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May 7, 2020

Celebrating Earth Month with a glimpse inside our office, and a passion for sustainability that inspires our team

  • , Australia
  • , Drone delivery
  • , drones
  • , Earth
  • , Local Businesses
  • , Sustainability
  • , Tech
  • , The Crew at Wing
  • , United States
  • , Wing





Every time our team watches a Wing drone lift off and fly away from one of our sites around the world it represents one less trip to the store, one car taken off the road, and a small reduction in carbon emissions released into the atmosphere.

But small things do add up.

While Wing is not yet operating at the scale required to make the kind of impact on the environment we would like to see someday, we are already seeing glimpses of that potential in the four communities where we operate today. Customers are choosing air delivery to carry their daily goods, using all-electric drones to get that 3-pound lunch — rather than a 3,000-pound vehicle. They’re not compromising on the things they need from local shops, but they’re reducing in-person trips to the store.

That’s useful any time — especially now that it’s important to stay home and limit human-to-human contact.

For many of our employees who had a passion for sustainable living long before they joined Wing, helping those environmental benefits come to fruition has been one of the most exciting parts of the job.

Madison, in Canberra, AU, developed her habits early, as she remembers sorting recyclables into about 6 different rubbish bins in her parents’ house growing up. Aus, also in Australia, said she developed a greener lifestyle a little later in life, while Jesi, in Virginia, was living sustainably for a long time without even thinking of herself as an “eco-friendly” person.

They each took their own journey, but arrived at a passion for the environment. And now they’ve brought that energy to Wing.

“Drone delivery is for people who want the convenience and people who may really need it — like those who are less mobile,” Aus said. “But it’s also a good option for people who care about the environment and want to see fewer cars on the road. It’s a small thing, but it all adds up.”

Wing has been celebrating Earth Month by sharing a little more about our employees, and the things that drive their sustainability passions.

Jesi





“Eco-friendly” wasn’t a term Jesi used to hear a lot while she was growing up in rural Southwest Virginia. Reduce, reuse, recycle was simply part of the culture.

“We were just living a lifestyle that involved being resourceful and mindful of consumables,” she said. “This included composting all our food scraps for the garden, saving all soda cans for recycling, no plastic bags, even keeping fabric from old clothes to use as cleaning rags or for future quilts or costumes.”

Jesi’s home now continues with those practices, and she finds it funny when visitors assume she offers cloth napkins to be fancy. It’s a fun educational moment about saving money — and the environment at the same time.

“In fact, the majority of life changes I’ve made towards a more eco-friendly life over the years have been more budget-friendly as well,” she added.

Jesi works at Wing’s Christiansburg site, and she’s also an air delivery customer at her own home. So far, she’s implemented sustainability practices like decreasing reliance on plastics and adding recycle bins to every room onsite. After social distancing guidelines lift, she’s excited to continue to help encourage more office practices benefiting the environment.

“It’s been a challenging time but also very rewarding to see how people all over the world are working together to help one another. I hope when we start to return to “normal life,” we’ll keep in mind that we can come together as a team to face great challenges — whether it’s a pandemic or climate change.”

Madison



You’ll get a sense for Madison’s approach to sustainability as soon as you take a look at her pantry — stocked full of reusable glass jars labeled for everything from nuts and flours to natural cleaning supplies.
That’s how she was raised, she says. Her parents have about six rubbish bins and an instruction manual for visitors so they know how to recycle as much as possible.

She’s brought those habits to Wing’s site in Canberra, where the team has implemented initiatives to make it easier to recycle everything from notebook paper to electronics they don’t need anymore.

Madison recently began ordering supplies from an Australian company that offers recyclable tissues, paper towel and toilet paper — and also uses 50% of profits to build toilets and improve sanitation in the developing world. She’s also replaced all the soaps on site with a locally produced, ethical alternative.

“We’ve implemented a number of sustainable practices onsite, starting small and improving as we go,” Madison said. “The whole team is on board now, and they’re coming in with their own ideas as well — which is really fantastic.”

Aus





Aus spends a lot of time in the Australian communities where Wing operates, speaking with school groups and local organizations, helping educate about the environmental benefits of drone delivery.

But she doesn’t stop when she’s back in the office. She shares her sustainability tips with coworkers, whether it’s how to upcycle old items like repurposing a glass drink bottle into a vase or finding the best reusables at thrift stores and giving them a second life.

“Once you equip yourself with the facts, step-by step you can make small lifestyle changes,” Aus said. “Knowledge is power.”

Her own sustainability journey began after she got a previous job in the recycling industry. The more time she spent learning from diverse communities and experts, the more she picked up small tips that have become second nature.

“Living in a city and having a zero carbon footprint is difficult, but there are small things we can all do to reduce our impact on the environment,” she added. “Repurposing or repairing old items, taking public transport where possible or using drone delivery to eliminate some trips in the car helps reduce carbon emissions. It’s a ripple effect — every small action can make a difference.”