WWOZ and the Green Games

Published on: May 27th, 2016


Recycling and composting bins at WWOZ
Recycling and composting bins at WWOZ

WWOZ was named an "Emerging Leader" at LifeCity's Green Games in May. The Green Games celebrate New Orleans organizations and their accomplishments on the social and environmental impact goals they’ve set.

How'd we do it? WWOZ staff and volunteers have been working with LifeCity since summer 2014 to evaluate our environmental impact and begin to consider ways of reducing it. With the hundreds of volunteers that work with us each month, and the constant flow of visitors and on-air guests coming through our doors, WWOZ is in a unique position as a workplace to demonstrate how a non-profit organization can nourish and support the community it serves with a commitment to environmentally sustainable practices.

LifeCity's approach is to assess an organization's impact - both positive and otherwise - and make recommendations on how to begin making changes. They work with staff and volunteers to set reasonable goals, typically with the collaboration of other partners in the LifeCity network.

"I love it. I think OZ should take the lead, as they have for all things music in New Orleans. If they do it, others will follow. Especially being in the French Quarter where there is a huge trash problem. It’s one way to help minimize that.
- Sally Young, Volunteer Show Host, Thursday Trad Jazz

A few of the action items we've taken:

Drinking Water
Rather than paying to have 5 gallons jugs driven to station and refilled, we're now saving $4,500 per year after switching to Pure Water Technology of South Louisiana water system.

Thanks to partnerships with The Composting Network and Lighthouse Louisiana, WWOZ has been composting since October 2015. Volunteer Bruce Gephart built new shelves in the kitchen to display re-usable mugs and cups out in the open (instead of tucked away in the cupboards). Hundreds of pounds of food waste and compostable plates and cups have been diverted from the landfill.

DeCluttering the Station
Stasia Cymes of Clear the Clutter came into WWOZ's station to help de-clutter the development department. The before and after speaks for itself:

If you're a WWOZ volunteer interested in helping the station continue to think about our sustainability impact, email our Volunteer Coordinator, Maryse Dejean, to let her know and we'll keep you posted for our next brainstorming session.

I’m really proud that WWOZ is taking the initiative to be a more sustainable workplace and environment for the staff and volunteers that are here. It’s a small thing, but it makes a big difference towards normalizing the idea of being sustainable in your ever day life. People spend a lot of time at work. To be composting everyday at work gets people used to the idea that they could carry that over into their own lives.
- Weenta Girmay, WWOZ Volunteer Photographer and Videographer.

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