Happy National Recycling Day! What does that mean to you? Hopefully it represents an opportunity to reaffirm your commitment to recycling and doing your part to reduce your impact on the environment.
By tossing your cardboard, aluminum, paper, and plastic bottles into the recycling bin, trash turns into jobs and products that boost the economy; generate rebates that pays for Southwest’s recycling program, making it cost neutral for Southwest and our bottom line; and, you “do the right thing” by our Planet. If you toss everything into the trash bin, you unnecessarily add to landfills.
What better day than today to make changes that will positively impact the environment. I invite you to join me right now in pledging to do a better job of recycling, both at home and at work. If you’re willing to take the challenge, comment below on how you’ll do that.
Thanks to all of our Employees and Customers who help make our co-mingled recycling program a success—whether Flight Attendants are announcing to our Customers to hand over recyclables during their flight, or Employees are taking the recyclables off of the aircraft, or you’re encouraging others to recycle—we couldn’t do it without you!
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Happy Green Tuesday! Face it, we all have a little bit of pack rat in us—at home and at work. Operational Groups and Departments are no exception. With space at a premium in almost all SWA locations, it often becomes necessary to conduct periodic cleanouts. Recently, that was true for our Facilities Maintenance Team, as we set out to clean out a large storage building (the Quonset hut) across the street from the Dallas Data Center. However, before doing so, we applied a green filter to the process and identified all potential recyclables in advance. (It’s important to do this so that Republic Services, our national waste and recycling Partner, can help make the necessary local arrangements for proper disbursement of various materials). As a result of our efforts, we recycled 12.62 tons of mixed metals (which brought the Company $1700 in rebate); three pallets of cardboard; and a 40 yard open-top container of loose wood and pallets. Instead of this material ending up in a landfill, it now goes to serve another purpose. Is your Station or workgroup planning a closet or storeroom cleanout? If so, please consider:
Repurposing old furniture by arranging for donation to a local charity Recycling all cardboard, paper, magazines, and metals Reusing picture/poster frames by replacing the old pictures or posters with new ones (framing is expensive, so doing this saves the Company money)
When items are simply tossed in an open-top container as trash, we not only pay haul charges for the container, but landfill disposal fees as well (based on the weight). So, anything you can do to “lighten the load” by recycling will save both money and landfill space. Keep those green tips coming in the comments section. DING! You are now free to be green!
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The day started very early on February 3, 1986, as I anxiously boarded Southwest’s first flight out of San Antonio headed to Dallas. It was the first day of my new job as Executive Assistant to Ron Ricks and Jim Parker, who were also on the plane (thankfully, headquarters was located at the end of the terminal, so it just meant a long walk each morning and evening during our six-month commute). We eagerly made our way to Gary Barron’s office, only to find out that not one thing had been done to prepare for us – we had no offices, no phones, no typewriter (yes, I said typewriter) – nothing! However, by end of day, space was found in Ground Ops next to Jim Wimberly, Julie Dowlearn, and Bob McNeil – so the journey began from life in San Antonio at Oppenheimer, Rosenberg, Kelleher & Wheatley, to Southwest Airlines. Months later, offices were built for us right across from Howdy’s, and the General Counsel Department was officially formed (which, at the time, included Properties, Facilities, and Technical Services). Mind you, this was coveted real estate, because Howdy’s was the most convenient place for lunch (you could run a tab), and the closest beer or wine at 5:00. It was a joint, plain and simple, but they made a mean burrito, and provided a welcome spot for all to gather. Two very distinct memories come to mind from 1986. We bought Southwest’s first word processing computer (Colleen was still using her Wang, which you could not pry out of her hands), and “Jams” on summer Fridays. Jams, of course, were the original Fun Wear. They were not flattering at all (I don’t care how good you thought you looked), but hey, it beat wearing dresses and suits, so we were all in (well, most of us). My Southwest career path has changed over the years. I have been in our Facilities Maintenance group now since 2007, where I serve as Programs Manager. For the past several years, it has been my pleasure to develop the groundwork for Southwest’s more robust Onboard Recycling Program, and I proudly participate on the Green Team. Watching our environmental efforts grow and become more successful has been extremely rewarding. Twenty-five years have gone by like the blink of an eye. The sad moments are far outweighed by the heartwarming memories and countless blessings. The greatest of which came in 1991 when I traded in my “marry me, fly free” keychain (given to me by Jim and Ron), and married my SWA husband, Bron Milczewski. If memory serves, we are LUV couple #499. Some day we’ll retire to our home in the mountains, but for now, we’re still having FUN!!
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