At Flywire, we aim to reduce the environmental footprint of our global operations -and those of our clients - by offering digital payment solutions, and we continue to explore opportunities to deepen our focus on environmental sustainability. We also encourage our FlyMates to make caring for the environment as part of their daily routines, and give them opportunities to do this - like offering FlyBetter Days, which are two paid days off per year that FlyMates can dedicate to supporting a cause they care about. Increasingly, FlyMates are choosing to use their FlyBetter days towards environmental protection initiatives, like the group of Valencians who beach clean up .
There’s so much more that our global FlyMates do for our planet. So, in celebration of Earth Day 2022, we asked FlyMates how they are doing their part to create a more sustainable planet for themselves and for future generations. Here’s what they shared.
“I am an obsessive recycler and recycle everything I can - from food and garden waste to food packaging and clothes and shoes. I've replaced my toiletries for greener, plastic-free versions where I can. I use my own bags when I go shopping. My biggest peeve is people throwing away food once it's reached its use by date before they even check it. If it doesn't smell and isn't mouldy, it's usually fine!!”
Jenna Peaty, Relationship Manager, Working from London
“We still have a long way to go at home but a few years ago we started making purchasing decisions based on how sustainable the product is - Can we recycle most of the packaging?Is it single use or can we re-use or re-purpose the product? What is the environmental impact to create or dispose of the item?
As a result of these questions, traditional sponges were switched out for biodegradable loofah and coconut coir scrubbers shipped with plastic free packaging. When we moved to a new council that requires black bags for trash, I hunted for biodegradable black bin bags instead. We try to always bring our own bags to the shops and never have single use bags floating around the house now. our council collects kitchen scraps for composting and when food does come in plastic containers we wash everything before putting in the recycling so there's no food contamination. Thankfully it is becoming easier and easier to adjust our purchasing to better align with our values!”
Bailey Jane working from London
“I am installing solar panels and a battery on my house to reach electric independence. I will be able to feed extra power onto the grid or run my system completely off-grid in the case of an outage. In my area of the world, most of my power is still generated by coal-fired power plants, so it is especially important to me to reduce my dependency on coal. My panels have been installed, but they are not yet connected. We should be online before summer to take advantage of those long, hot days.”
Scott Blake, IT Client Platform Engineer, Working from West Virginia
“I have not used plastic bottled water in a few years now. Last summer I chartered a sailboat and 4 of us sailed around New England for a week. It gets hot out there and you drink a lot of water. I found a company named Open Water that sells canned water. It's much more expensive than plastic bottled water (much more) but aluminum is 70% more likely to be recycled and even if it is not it certainly is much more earth friendly than plastic bottle. It's worth the price. We also use a Brita filter and reusable water bottles in or house. No plastic water bottles please!”
Tim Sheehy, Business Development Representative, Working from Wrentham, MA
“This is probably my biggest passion area. I think the #1 thing anyone can do to make a change is to get educated - what REALLY happens when you buy fast fashion? or use a plastic shopping bag? does recycling ever really get recycled? - and make your choices to protect the planet accordingly. Here are the big things I consistently do to reduce my impact:
I go to a refill store with my own containers - Good Bottle is my local place and allows me to buy everything from pasta to toothpaste without using any new packaging. Even if you don't have near one you - you can pick packing that isn't single use plastic in the regular store
I Terracycle (it's different from recycling!)
I'm part of a Buy Nothing group - I try hard to swap, repair, and reuse before buying new
I compost. I live in an apartment so I have a service pick up a bucket of food scraps every other week. I get back a big bag of compost soil for my plants!”
“I bring my own bags to grocery store, eat local, consign my old clothes and participate in Earth Day trash clean-ups.”
Victoria Napoli, Cross Border Strategy and Growth Lead, Healthcare, Working from Austin, TX
“I am helping spread awareness of the Save Soil campaign and our need as a planet to "bring back at least 3-6% of organic content in soil". 52% of soil is already degraded. Saving our soil will improve the nutritional value of our food, help with drought, bio-diversity and even climate change. For more info please go to savesoil.org”
Jonathan Koenig, Software Engineer, Working from Ohio, USA
“Always remember that doing the small things accumulate to big achievements - turning off the light when leaving a room, bringing your own bag, stopping the tap when brushing your teeth are all small habits that help!”
Terence Goh, Client & Payment Exp Specialist, Working from Singapore
“We buy a lot online, so we receive a lot of carton boxes, and what we do before recycling is trying first to reuse them. We use them to organize the closets or the drawers, and we even build a little book shelf using some big boxes we had.”
Andoni Alonso, Site Reliability Engineer, Working from Valencia, Spain
“In a house with two small children, I try to keep it as simple as possible and incorporate the kids as much as possible! We mostly try to cut out plastics - we use reusable bags at the market, and try to use glass and metal jars for storage. My suburban town also does neighborhood clean ups pretty regularly and the kids enjoy running around to pick up the trash. And we try to cut down on car trips as much as we can and opt to walk or do bikes if possible. Mostly we try to get out and enjoy the simple pleasures of nature as best as we can.”
Sarah King, Senior Director of Communications & Brand, Working from Boston, MA
“The organisation Surfers Against Sewage help you plan or join beach cleans around the UK, something I plan to do soon, perhaps on a FlyBetter day.
Plastics in particular can be a real problem for the habitats of marine wildlife, as well of course the major issue with microplastics ending up in the food chain. I feel that joining a beach clean seems like the least I can do: by helping clear some of the marine debris that ends up on our beaches, we can make a small contribution to protecting our costal marine habitats and keeping our beaches safe and welcoming.”
Mike Green, Training Manager, Working from UK
“We use glass reusable spray bottles and condensed eco-friendly clean solutions. We also use reusable ziplock containers, glass refillable soap dispensers and wool balls instead of dryer sheets to cut down on waste.”
Cassie Hayes, Client Success Director- Healthcare, Working from Kansas City, MO