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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Celebrate Captain Planet's 20th Birthday

Join Captain Planet Foundation and Event Chairs Barbara Roos and Laura Seydel for Captain Planet’s 20th Birthday Benefit, celebrating two decades of the world’s first and only eco-superhero! Captain Planet’s 20th Birthday Benefit is a charitable event held by the Captain Planet Foundation (CPF).  This annual December event is highly anticipated, celebrating 16 years of fundraising.  Guests can expect to experience an exclusive green carpet arrival with local and national media, celebrity guests, civil leaders, high-caliber entertainment, live and silent auctions with one-of-a kind selections, fabulous food by Wolfgang Puck, and an array of fantastic cocktails by Bacardi.  Following the gala, the rockin’ “Birthday Bash” will take place in the Aquarium’s atrium and will feature live entertainment, light gourmet fare and signature cocktails.

The benefit will support hands on environmental projects that educate and inspire children to become great stewards of the planet and live eco-friendly lives.  A portion of the proceeds will go toward the development of “Captain Planet’s Learning Gardens” for children affected by the Gulf oil spill.  The devastation in that area of our nation has been felt in a variety of ways and the children living there need optimism, hope and a renewed faith in the environment.  We believe our “learning gardens” provide just the kind of education, activity and inspiration they need.

Here the event facts:

Date:                     Friday, December 10, 2010 - Evening

Location:              Georgia Aquarium
Event Website:

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The New Green World Order

With his passionate commitment to reusable cups in the public and private sectors, Aaron Williams is a man on a mission with seemingly endless energy.

Motivated by the extrapolated facts that an 85 person office uses approximately 42,000 cups per year, based on the average of two cups used per day per employee for coffee, Aaron Williams is moving into ACTION.   With a solid reusable cup manufacturer, Aaron offers recyclable reusable cups made from recycled material for bulk purchase of less than $5.00 per cup.

Companies spend  up-front dollars on cup purchases and back end costs on disposal.  Based on the above 42,000 cups, the 85 person company spends approximately $1,260 per year to purchase polystyrene cups, based on $.03 per cup cost.  If the company eliminates disposable cups and gives each employee a reusable cup at $5.00 each ($425), the company has a net annual savings of $825, without considering the reduction in waste hauling charges.  It makes good business sense to implement a reusable cup system in the office.

Happy City of St. Peters employees with donated  cups
To make his point,  Aaron personally donated 175 reusable cups to the City of St. Peters last month for their 55 employees at the Recycling Center and 125 person police force.  Future posts will report on the cost-savings and employee morale building as result of Aaron's generous donation.

Wow ~ check out Aaron's clever and informative video, The New Green Order, at this link.

While still running his for-profit business, Aaron dedicates his spare time to educating the corporate community on the importance of implementing a reusable cup program, from cost-saving and environmental vantage points.  Aaron's next step is to ground his enthusiasm in a website where reusable cups may be purchased in bulk on-line along with informative content.

Join Elemental Impact in honoring Aaron Williams for his heroic deeds that make the Earth a better place to live.  Aaron Williams is the November IMPACTOR.  You may reach Aaron at

Glitz Goes Green with GRACE

Creating a green gala requires commitment from the entire team, especially the host and event facility.  The Georgia Restaurant Association and the Loews Hotel teamed together to ensure the GRACE - Georgia Restaurant Association Crystal of Excellence - November 14 Awards Gala lived up to their theme, Glitz goes Green.  As part of the planning process, the Loews Hotel contracted for organics collection and met the remaining Zero Waste Zone Phase I Criteria.

Taking green beyond recycling, Executive Chef Olivier Gaupin prepared a scrumptious meal featuring local ingredients.   To support the recovering Gulf Coast seafood industry, Apalachicola shrimp was served with the Athen's Red Mule grits (yummy!).  Pre-portioned meat was purchased to eliminate prep scraps.  Energy conservation was a focus with the food preparation and dish washing  procedures.  How inspiring to witness a chef revamp standard operating procedures to practices that minimize energy and water usage, even if it puts extra pressure on the staff with entrée plating.

What a thrill to experience a sustainable bar ~ the bartenders were excited to explain their recycling  initiatives including corks collected for ZWZ Auxiliary Program supplier Cork ReHarvest.  Most beverages offered were local and/or organic including Southern Vodka made in Albany, GA.

Check out the cool bottle bottom chandelier made from recycled plastic bottles.

ZWZ Participant Legendary Events created eco-friendly centerpieces made from wine bottles, cardboard and herbs, later replanted.  Thompson Creative, an Ei in-kind sponsor, kept the event collateral material in alignment with green glitz by contracting with an eco-friendly printer and using post consumer waste paper.  The invitation was killer with its subtle communication.

Chef Kevin Gillespie, Executive Chef and Partner at Woodfire Grill, was the keynote speaker.  Wow ~ Kevin was phenomenal!.  Without any notes, Kevin inspired the audience with his humorous, passionate talk about his roots and how sustainability is more about revisiting the past than creating the new.

With so many aspects to planning a green event, it takes a committed individual to adhere to sustainable practices when status quo is easier and at times less expensive.  Kelly Hornbuckle. GRA Marketing & Communications Director, is the driving force who made the GRACE Awards walk the talk of Glitz Goes Green.  THANK YOU KELLY!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Ties that Matter

Laura with TTM handbag
Laura Martin, founder of Ties that Matter, is an inspirational artist who amazes with the magnitude and depth of her artwork. Beyond the canvas and brush, Laura is an accomplished seamstress. an amazing gardener, phenomenal chef and renown author on a wide array of subjects.

Ties that Matter is Laura's grounded vision of using old ties to make beautiful products while providing for-pay work to unemployed women, many refugees. Using her innate creativity, Laura built a company dedicated to helping women rebuild their torn apart lives by sewing together repurposed material, including old ties, to make usable, sellable artwork in the form of pocket books, bags, pillows and more.

The community may support Ties that Matter by organizing tie donation campaigns AND purchasing the artwork as gifts or for personal use. Visit the easy to navigate Ties that Matter website to learn how you may support this important venture.

EnvisionATL, the Encore

EnvisionATL, a forum based on the World Café discussion model, fosters conversations from diverse constituents around an aspirational and shared vision for a more sustainable Atlanta. Join us on December 7, 2010 from 3 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. at the Historic City Council Chambers, 55 Trinity Avenue in City Hall for an encore and final performance.
Holly Elmore documents visions
The October 13 session addressed the issues of air, land use, material resources, and water. EnvisionATL II, addresses community vitality, energy, food, and transportation. EnvisionATL is presented by Sustainable Atlanta in conjunction with Mayor Kasim Reed and the City of Atlanta.
With numerous organizations tackling sustainability issues, a shared vision for Atlanta builds a strong foundation for future discussions and efforts designed to create a more viable, competitive and healthy Atlanta, which attracts employers and jobs to the city.
EnvisionATL forums:
  • Help create a shared vision for incorporation into the City’s Comprehensive Development Plan, scheduled for a 2011 update
  • Provide the framework for as many as 50 formalized partnerships between academic institutions, businesses, civic and environmental organizations, government agencies and other groups
  • Build a networked corps of up to 200 change agents and ambassadors of a shared vision
  • Identify metrics and milestones to measure and track progress to becoming a more sustainable Atlanta.
Shannon Goodman with Perkins & Will reports to the crowd
Participants represent academic institutions, businesses, faith-based, civic and environmental organizations, governmental agencies and other groups and individuals interested in bringing community resources closer together. Sponsors include the City of Atlanta, Perkins+Will, Waste Management, AECOM, Edelman, Weston Solutions, Georgia Power, InterContinental Hotels Group and Tree Sound Studios.
Yikes, the October EnvisionATL SOLD OUT! Register NOW to be one of the 200 individuals participating in this fun, aspiring and important forum designed to invigorate Atlanta's sustainable pathways. The event fee is $15 with on-line registration at this link.
Non-profits, academic and government groups are encouraged to join the impressive family of partners and co-hosts by contacting Danielle Doss at For-profit companies interested in sponsoring EnvisionATL or Sustainable Atlanta may contact Scott Briskey at
Join Elemental Impact in supporting Atlanta's vision ~ see you December 7th!

Ei Sponsor, Advisory Council & Board Meeting

A group of happy sponsors & advisors
A powerful, lively group traveled from around the country to attend the first annual Elemental Impact Sponsor, Advisory Council & Board meeting on November 18 at HLB Gross Collins' offices in Atlanta. The first part of the meeting included updates from the sponsors, members leading the charge on specific Ei projects. It was inspiring to witness the spontaneous dialogue surrounding current challenges faced in our crusade to maximize the diversion of assets from landfills.
Marlin Gottschalk presenting

Dr. Marlin Gottschalk, Director of the Sustainability Division of the GA Department of Natural Resources, reported on WHY Ei projects are important to the environment and business culture. Marlin also moderated the strategy session that brought the formal part of the meeting to a close.

As the individuals/corporations attending contributed the resources, funding, time and in-kind services necessary to bring Ei to this impressive threshold, their input is vital to Ei's future direction. In short summary, the group was amazed at the accomplishments made on a shoestring budget. To bring Ei to the next level of funding and impact, focus is the key operative to propel the Zero Waste Zones and other initiatives to their full potential.

Greg Yorston & Holly
A funding and business review committee was formed to assist Ei staff with developing a business plan and focussed initiative objectives. With formal documents complete, the committee will assist in identifying potential funding sources outside of the sponsorship program.

Following the formal meeting, the group enjoyed a wine and cheese reception sponsored by Bold American Catering. Yes, it was a zero waste reception!

Thank you to those who made Ei their priority on November 18. It is an honor to be supported by such a professional, passionate group willing to commit resources to evolving corporate business practices.

Visit this link to view the meeting PPT presentation. Click here to learn about how to join the Ei Family of Sponsors and participate in Ei projects and initiatives.

YEA ~ It is Official!

YEA ~ the IRS letter arrived on November 18 designating Elemental Impact a 501(c)(3) non-profit, with public charity status!!! The application was submitted on March 15 and assigned an IRS agent the first of October, who reviewed the document with a fine tooth comb. It is an honor to meet the IRS's stringent demands. Thank you to Pauline Reynolds,  HLB Gross Collins Shareholder, who was the guiding force in completing the necessary documents in "IRS language".

What does this mean to Ei? A whole new funding avenue opens as Ei is qualified to apply for government and foundation grants. Many of Ei projects meet grant requirements in the private and government sectors. We look forward to celebrating our first grant award!

Individual and corporate tax-deductible donations may be made to Ei. As part of your year-end tax planning, consider making a tax-deductive donation to Ei in any amount at this link. The system accepts credit card payments or will produce an invoice for check payment.

We appreciate your support of our important work.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

EnVision ATL Visions Posted

Throughout the past few weeks, the Sustainable Atlanta team worked diligently to aggregate the event notes and to turn the contributions into vision narratives and potential metrics for air, land, material resources and water. The draft vision statements are now posted on Your feedback on these drafts is critical as we work to finalize inclusive vision statements for our city. Please take a look and send any feedback to Danielle Doss at The public comment period will end at 5 p.m. on Friday, November 12.

Check out the cool poster drawn during the event to document the visions.

Save the date for EnvisionATL II on Tuesday, December 7 from 3:00 p.m.-6:30 p.m. in the Historic City Hall Council Chambers. Registration will begin next week on and tickets are $15 per person. Remember the October 13 event sold out so be sure to register next week to be a part of visioning a Sustainable Atlanta.