We’ve talked a lot about Other World Computing’s major environmental initiatives here on the OWC Blog.
We have told you about our LEED certified corporate headquarters in Woodstock, Ill. We’ve also given you a look at our on-site Vestas V39-500 kW wind turbine (our NuGuard KX case got an even closer look at the turbine). And our more recent efforts include installing a solar panel array on the roof of our Austin facility.
These are all pretty big steps in our efforts to be as environmentally responsible and green as possible.
But not all steps need to be big to make a difference. In fact, some smaller steps can sometimes fall under the radar. And on this Earth Day we thought we would highlight one of our “smaller” steps.
OWC Margaret recently took the initiative to start a “snack garden” planted in raised beds on the perimeter of the patio to make OWC’s already green campus a little bit more so. And Margaret expects the small garden’s containers to provide healthy snacks for OWC’s all-purpose room until winter arrives. Article Continues…
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…
Friday, April 22nd, 2011 | Author: OWC Jon
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
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.
“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…