Water is a vital part of everyday life. It has been said that you should drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day! But, along with this healthy amount of water can come A LOT of plastic bottles. I have decided to challenge myself to be more conscious of the consequences that follow disposing of these wasteful bottles, and I hope you’ll join me. According to the Environmental Working Group, plastic water bottles are the fastest growing form of municipal solid waste in the United States. Every year, four billion pounds of plastic bottles end up in landfills or as roadside litter. Although these bottles can be recycled, a large percentage of them are not. This is an impactful statistic that motivates me to play my part in keeping our Planet healthy. At the very least, we should recycle these plastic bottles! But, I plan to do more. This month, I plan to rid my fridge of these bottles and purchase my very own filtered water bottle. These bottles can be found in a variety of grocery stores and usually cost around $10 to $15. At the Southwest Freedom Shop, you can purchase your own steel water bottle themed after the LUV airline. With this type of reusable bottle, it's easy to fill anywhere there is a faucet or water fountain. By doing this, I will help minimize my own footprint on the earth and also save a few dollars by taking water bottles off my grocery list! If each us commits to reducing our own plastic waste, we could greatly impact our environment. Can you take the pledge to stay away from harmful and wasteful water bottles? Let us know by commenting below or e-mailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org! DING! You are now free to be Green!
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It’s the most wonderful time of the year and it’s also a wonderful time to be Green! With all the time and money we spend on bringing our loved ones holiday cheer, why not take a few simple steps to make life a little easier and Greener around our holiday celebrations? Follow these tips to save Green and be Green this holiday season: 1. Shop online. Online retailers often times have prices that beat the brick and mortar stores. With online shopping, you’ll save on gas driving to and from the stores, as well as time and stress in long holiday lines! If you must make a trip to a store, bring your own reusable shopping bag. 2. Instead of buying physical gifts, consider purchasing tickets for a service or event. These types of gifts will give memories and cut down on packaging waste. 3. Send e-Cards instead of paper Christmas cards. Don’t fuss with the mail this year trying to get out that annual Christmas card, send your friends and family an instantaneous e-Card instead! With e-Cards, you can customize your messages and pictures just as you would a physical card. Web sites like Hallmark and American Greetings even offer free cards so you can save money and the environment! 4. Unplug your lights when not in use. Save on electricity costs this holiday season by pulling the plug on those twinkling lights during the day and before you go to sleep. If you haven’t purchased your lights yet, consider buying LED. They’ll last longer and they use less electricity than standard lights. 5. Use fabric bows instead of plastic. These bows can be reused over and over again produce less waste than plastic ribbons. 6. Make decorations using edible items. Decorating your tree or home with gingerbread, berries, or strings of popcorn is unique and has a much smaller environmental impact than plastic decorative items. Instead of spraying fake snow on your tree or lawn, sprinkle on some baking soda! This will have the same snowy effect without the environmentally damaging components. Do you have any other ideas on how to make this holiday season a little Greener? Let us know by commenting below or emailing us at email@example.com. DING! You are now free to be Green!
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It’s that time of year again when lights are strewn throughout neighborhoods, holiday music is played in almost every store, and festive get-togethers are plentiful. It is likely that you will attend a few gift exchanges throughout the month and be in need of wrapping for your gifts. Although beautiful, paper gift wrap isn’t easily re-usable and usually ends up in the trash instead of being recycled. These festive and fun parties don’t have to be wasteful when there are other great holiday wraps to choose from. These alternatives are Planet-friendly and can also be used year after year.
Cloth Bags- These soft little bags are perfect for smaller gifts and can be made from scraps of fabric. If you’re not an expert with a needle and thread, many local stores sell these bags for only a few dollars and they’ll last much longer than a roll of colored wrapping.
Gift Tins- Have any empty coffee ground tins or jars lying around? These can be used to enclose gifts for your loved ones! Simply remove the label and get crafty with some paint or permanent markers. It adds a personalized touch if you decorate the outside with your loved one’s favorite colors or favorite magazine’s clippings.
Fabric Gift Wrap- This eco-friendly alternative is much like cloth bags, except you don’t need to sew a thing! Using any old piece of fabric you may have, such as a t-shirt or sweater, cut out a large and thick plus sign (+) from the material. (The size of your plus sign will depend on the size of your gift.) Next, super glue two pieces of ribbon on each of the four sides of the plus sign. Once you place your gift in the center, simply fold the corners in like a box, tying the ribbon as you go. Flip it over and your gift is wrapped!
Re-usable Gift Tags- Cut out a rectangular piece of fabric and place a piece of white paper of the same size on one side of the rectangle. Next, cover the paper side with clear 3” packing tape. Next, glue a ribbon on one side so you can easily attach the tag to a gift. Using a dry-erase marker, write a personalized message to the receiver of the gift. Once the gift has been given, simply erase the message and use the tag for another occasion!
Do you have any other eco-friendly gift wrap ideas? Let us know by commenting below or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. DING! You are now free to be Green!
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Here at Southwest Airlines, we do our best to operate with a green filter and we feel it’s extremely important to promote a Green work environment to our Southwest Family. There are so many ways you can play your part and work Green.
Here are a few tips on how to go Green at Work:
Bring a re-usable mug: Instead of using the paper/styrofoam office cups for your morning Joe, bring your own mug! By doing this, you can cut back on excess waste and save the company money.
Turn off your monitor: It has been estimated that computers in the business sector unnecessarily waste around $1 billion worth of electricity per year. At the end of the work day, be sure to turn off your monitor and any desk lights.
Create an eco-friendly environment: Throw a plant in your cubicle for some added beauty and greenery. Also, be sure to use non-toxic cleaning products when you’re cleaning up your workspace.
Recycle whenever you can: By recycling unused paper, plastic, and cans, you can do your part in making our Planet a healthier place. Many unused items can be recycled instead of ending up in our landfills.
Re-consider your commute: Know a co-worker who lives in your area? Team up with them and save some money by starting a carpool. Not only will you save money on gas, but you also will cut down on CO2 that is released into our environment by our vehicles. You can also consider using local transportation, walking, or biking to work.
Do you know of any other ways to go green at work? Let us know by commenting below or by e-mailing us at email@example.com!
DING! You are now free to be Green!
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With Thanksgiving only two days away, Green Tuesday is dedicated to keeping you educated about your turkey feast! If you haven’t purchased your Thanksgiving bird yet, consider buying an organically-raised turkey. Buying organic foods can help support a healthy Planet and also give you many added nutrients that modified foods may not have. However, be cautious of unclear food labels that confuse many eco-friendly consumers every day. Here are some tricky turkey labels you might see this Thanksgiving: Organic: These turkeys are free-range birds that have not been given any pesticides, chemicals, antibiotics, or hormones. This is the turkey you want to choose! Natural: These turkeys contain no artificial coloring ingredients, flavoring, chemical preservatives, or any other artificial/synthetic ingredients. It is also minimally processed. This label must explain the term "natural" by stating if there are no added colorings or artificial ingredients, or if it is minimally processed. Enhanced or Basted: These birds have been injected with ingredients, such as seasonings and oils, before they were frozen. When it’s time to cook this turkey, these ingredients will moisten the meat and provide extra flavor. Heritage: This means the turkey is an older breed of bird that had a longer outdoor lifespan and a slower growth rate. Free-Range: This looks like a great label; however, it can be used in cases where the turkeys only had minimal access to the outdoors. Kosher: This type of turkey must have been cared for ethically and slaughtered as humanely as possible. Fresh: This label means your turkey has been kept at a temperature above 26 degrees Fahrenheit. Frozen: This bird has been flash frozen at 0 degrees Fahrenheit. This process will help ensure the freshness of your turkey for the big feast. Have you seen any other tricky turkey labels? Let us know by commenting below or by e-mailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. From all of us at Southwest Airlines, we hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! DING! You are now free to be Green!
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Yesterday when I was asked the ever-so-familiar question of “paper or plastic?” at the grocery store, I started to wonder how much of an impact these plastic grocery bags have on the environment. Although these little bags have many uses, I am virtually unable to use all that I collect. I know that millions of Americans, like me, opt for plastic each day when they make their purchases. In fact, Americans use 380 billion of them each year! After digging a little deeper into the effects of these simple bags, I found that this is an extremely hazardous habit.
One of our Green friends, Kelly King with Mrs. Green’s World, highlights the dangers of these little bags, which are also referred to as “Silent Killers.” You can check out that video here. These bags are called Silent Killers because of the impact it makes on the Planet. Did you know that 100,000 marine animals are killed each year as a result of plastic bag pollution? Would it shock you to know that 4.3 billion gallons of crude oil are used each year in the production of plastic bags? You alone can make a massive impact by stopping the usage of plastic bags.
Re-usable bags are the way to go when making your trips to the store, and also can be seen as a statement piece. We even have our own re-usable bag available for purchase in the Southwest Freedom Shop! Click here to check out the stylish Southwest Airlines re-usable tote and say yes to reducing your impact on the Planet. There are many shapes and varieties of re-usable bags, but whatever you choose will be showing your support to keep our environment healthy. I know I plan on purchasing a few re-usable bags to do my part in making our planet a Greener and happier place.
Do you have tips for living and working Green? Let us know by commenting below or by e-mailing email@example.com. DING! You are now free to be Green!
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The holiday season is now upon us as grocery stores and shopping malls are decking their halls with red and green trinkets, reminding us, and our wallets, that it’s time to think about what to give our loved ones. Although sometimes stressful, the holidays don’t always have to put a dent in the bank. Thanks to websites like Pinterest and Etsy, you can find ideas to refurbish just about anything to make unique gifts your friends and family will love. Also, by making your own snazzy gifts, you’re helping out the environment by keeping older materials out of our landfills.
I decided to embark on my own do-it-yourself (DIY) project and make a Southwest-spirited gift for one of my Co-Hearts. After fiddling with our signature Southwest peanut and pretzel bags, I came up with the idea to make a Southwest Trail Mix in a cute, eco-friendly container. Using decoupage, I pieced together a collage of our peanut and pretzel bags on a ceramic jar. Next, I filled the jar with the peanuts and pretzels, as well as raisins and Southwest colored M&M’s. After tying a red ribbon around for the finishing touch, my easy and unique gift was finished! I am not usually a very crafty person; however, I had so much fun making this inexpensive and Green gift. Here’s the finished product: Here are a few other DIY gifts that are sure to delight anyone who receives them:
Homemade Sugar Scrub: Mix one part extra virgin coconut oil and two parts white sugar to form a liquid paste. Add essential oils for scent, such as peppermint oil, which would give your scrub a holiday twist. Place the scrub in any unique jar you may have around your home and tie a ribbon around the top for a personalized touch. Ribbon watch: Have an old watch you never wear? Even if you don’t, older watches can be easily found for this gift at thrift stores or pawn shops for only a few dollars. Remove the face of the watch and tie a colorful ribbon to make the band, preferably the gift recipient’s favorite color or design. Layered Cookie Mix Jar: Who doesn’t love an edible gift? Start by finding a one-quart smooth Ball jar. If you don’t have any jars at home, your local craft store, such as Hobby Lobby, sells them for right around a dollar. Next, pour in your favorite cookie recipe mixings, creating layers of each. I personally like to combine all of the white mixings, such as flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and then stack the layers by color of ingredients. For a custom touch, create and print out a label for your cookie jar and tie a ribbon at the top. Wine Cork Coasters: This gift can be enjoyed by many as it can add uniqueness to anyone’s home. Simply gather and cut 19 wine corks in half. Next, super glue them in the shape of a hexagon. Once the glue has dried, wrap and glue a colored ribbon around the edges for added strength and beauty. This will produce two coasters; however you can always make more. Throw in a bottle of wine to take this gift one step further.
Whatever you decide to purchase or make yourself this holiday season, make sure to Gift Responsibly by checking the labels of items to make sure there weren’t any toxic materials used to make the product.
Do you have any Green DIY gift ideas? Let us know by commenting below or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org! DING! You are now free to be Green!
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It’s Halloween, and vampires are ready to feast. Believe it or not, there are a few lurking around your house right now. But wait! Don’t hang the garlic or barricade your home just yet, because these vampires don’t suck blood, they suck power. Vampire power, or standby power, is wasted electrical energy that is consumed when your appliances are left plugged into the socket but not in use. It has been estimated that American households unwillingly spend about ten percent of their yearly electricity bill due to vampire power. The United States spends an average of $10 billion a year on this wasted energy alone! The wasted money isn’t the only downside; our environment is greatly impacted by this frightening power-sucker. Every year, vampire power produces more than 50 million tons of CO2 in the United States alone, which is equivalent to adding 11 million cars on the road. These are some spooky statistics; however, don’t fear, for we can help slay these vampires with these easy tips:
Unplug everything that is not currently in use, such as computers and cell phone chargers. Surge strips are a convenient way to discontinue wasted power from multiple appliances at the switch of a button. Simply plug your electronics into the single strip and cut the power when you’re not using them. Look for products that can help automate this process. There are many energy-saver surge strips and energy timers available that do all the work for you by regulating the energy use of your devices. Buy more efficient products. Next time you’re in the market for a new washer/dryer or toaster, make sure they’re energy efficient. By taking the extra steps to ensure our electricity isn’t being wasted, we can save not only our wallets but the environment, too. Do you know other ways to ward off these vampires? Let us know by commenting below or emailing us at email@example.com. DING! You are now free to be Green.
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Before I dive into some green Halloween costume ideas, I wanted to share some exciting news! Yesterday, Newsweek announced its 2012 Green Rankings, which is the fourth annual evaluation of America’s 500 largest publicly traded companies and 500 largest companies internationally. Southwest Airlines ranked 129 out of 500 and ranked sixth in our sector of Transportation & Logistics! Congratulations to all our Employees who help us go Green and save Green!!
With Halloween just around the corner, I know I am not alone in the hunt for clever costume ideas. As I sifted through numerous pricey costumes online and in stores, I started to wonder what materials I had at home that could be transformed into creative and eco-friendly costumes. After a little bit of research, I stumbled upon a few costumes that are sure to make this Halloween festive, and best of all, Green!
Here are a few I found:
Gold Digger- Dress yourself in gold colors and dash some glitter on your skin. Next, grab a shovel and pail to complete this humorous costume. Butterfly- To be a beautiful butterfly this Halloween, make a cardboard cutout of wings and glue on colorful tissue paper. Using a hot glue gun, secure two pieces of looped rope on the back of the cardboard to wear over your arms. Next, make antennae out of pipe cleaners and any round material you have in your home. Self-Absorbed- This simple, yet comical costume only requires a few sponges pinned onto your clothing of choice. Grapes- Dress in all green or purple and pin about 20-25 balloons of the same color to your clothing. Glue on some leaves to make the costume more realistic. Anchorman/Anchorwoman- Dress in a suit or business professional attire and attach a picture of an anchor somewhere on your clothing.
Even if you don’t make your own costume this year, check with your friends to see if you can trade older costumes. You never know what you might find! Do you have any DIY costume ideas or tips for being green this Halloween? Let us know by commenting below or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org! DING! You are now free to be Green!
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It has been estimated that the average American wears about 20 percent of their clothes 80 percent of the time. This statement rang true for me this morning as I shifted through the many clothes in my closet and still managed to sigh and say, “I have nothing to wear.” In today’s society, many Americans are affected by heavy advertising and the desire to have the latest-and-greatest items; however, when we purchase these new items, we must find a place for them amongst our older possessions.
With this, it has also been estimated that the average American family only uses about 20 percent of the materials in our homes. So, where does that leave the rest of the 80 percent? Most likely these items are collecting dust, and it is a great argument for reduce, reuse, recycle.
This type of clutter can truly affect a person’s day-to-day life in many aspects, including adding extra cleaning. By de-cluttering our homes of the materials that we never use, it is possible to cut down work to clean the average home by about 40 percent.
Here are some fun and easy ways to combat clutter and give items a new use or home:
Make some extra green by selling unused clothing to a consignment store Donate clothes that don’t sell to the Salvation Army or Goodwill for families in need Have a garage sale Give to someone who can utilize the possession(s)
By ridding our homes of unneeded materials, we can keep the cleaning to a minimum, as well as calm our busy minds and do good. Do you have any other ideas about de-cluttering or repurposing products? Let us know by commenting below or by e-mailing email@example.com!
DING! You are now free to be Green!
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Looking to save a pretty penny? Buying used goods not only saves your wallet, but the environment too! With a plethora of online shopping sites available, as well as consignment stores and garage sales, there is an ease of repurposing products like never before. Used items such as furniture and cars typically come to mind as dollar-savers; however, there are many products you might not think of that can save you tons and keep hidden treasures out of our landfills!
Designer duds/Formal wear- Attending a fun party or event but don’t want to break the bank on a new outfit? Web sites such as Milanoo.com and TheDressList.com sell gently-used designer clothing you can snag for hundreds less than at a department store! Toys- Purchasing used toys online or at garage sales can be a huge money-saver as opposed to buying from a toy store. Will a three-year-old really remember where you purchased that shiny yellow Tonka truck? Chances are the answer is probably not. Home décor- There is nothing better than scoring a unique knick-knack to spruce up your home at a garage sale or consignment store. Browsing for these items can stretch your dollars tremendously and give your home a little extra spunk. Tools- Getting crafty? New tools can be pricey and gently used tools can work just as well. Just make sure if the tool is electric or has a motor that it’s still working properly. Children’s clothing- Little ones grow up quickly and constant clothing purchases can add up! By buying used children’s clothes at consignment shops or garage sales, you can save that hard-earned cash.
Do you know of any more used products that can help save some cash? Let us know by commenting below or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. DING! You are now free to be Green!
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