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Green Ideas From Team OWC

earth day logo

Yesterday was Earth Day for the rest of the world, but for OWC, every day is Earth Day. If you know anything about Other World Computing, you know how important the environment is to us, and for us, as a company. But not only do we “think green” as an organization, but we also try and practice responsibility as individuals as well.

Last year during Earth Week, we asked our OWC team members about the ways they practice the three R’s: Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. We had so many good ideas sent in that we decided to do it again this year! So, without further ado, here are some “green ideas” from your friends at OWC.

A Pre-Covid Photo of OWC Employees in Woodstock, IL
A Pre-Covid Photo of OWC Employees in Woodstock, IL

OWC Team Green

“Recycling everything possible. Check your area for recycling centers that take Styrofoam and electronics. Last year I bought a Soda Stream seltzer maker for home – no more store-bought seltzer in cans or bottles! I am always being mindful about plastics, especially single-use plastics. 

PS, I just wanted to say that I appreciate the Green culture that OWC promotes, it is important to keep these ideas front and center.”

Deb Bennett, Cost Accountant

“When I take a walk anywhere, I’ll pick up paper, aluminum, and glass garbage, and put what I’ve collected into recycling. It’s one small way to help the planet. I also keep all printer output paper that was going to be thrown away and use that for my own need-to-print informal documents. That cuts down on paper manufacturing. 

And after watching the OWC sponsored movie “Kiss the Ground,”I decided to go ‘green’ at least once a week and have an all plant-based dinner.”

Grant Dahlke, Brand Evangelist

“We don’t use any chemicals on our lawn. I’ve planted 13 trees in the yard over the years, and we plant and grow flowers to attract insects and hummingbirds. 

For over a year now, during Covid, my wife has commuted to her work-from-home office in the bedroom closet (we call it the ‘Cloffice’). As often as possible, I work from the basement office/studio – so the commute takes 20 seconds. 

Tom Voegeli, Lead Photographer

Reusing: things like keeping wire hangers from the dry cleaning; saving used gift bags for wrapping other gifts. Also using rechargeable batteries to avoid constantly having to  buy and dispose of regular ones.

Freecycling: donating old books, clothes, furniture, etc. to charitable organizations; shopping websites like eBay or Craigslist for used items rather than buying new; checking out second-hand stores when shopping. 

Saving paper: go to paperless billing.

Car maintenance: enables peak performance, causes less emissions and uses less energy to run your car

Home: install high-efficiency insulation in walls, and use weatherstripping on doors and windows. Keep current with furnace maintenance; change light bulbs to CFLs; buy energy-efficient appliances. 

Outdoors: plant trees – they remove and store carbon while releasing oxygen back into the air, and they shade your house, reducing cooling costs.”

Renee Bohacz, VP of Finance

“Composting; recycling – including proper separation of bio-degradable vs recyclable. Proper disposal of electronics and appliances. And I won’t buy plastic containers for beverages; just glass or aluminum.”

Frank Cappi, Sales Account Executive

“I use a reusable water bottle and always carry a few straws in my purse for when I’m out anywhere. Before Covid, I also carried a collapsible 16-oz cup that I was able to use at smoothie/coffee shops, and I’m hoping to be able to continue that after Covid! At home, we don’t use paper towels; we cut up old T-shirts for cleaning rags and use non-paper towels for napkins. We save spaghetti jars and jelly jars to reuse as food storage containers, or sometimes for drinking glasses. We collect rainwater for our plants instead of buying jugs of distilled water. I used to compost, and I want to start up again.

Amanda Koffskey, Visual Graphic designer

“With all the take-out food during Covid, we try to remember to say we don’t want plastic eating utensils. We make sure the recycle bin is always full to the top, and the garbage can is not. And we think twice before buying new items, especially avoiding single-taskers.”

Eileen Millard, Marketing Administrator
Team members at our LEED Platnium Certified headquarters celebrating 30 years of OWC
Team members at our LEED Platnium Certified headquarters on OWC’s 30th anniversary

Here are some other great ideas sent in: 

  • Calling catalog/junk mail places and asking to be removed from their mailing list, if I all I do is move their mail from the mailbox to the recycle bin
  • Not using the laundry dryer; line-dry instead
  • Installed solar panels, which covers our household electricity usage
  • Using on-demand hot water heaters 
  • Kicking the plastic water bottle habit has become “must do” at my home and makes more room in the recycle bin.
  • Have a composting box and start a community garden.
  • I have cut out eating beef as much as possible. 
  • Drive less; bike-ride more; eat fewer animals; take shorter showers

OWC Chief of Staff, Jo Ann Olson (left)
OWC President, Jen Soulé (right)

As always, we want to encourage you to “think green” in your daily lives. It may be hard to believe that picking up one piece of trash, recycling a smoke detector battery, or using paperless billing makes a difference. But every little bit helps because all of those little bits add up – and together, we can truly make a substantial difference for our planet, our families, and our legacy!

How about you? We invite you to take a moment and share your green practices with us in the comments section below!



Mark Chaffee
the authorOWC Mark C
Content Marketing Manager
A creative by nature, Mark is a writer, programmer, web developer, musician, culinary craftsman, and interpersonal artisan. He loves the outdoors because greenspace is to the soul as whitespace is to the written word. He does not like Diophantine geometry or mosquitos. Most everything else is okay. Oh yeah, he is also the managing editor of the Rocket Yard blog.
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