Search This Blog

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Big Facts in a Little Book - 2012 Update

Each year the National Restaurant Association produces a pocket factbook that details the important role restaurants play in our lives and the economy.  Along with the standard facts, 970,000 restaurant locations produce $632 billion in sales, the 2012 book includes interesting anecdotes on technology advances and industry trends impact.  The IMPACT Blog post, BIG Facts in a Little Book, gives an overview of the 2011 pocket factbook.

If quickservice restaurants offered self-service ordering terminals, 41% of adults would likely use the system. Twitter, Facebook and other social  media have strong influence over decisions to dine at a new restaurant - 28% of adults use cyberspace recommendations for first-time restaurant visits.  With an increased focus on nutrition, 36% of adults have used the internet to search for nutritional information about restaurant food.

The above facts show technology plays a strong role in the industry's customer interactions.  In many instances, utilizing technology reduces paper and other waste generated along with increasing operational efficiency.   Electronic customer communication methods are often more effective, less expensive AND prevent paper use | waste generation.

Chef Ahmad of Affairs to Remember
at his herb garden in front of their
According to the factbook, 72% of adults are more likely to visit a restaurant that offers locally-produced food items.  Consumer and industry demand for local and regional products is instrumental in revitalizing the small farm system. Urban agriculture programs are included in most city sustainability plans and chefs are planting herb and vegetable gardens in the nooks and crannies available at their restaurant or facility.

Employing 12.9 million individuals in the U.S., the restaurant industry is vital to our economy and provides an educational platform to reach a significant portion of the population.  Through their ConSERVE, Solutions for Sustainability, program, the NRA is committed to educating the nation's second largest private sector industry on the significant role sustainability and social responsibility play in successful operations.  

Elemental Impact and the Zero Waste Zones are honored to work in partnership with the NRA.  

Monday, March 5, 2012

Global Green Hosts NOLA Rebuilding Tour

On March 01, 2012 the New Orleans Global Green office hosted an amazing tour of the Rebuilding of NOLA subsequent to the devastation brought in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina. Beginning at their Green Building Resource Center, tour leader Linda Morgano, Global Green Program Associate, gave an excellent recap of the hurricane-related flooding, including why some areas experienced more tragedy than others. The overview focused on rebuilding efforts in place by Global Green and other partner organizations including government agencies.
Musicians' Village home

First on the tour list was Habitat for Humanity's Musician's Village where Harry Connick, Jr and Branford Marsalis were instrumental in bringing the project to fruition. The colorful, neat houses are indicative of the artists who call the neighborhood home.

On to the Lower Ninth Ward to the Make It Right project spearheaded by Brad Pitt among others. Much more than lending his name and presence for fund-raising, Pitt was one of the judges who selected twelve winning architectural designs for the energy efficient, eco-friendly homes. C
ommon Ground Relief also calls the neighborhood home and provides a broad range of services along with a wetlands restoration station.
Holy Cross Project Welcome Center
Picture courtesy of Global Green 
With her office in the amazing Visitor Center, similar to a model home. Linda oversees Global Green's Holy Cross Project  The showcase home gets 100% of its electricity needs from the Sun, including air conditioning in the NOLA steamy summer, and is 73% more efficient than a typical household. Throughout the center are plaques detailing the home's eco-sound building materials and|or methods.

The Bayou Bienvenue restoration program was the next to last stop. For those living on more solid ground, it was fascinating to learn about the imperative role wetlands and bayous play in Delta regions. Urbanization destroyed many of these critical areas and it is heartening to witness the care taken in areas like the Bayou Bienvenue.

As an excellent NOLA steward, Linda ensured the tour finale was a French Quarter visit complete with Cafe Du Monde beignets.

The NOLA tour group
Thank you to Linda and the Global Green NOLA office for taking the time to educate the tour group on your important work. Lily Kelly with Global Green's NYC office joined the tour and tied in the NOLA rebuilding to the following day's NOLA Resource Recovery Conference.

For a pictorial recap of the tour, visit the Elemental Impact FB album, 03-01-12 Global Green's NOLA Rebuilding Tour.

With organizations like Global Green bringing together national | global synergies directed towards resource recovery and rebuilding, a promising energy permeates the potentials inherent within humanity.