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Tag-Archive for » Earth Day «

Make An Effort For Earth Day

Monday, April 22nd, 2013 | Author:

Odds are your kids will come home from school today with a globe made out of either macaroni, paper mache, or just a pile of glitter (which will show up for weeks in your bedding, on your TV remote, and in your cereal bowl). This means that either your child’s teacher has an affinity for sphere-shaped crafts OR it could be Earth Day (which it is…don’t let your five year old show you up with national holiday knowledge!). But Earth Day is about so much more than crafts—it’s about recognizing the importance of protecting our environment.

Earth Day was started in 1970—the year of bellbottoms, the breakup of The Beatles (still upsetting), lava lamps, and long hair. OWC was started in 1988, and the world was slightly different—there was more spandex, larger hair, bolder colors, and things were “radical”. And although hair (and lots of it) seems to be a theme for both the birth year of Earth Day and of OWC, we have more than just that in common. Article Continues…

Category: green

How Earth Day Has Become Everyday

Friday, April 22nd, 2011 | Author:

I thought that in honor of Earth Day, it would be a perfect opportunity to create my first post themed on how you can treat ‘Mother Earth’ with some proactive steps towards a greener lifestyle. Like most of us, I never gave much thought to being more efficient with my day to day power consumption and did things like leaving a room with my computer on, blasting music all day, or leaving the television on and coming back in a few hours to continue finishing a movie.

Now that I’ve got my own house and I’m working on making it a home, I see exactly how much electricity I use and garbage I create monthly. My habits not only affect my wallet, but also our world by using up resources  unnecessarily. Since this realization, I’ve taken complete control of the situation by recycling as much trash as possible and using energy efficient power strips with my computer and media center and turning them off when not in use along with monitoring my monthly power usage. Those efforts have cut my carbon footprint size in half. Article Continues…

Every Day is Earth Day at OWC

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010 | Author:

Every Day is Earth Day at OWC

April 22, 2010, marks the 40th anniversary of the first Earth Day environmental awareness observation in 1970. But at OWC, we like to think of every day as Earth Day in a very real way.

As OWC staff members arrive at work each day, we begin our “Green” day by driving into the OWC parking lot, over permeable pavers, and a multi-layer substrate that help keep surface pollutants out of the groundwater.

Anyone carpooling or driving an energy efficient car gets preferred parking, close to the building. While making our way to the building entrance, we walk past the high-insulation glass windows and exterior sunshade technology that reduce cooling costs, as well as bio-swale landscaping and native plants and prairie grasses that conserve water. We can’t see the eco-friendly building materials containing a high level of recycled content, but we know they’re in there. And OWC’s underground geo-thermal heat pump system is also not visible to the naked eye, but it’s hard at work 365 days a year greatly reducing both heating and cooling costs for the building.

On the way to our workstations, we walk past a staff shower facility for anyone wishing to ride a bike to work, and “smart room” sensors that track movement and automatically shut off lights in unused areas. All interior materials, from the carpeting on the floor to the paint on the wall, and even the cleaning products used every day were selected for low toxicity and planet-friendly components. There are recycling bins set out throughout the building for paper, glass and plastic, as well as smaller paper recycling bins in every cubicle. In the two years we have been in the new building, OWC has been steadily working toward  a zero waste goal. Through company-wide re-use and recycling efforts, including paper, glass, metal and  plastic, our records show that OWC has reduced what it could have otherwise added to the solid waste stream by approximately 96%.

And visible through the floor to ceiling glass windows is OWC’s own on-site Vestas V39-500kW, 3-blade wind turbine that cleanly generates more than 100% of the amount of power required by OWC’s operations.  The turbine earned OWC recognition as a Green Power Partner in 2009 from the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Article Continues…

As the Environment Starts to go Green, OWC goes Green for the Environment

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010 | Author:

“OWC’s green philosophy means a continual process of seeking ways to reduce environmental impact in our day-to-day operations,” said Larry O’Connor, CEO, Other World Computing. “Resources are not infinite. We are a future-thinking company and our conservation policies and programs reflect our commitment to the environment.”

With Spring now in full swing comes thoughts of green grass, blossoms and leaves on once barren trees and fresh air.  With the environment on so many minds, especially at this time of year with Earth Day observation fast approaching on April 20th, our thoughts here at OWC stray toward the Going Green movement that has been an integral part of our corporate message since we were founded back in 1988.

From the green technologies incorporated into our corporate headquarters, through our actions and programs as a company, to our offerings and encouragement of going green to our customer base…our “Green” goals are set high. The resulting benefits will be far greater than merely financial.

OWC’s Green Actions:

OWC employs a comprehensive recycling program in its practices including onsite paper, plastic, aluminum can and metal recycling programs with the goal of maintaining a “zero solid waste” status.  Additionally, OWC refuses non-recyclable pallets from vendor deliveries, recycles obsolete equipment through electronic equipment recyclers, and reuses packaging materials (such as foam peanuts, etc.) whenever possible.

In November 2005, we began the NuPower notebook battery recycling program. Elements from Li-Ion batteries can be recycled for use in multiple industries and proper disposal of other components prevents contamination to the environment. Article Continues…

Celebrate Earth Day with OWC and Oak Trees

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009 | Author:

You may have heard of Woodstock, thanks to a huge concert held in Woodstock, NY, way back in 1969; but that’s not the only Woodstock on the map. Northwest of Chicago lies Woodstock, Illinois, the location where the movie Groundhog Day was shot, and the home of Other World Computing. The county in which OWC resides was once populated with oak and hickory woodlands, which are central to the area’s ecosystem. Unfortunately, land use, development, aging trees, and other factors, have dramatically changed the landscape.

OWC Gives Back

In celebration of Earth Day OWC donated 20 young oak saplings, to be planted Saturday, May 16, at the Westwood Nature Area, in Woodstock, near Route 14 and South Street. This event supports McHenry County’s Project Quercus, designed to protect and regenerate the oak woods in the area. OWC isn’t just dropping off those babies either, many of the staff will be on hand to put them gently into Mother Earth. The sponsorship of Westwood Nature Area Volunteer Work Day, along with their oak tree donation represent two of the five initiatives OWC plans to support in 2009 as part of our long-term commitment to the environment. A press release launched today contains more details, plus we will post more blogs as we implement the services.

History of Oak Loss

While you may not appreciate the magnitude of the gesture, the Land Conservancy of McHenry County notes that “Oaks are one of the things that make McHenry County beautiful, but we are losing them at an alarming rate due to a combination of environmental stresses. Some of those stresses happen inadvertently when homeowners mow, fertilize, and grade their property in ways that harm the oaks’ delicate root systems.” (Source: Environmental Defenders of McHenry County.)

The problem in this area is rather critical, as a 2007 study of the past and present status of oak trees by the McHenry County Conservation District showed: “… that while about one-third of the county had oak-hickory woodlands in the 1830′s, today less than 5% of the landscape contains oak woods–an 87% loss.” There are over 400 varieties of oak in North America, but the Midwest oak savannas tend to include bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa), white oak (Q. alba), black oak (Q. velutina), and northern pin oak (Q. ellipsoidalis). The Savanna Oak Foundation, Inc. contains more information on the importance of the oak savannas in the midwestern ecosystem.

OWC doesn’t just reside in a town, it actively supports environmental efforts to make sure the community withstands the passing of time. It also fosters community within the company by promoting activities  of interest to staff and their families.

4/24/09: Rearranged a couple of links.

Category: OWC Difference