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Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Man of Controversy; A Man of Action

Jake on the right handing out bags
at a Panther game
Jake Wilson loves a challenge and understands being controversial is at times a necessary characteristic when it comes to changing human behavior.  As the Keep Mecklenburg Beautiful (KMB) Executive Director, Jake has developed and implemented an amazing series of recycling programs since KMB launched in late 2003.  Each year since inception KMB has received the Keep America Beautiful (KAB)President's Circle Award.

"If you are not pissing someone off, some of the time, you are not doing your job properly" is a Jake Wilson quote.  The "Get Your Butts off Charlotte Streets" and "Get Your Ash off Charlotte Streets" street banners/billboards, part of the Swat-A-Litterbug program, ruffled more than a few feathers with Charlotte public officials. 

Controversial and effective, the program is designed to stop smokers from disposing of ashes and butts on Charlotte streets,  Collaborating with the City of Charlotte, KAB and KMB, Jake devised a program where each entity provided 25 cigarette urns in the downtown area for smokers to use.  With a total of 75 urns, the city government now saves money as it takes less time for custodial workers to empty urns than to sweep sidewalks and streets.  

The Swat-A-Litterbug has a call-in feature where citizens may report a vehicle license tag when an occupant is seen throwing trash (cigarette butts/ashes and fast food/beverages, the most common offense) on Charlotte streets.  The caller gives the time, location and item tossed.  Next the vehicle owner receives a notice from the NC State Patrol Commanding Officer stating future such conduct may result in a fine.  Another program feature is distributing around 300 disposable ashtrays per month to promote "keep it in the car".

As Jake has the knack of creating Win-Win scenarios, most of his programs draw accolades rather than controversy.  The Event Recycling at Speed Street earned a 2009 EVIE Award for Best Green Event.  Panther Tail Gate Recycling is a prime example of Jake's facilitating talent at work with the Carolina Panthers, Bojangle's and Charlotte Center City partnering on the successful initiative.  During the 2009/2010 Panthers home games, tailgaters recycled more than 30 tons of bottles and cans, with over 30% of the waste stream diverted from the landfill.

The Recycle and Win Patrol
The Recycle and Win program “catches” residences with contaminant-free recycling bins and rewards them with $100 Harris Teeter gift cards.  Coca-Cola employees follow the recycling collector in a “wrapped” Prius, go through recycling bins with the program sticker, and give county residents the $100 gift card reward.  With an 18% increase in recycling rates, the successful program is staged for expansion to Raleigh, NC, Charleston, W VA, and possibly New Orleans

Mecklenburg County is fortunate Jake Wilson calls Charlotte home.  With his boundless energy dedicated to environmental causes, Jake is a gift to humanity.  Ei names Jake Wilson as the February, 2011 IMPACTOR.  Thank you Jake!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Taking Sustainability to the Next Level

The inaugural International Foodservice Sustainability Symposium (IFSS):  An opportunity to meet national and international heroes and learn how the foodservice industry is ready to catapult into new dimensions of sustainability.  

Co-sponsored by Kendall College and the National Restaurant Association, through its Conserve: Solutions for Sustainability initiative, IFSS promises to be an exhilarating event.  Limited to 150 attendees, IFSS will focus exclusively on the more complex sustainability issues such as emerging technologies, green building and perhaps the most highly nuanced subject of all – sustainable food.

“The IFSS will provide foodservice professionals with the information and tools they need to make critical decisions about complex sustainability issues,” said Dawn Sweeney, President and CEO of the National Restaurant Association. “We have identified sustainability as a key industry imperative in our multi-year strategic plan, and are committed to educating our members on how to increase environmental efforts and boost their bottom line. This symposium is set up to give attendees the objective information they need to find the answers that work for them.”

“For the last several years, I’ve traveled the country talking about sustainability as a journey composed of baby steps,” said Christopher Koetke, dean of the Kendall College School of Culinary Arts and Laureate International Universities Vice President of the Center for Culinary Excellence. “The IFSS is an opportunity to take a giant educational leap that will support your sustainability journey for years to come.”

IFSS is scheduled for May 24-25, 2011 in Chicago, immediately following NRA Show 2011.  For more details visit the IFSS site.

Chris Moyer joins the Ei Team

Chris & Holly 
With the collaboration of the National Restaurant AssociationElemental Impact and ZWZ official, Chris Moyer,NRA Conserve Program Director, joins the Ei Team as Foodservice Industry Advisor.  Along with amazing enthusiasm, Chris brings 14 years of foodservice and hospitality industry experience to Ei.  Check out his impressive bio on the NRA Speaker Bureau.

Ei projects, including the ZWZ program, are staged to catapult to new dimensions with Chris in a leadership role.  Supported by the NRA's vast resources, Chris plans to work with the Team on bringing more depth to existing Ei programs along with developing new collaborative initiatives. 

One to jump in with both feet, usually adorned in bright green sneakers, Chris is co-chair of the Sustainable Food Court Initiative, an Elemental Impact Task Force. 

Welcome Chris!

Happy Birthday Ei!

Happy Birthday to you, Elemental Impact!  On February 05 Ei celebrated her one-year anniversary as a Georgia non-profit.  Wow ~ what a difference 365 days can make!  Visit the Paving the Way to a New Paradigm to learn about the milestones created over the past 12 months.

The foundation is built and the stage set for full-throttle ACTION!  Stay tuned for exhilarating tales from the journey to the New Paradigm.