There are so many creative ways to start or accelerate sustainability practices on Earth Day.  As the leading technology provider to the global travel and tourism industry, Sabre delivers smart solutions to our customers. And that same approach extends to our sustainability efforts as well.  Our initiatives include modeling best practices to reduce energy, water, carbon emissions,  waste to landfill; developing a database of eco-certified hotels so consumers have choices; and employee-led ‘Eco Teams’ who volunteer their time to educate colleagues and customers.  In short, you could say we’re smart about being green every day.

So who helps Sabre accomplish its sustainability goals? Our global Eco Teams; passionate Sabre colleagues who go beyond their day jobs because they know that small contributions every day can lead to big changes for the better.  In the office, you’ll find them passing out garden seeds in hopes of inspiring green thumbs or beeswax candles to encourage spending an hour or two in the dark – as well as monitoring recycling bins to ensure that materials are properly sorted.

In 19 countries around the world – from Australia to Venezuela – Sabre Eco Teams annually organize office and community events to commemorate Earth Day. By engaging customers and families of employees, Eco Team activities help demonstrate our support for environmental protection while raising awareness on the lasting impact of our choices – paper or plastic?

We have many ways to showcase our sustainability efforts today – Earth Day. Here are just some of the efforts we’ve undertaken in the past – and a glimpse at what some teams are doing this year:

We have hosted educational eco-fairs with local vendors that support healthier lifestyles, helping local schools start a garden, sprucing up city parks, and beach clean-ups.

At our Sabre headquarters in Southlake, Texas, hundreds attend the annual eco-fair to learn and test out eco-friendly products and services, including the latest in automotive technology (recognize the culprit of this photo bomb?), taste produce from local farm markets (organic ice cream, yes please!) and receive water conservation and composting tips.

Each spring, our colleagues in the Sabre Krakow office offer bicycle tune-ups for employees who pedal to work every day. More than 40 bicycles undergo a full safety check-up from local mechanics. Checking tire air pressure, wheel alignment, and chain and brake replacements are also performed on site for a small fee. The Krakow Eco Team has sponsored bike tune-ups for employees since 2011.

Can trash fly? Yes, our teams in Colombia can prove it. To celebrate Earth Day last year, employees were challenged to enter a kite-flying contest using only waste materials. We can proudly say that flying trash works. This year’s challenge invites employees to think even further out-of-the-box and invent a product or idea that is environmentally friendly. They must then promote and market their invention at the onsite eco-fair on Earth Day.

The Eco Team in Colombia also participated in a two-year tree planting project. The first year was spent raising the young plants at their desk, which proved to be a daily reminder on how to care for precious resources and think about the environment. The following year, along with Sabre customers, more than 460 trees were planted at a public park.

What’s in store for Earth Day 2014? We’re receiving reports from our teams in Bangalore and Mexico that there will be an e-waste campaign collecting unwanted electronics, and training in Poland on how to grow and care for a balcony garden. Watch for the upcoming post with details and photos!