditional organic farming practices. Because of these practices, many people believe that organic foods make for a cleaner and more eco-friendly environment!
How do you garden? Let us know by commenting below.
... View more
Welcome to a special edition of Going Green in honor of St. Patrick’s Day! What do Southwest and lucky leprechauns have in common? We both LUV the color GREEN!
At Southwest, we operate with a green filter, and each of our amazing Employees contributes by making environmentally responsible decisions, which also make good business sense. There are so many wonderful initiatives that have made Southwest a standout when it comes to conserving our natural resources. In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, we thought we would share some facts from the 2012 One Report.
Our 2013 One Report is coming out in early May, so stay tuned for our report on the triple bottomline of Performance, People, and Planet. You can find the Southwest Airlines One Report at southwestonereport.com.
It’s the nature of the business—the airline industry uses a lot of energy. It’s what keeps our planes in the air, but we also put a lot of effort into making sure we’re using energy efficiently. In 2012, we had more than 1500 pieces of electric ground support equipment, which helps us save fuel and reduce emissions.
In 2012, 77 million gallons of water were consumed based on 31 of our facilities. That’s a lot of H20! We have water conservation efforts in place, including our landscape initiative at Headquarters, which uses native plants and grasses to save on water irrigation.
We also have a Community Garden at HDQ where various Departments and Teams, including our DAL Inflight base, adopt planting boxes or contribute to the garden. In addition to being a great way to get outdoors and interact with nature, our Community Garden gives back to the community! The seasonal harvests throughout the year are donated to local area food banks. In 2012, we made 14 donations to help area residents.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! We strive to recycle, and do by through collecting aluminum, plastic, cardboard, and paper onboard and in some of our facilities through our co-mingled recycling program.
Through our recycling program, we’ve diverted more than 9,800 tons of material from landfills since from 2008 through 2012! That’s the equivalent to the weight of 233 Boeing 737-700 aircraft!
We hope you have a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day! Thank you for helping create and preserve Southwest’s reputation as a Company that cares about being a good global citizen.
What do you LUV about going Green? Let us know by commenting below!
... View more
With St. Patty’s Day on the horizon, the color green is on our minds! As we’re gearing up for leprechauns and four-leaf clovers, we thought it would be fitting to highlight the top Going Green posts from the past year.
There were many LUVly Green posts, but here are the ones that were the tops and awarded five GREEN stars.
Going Green: Reusable Car Seat/Stroller Bag: Drumroll please … your #1 blog is the Reusable Car Seat/Stroller Bag! This blog from January of this year was a winner with Employees, focusing on eliminating the old plastic bags and announcing the best Car Seat/Stroller Bag inflight and on ground!
Going Green: Five Items You Had No Idea Were Recyclable: Did you know you could recycle crayons? I didn’t either, until I read #2 from March 2013, Five Items You Had No Idea Were Recyclable! This post is a must-read; find out what other items you’ll be shocked are recyclable.
Going Green: Five Items in Your Garage You Should Recycle: Your #3 post returns from April 2013, about five items that you should recycle—ASAP. It’s never too late to recycle! Read this engaging blog about recycling your garage clutter.
Going Green: Can We Go Thrift Shopping: Coming in at #4 is a Green Tuesday post from July 2013, Can We Go Thrift Shopping? This one was a winner, focusing on saving your Benjamins and shopping at thrift stores—you guessed it—the GREEN way! Make sure to re-read this gem about how thrift store shopping will help your local economy.
What’s your favorite Going Green post so far for 2014? Let us know by commenting below!
... View more
It’s that time of the year again—time for spring cleaning! The flowers may be about to bloom, but that clutter on your coffee table is still lingering. Why throw it all out? There are many ways to reuse, reduce, and recycle all that clutter that has accumulated over the past year, or in my case, the past few years!
Here are some ways to declutter and organize the GREEN way.
Cleaning out the Fridge - Most of the time food items get lost in the back of the fridge—never to be found—until we smell them. Begin by taking all your food out and cleaning the interior of the refrigerator with a natural cleaner. When you start putting food back in, organize it so it won’t be hidden away. One tip is to buy some clear Tupperware to store and keep food fresh instead of using plastic bags. For produce, invest in wire baskets so your fruit won’t get lost in the bottom drawer and eaten before it goes bad. You’ll be saving the environment from smelly plastic and have the coolest, cleanest fridge in town.
Clothing Clutter - That shirt you’ve had since high school with all the holes in it? It might be time to retire it, along with a lot of other clothes hanging in your closet that need a new home. Reuse old T-shirts by using them as rags for cleaning. Gently used clothing items can always be donated to Goodwill, Salvation Army, or other charitable organizations, and, you can save your receipts for a tax deduction. Remember—a cute outfit should never be thrown away—the environment doesn’t need fashionable clothes. It’s already beautiful, so let’s keep it that way!
Pesky Papers - All those papers on the coffee table? Yes, they’re still there, and it’s time for them to move! I’m an avid crafter, so if there’s extra paper lying around, I see if I can make an art project out of it or make handmade cards. Here are some creative newspaper crafts to try. Most importantly, you can always recycle paper either through a recycling service or at your office, if recycle cans are available there .
How do you spring clean the GREEN way? Let us know by commenting below.
... View more
The sun will come out tomorrow! Warmer weather is on the horizon, so it’s the perfect time to say goodbye to the cold winter and get outside.
Being the LUV airline, we fly to beautiful and sunny destinations that are perfect for exploring. Here are a few activities and tips that are healthy for the environment and your impending spring fever:
Happy Hiking: There are so many great places to hike, and we LUV flying to them! One great hiking destination is the famous Pacific Coast Trail in sunny California. A tip for when you’re hiking is to make sure you stay on the trail; you don’t want to disturb our furry friends’ environments. Also, make sure to keep those protein bars and snack wrappers to yourself along the way and throw them away properly when you’re finished with your journey. To find a great place to hike in every state in the U.S., check out the web site for American Trails.
Outdoor Hobbies: Enjoy being out in nature and see it in a new whole new way. Check out an outdoor photography class or sign up for a bird-watching class. If you want to turn your thumb green, look for local gardening classes or naturalist classes to learn to identify local flora and fauna. Learning in nature about nature is a great way to develop a new appreciation for the environment.
A Day in the Park: If you don’t want to go far, local parks and community places are perfect ways to spend time with your family or friends. The first weekend I moved to Dallas, I went to Klyde Warren Park, and it was such a great day. Board games, books, and food trucks are just a few of the fun activities the park has to offer. As a wonderful green initiative, you can dedicate a tree and have your LUVed one’s name engraved on a plaque. Not in Dallas? Check out Piedmont Park in Atlanta, Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, or Patterson Park in Baltimore. For information on parks in the 50 largest U.S. cities, visit ParkScore and see how well they meet the need for parks.
How do you like to enjoy green space? Have a favorite location? Let us know by commenting below.
... View more
Are you crazy for crafts? There are so many little works of art you can create for your home, for gifts, or as decorations with things around the house that it’s easy to go Green while crafting. Here are a few of my favorite ideas. And when you are done reading, please be sure to share with us what household items have you turned into masterpieces!
My favorite craft project was a coffee filter wreath. Simply take coffee filters and a foam wreath, which you can find in any craft store. I bunched the filters and glued them to the wreath; spray-painted the filters; and added a touch of artificial flowers.
Egg-cellent candles: Throwing away egg shells is an everyday trash item, so why not make them useful? Transform your ordinary egg shells into candles. All you need is some wax and a few wicks, and you’ll have creative candles like never before. You can even paint/decorate the shells to match you décor.
Jean-ius: Have an old pair of jeans? Instead of throwing them out, why not make some shoes? All you need is a hot glue gun, scissors, and a pair of flip flops. Measure the jeans to your foot and glue the fabric accordingly. I made a pair once in an art class in high school, and I still wear them to this day!
Simply bottle-ful: An ordinary plastic water bottle can be transformed into cute jewelry! Cut up the plastic into different shapes and sizes and heat on a stovetop. Make designs in the plastic as it melts and holes for string. The room for creativity is endless, and you’re reducing landfills!
... View more
Valentine’s Day is about showing how much you love the things near and dear to you, including your home sweet home. Whether you live in the city, suburbs, or rural areas, Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to show how much you adore your environment and your home community.
Here are some ideas to consider:
Cities of Light and LUV - There’s nothing more beautiful than a city at night! If you’ve lived in a city your whole life or just moved to one, you know cities really do never sleep. In the hustle and bustle of city life, it’s important to conserve energy. One way to do so is to buy a power strip for your electronics; it’s easy to switch off when not in use. Another tip is to use halogen light bulbs, which use less energy than a normal light bulb and will still shine as bright!
Rebooting Rural Hearts - If you live in the rolling hills with acres and acres of land, there aren’t many places to recycle. One way to do some spring cleaning is to donate plastic items, art supplies, or clothes to your nearest school, which will most likely take donations! Another way to LUV your green ground, is getting rid of those wacky weeds. Research what kind of weeds are going reckless and choose a product that will get rid of them without harming the land.
Suburb Sweethearts - Having lived in the suburbs my entire life, I know how much energy is used daily, typically it’s too much! The number one thing that uses the most energy is cars. When I’m visiting my parents, instead of driving to take my dog to a park, I take long walks or I look for opportunities to carpool. My neighborhood also recently started recycling, so research community services that can pick up your recyclables right from your curb!
How does your environment make you fall in LUV over and over again? Share some tips on how you care for your home, inside and out!
... View more
LUV is in the air! With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, you’re probably starting to plan that special night for two. On the upcoming day of LUV, why not make it Green? Here are a few tips to add some green to your Valentine’s Day:
Watch your LUV grow all year—Instead of cut flowers, think about a beautiful flowering plant that will show LUV all year long. You could even create an indoor herb garden and make it a year round project for two!
Plan a green date—Instead of going to a restaurant, why not take nature along with you on your day of LUV? Since Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday this year, it’s the perfect time for a romantic outdoor getaway such as hiking, camping, or sightseeing.
From the heart—Instead of buying pricy gifts, make it personal and make your own DIY valentines and crafts using recycled paper and supplies. One craft idea is painting a mason jar and writing on little pieces of paper everyday what you LUV about your loved one.
Cook with LUV—Create more LUV with food! Cook a nice meal with your darling on the most romantic night of the year. LUV the environment too by making an organic meal that is healthy for two lovebirds. Make sure to use glassware and those good plates for your dinner, and ditch the paper and plastic. Save leftovers from your dinner of LUV in reusable containers.
How are you going to show your LUV this Valentine’s Day?
... View more
Whether you’re rooting for the Broncos or the Seahawks, we can all agree that he “Super Big-Game Sunday” is full of fun, cheers, and parties.
Did you know that in 2011, the United States had 250 million pounds of trash and the majority of that was paper products and food waste, according to the EPA? The best Big Game parties are packed with game day snacks and friends, but, like the players on game day, waste can start to pile up.
It will be prime time on TV, so make it the prime time for YOU to give LUV to the environment! Below are some tips to make it a win for the Planet, too:
Go local: Use locally grown veggies for those classic dips. There’s no need to use store-bought products, and you’ll be ridding the environment of unwanted plastic containers. For delicious, organic recipes, including making your own chips, check out Inhabit.
Cut the clutter: If you invested in a shiny new TV for the big game, make sure to recycle your old one and that large box too! Check out the recycling guide on Earth 911 to find out where.
Stay hydrated: Instead of buying bottled water, try using a large, filtered pitcher. If you are drinking other beverages out of aluminum cans or glass bottles, set up a recycling station to encourage recycling!
Cut the waste: Buy in bulk; get rid of the paper and plastic ware and bring out the “real” stuff; and, finally, carpool if you are heading to a party or, even luckier, going to the game.
Who are you rooting for on February 2 during the Super Big-Game Sunday, and how do you plan to cut down on waste? Let us know by commenting below.
... View more