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Elemental Impact

Winter 2012 Newsletter, Edition 30

Welcome to the Ei Newsletter
Elemental Impact completes a powerful year, ready to embark on new adventures in 2013.  With a new mission statement, additional focus areas and expanding influence, Ei is in the midst of a tremendous metamorphosis.  Read the newsletter to learn about exciting travels, meetings and validation of Ei’s important work.

Follow the Ei Blogs, The Impact Blog and Zero Waste in ACTION Blog, to keep current on project status and tales from the journey. 

Ei: New Mission Statement | New Directions

Ei New Mission Statement:

To work with industry leaders to create best operating practices where the entire value-chain benefits, including corporate bottom lines and the environment.  Through education and collaboration, establish the best practices as standard practices.

Since Ei's early 2010 founding, initiatives were zero waste-oriented along with complementary driving forces, such as packaging and food waste destinations.  The Zero Waste Zones took center stage with the Sustainable Food Court Initiative playing a strong supporting role.  With the National Restaurant Association’s ZWZ purchase, the SFCI moves to a leading role complemented by Recycling Integrity -maintaining maximum material value with minimal energy expended.  

Using the powerful foundation built over the past years, Ei projects expand into Product Stewardship and Toxin-Free Environments focus areas. Many early zero waste adopters are complete at this stage with material management practice shifts and are eager to move their sustainability needle to next dimensions.  The new focus areas are in the development stages - stay tuned for exciting updates!

The IMPACT Blog post, Ei: New Mission Statement | New Directions, gives additional details on the foundation for the new directions.

Ei's Strong Leadership

 Ei Chair Scott Seydel &
Ei Business Advisor Sylvia Gort

As Ei expands into new focus areas with an updated mission statement, a strong, balanced leadership team is critical to maneuvering the challenges inherent in an organization's evolution. The IMPACT Blog post, Strong Leadership Maximizes Impact, along with the Ei Leadership page, gives an overview of the business and environmental executives who devote their time, talent and expertize to Ei.

Ei Partner Program Evolves

Doug presenting @ industry
conference as SFCI Chair
Along with the new mission statement and expanded focus areas, the Ei Partner program restructured to reflect the active participation inherent within joining Ei.  The Ei business model is based on corporate funding from organizations who determine active participation makes good, solid business sense.  In addition to a financial commitment, Ei Partners chair programs and committees, present at conferences and serve as industry experts in Ei initiatives.

For example, Doug Kunneman, NatureWorks business segment director, is the Sustainable Food Court Initiative Chair and Tom Lembo, CleanRiver director of business development, chairs the SFCI Front-of-the-House Recycling Centers committee.  

The IMPACT Blog post, Ei Partner Program Evolves, gives an overview of the program along with anecdotes of partner activities.

If you are interested in joining the close-knit Ei Partner program and ready to commit to active participation, contact Ei founder Holly Elmore at 404-261-4690.

Second Annual F&B Packaging Meeting

 2012 F&B Pkging Mtg Group Picture
For the second consecutive December, non-profits and trade associations representing the food and beverage packaging value chain gathered in Washington D.C. for a day of camaraderie, sharing and strategizing.  Ei and Global Green co-hosted the meeting held on 12-12-12, a powerful, important day!

In the morning, each organization presented on their mission, stakeholders, 2012 activities and finished with planned 2013 projects.  The meeting agenda, attendee list, PPT presentations are available for download on the Ei Meetings & Events page.

With the group well-acquainted, the afternoon consisted of a strategy session on the challenges | barriers for sustainable uses and disposal of food and beverage packaging. Within the vibrant discussion several common topics prevailed: Best Practices, Policies & Regulations and Cyberspace Network communication tools.  

The ZWA Blog post, Second Annual F&B Packaging Meeting, gives a meeting overview while the Ei FB album, BUILDING THE PATH: Exploring the Value Chain of F&B Packaging, is a pictorial recap.

My Wasted Food Diary, a personal journey

In her November Martha Stewart Whole Living feature article Spoil Alert, Elizabeth Royte's final paragraph includes the statement "For Elmore, who says she eats out seven nights a week to avoid food loss at home, this means finishing everything on her plate or asking, unashamedly, for a doggie bag." Although true and I am certain a paraphrased quote, the statement hit a strong chord within me, propelling a new action plan.

 home food waste (kitchen scraps)
I realized my behavior was avoidance in nature rather than proactive in waste reduction.  Committed to walking my talk, it was time for me to start cooking the majority of meals with a goal of consuming or gifting 100% of food purchased. The first action step was to get my kitchen back into operating order after literally three years of limited to no use.  The second action step was to contract with Compost Wheels for weekly kitchen scrap collection for composting.

From the Zero Waste Zones program development, I know focus on waste results in waste reduction.  Thus, I inaugurated My Wasted Food Diary to document weekly wasted food along with a description of WHY the food was not consumed. Additionally, I list pending challenges for food nearing the wasted marker.

Unused thyme bunch
drying for future use 

My intentions are to post weekly on My Wasted Food Diary to document my journey, learn from reader comments and encourage the community to embrace wasted food best practices.  Successes and stumbles will infiltrate the lighthearted diary along with encouragement to join the journey.

The ZWA Blog post, The Eliminate Wasted Food Journey, first steps, gives details on the magnitude of wasted food in our nation, what you can do and an invitation to join the journey.

Food Waste: Too Valuable for the Landfill


 Global Enviro food grinder
in Les Halles kitchen

Food waste generators, including the consumer, foodservice operators and food processors, are energized to shift their valuable by-product from the landfill to alternative destinations. In many communities, a state-permitted destination, whether composting, anaerobic digestion (A.D.) or other technology, does not exist or is not within economic distance.

When there is no permitted landfill alternative, on-site food waste digesters are appealing, especially with the wide range of systems offered in the market. In general, digesters use enzymes or other technologies to convert the food waste at an accelerated rate into either an effluent or a soil amendment. Proper disposal of the system end product is essential for integrity to prevail throughout the process.  

Global Enviro system end product
Ei Partner Global Enviro’s on-site technology produces a quality soil amendment that may be direct-applied to soil or sent to a composting operation. The Global Enviro system comes in various sizes designed to service operations ranging from single-standing restaurants to large event venues. In the New York City area, Global Enviro has three successfully installed systems in operation: The Shops @ Riverside, The Hotel Intercontinental and Les Halles.

The ZWA Blog post, Food Waste: Too Valuable for the Landfill, is an overview of several on-site technologies available as well as a recap of the Ei Partners; Les Halles tour installation.  For a pictorial recount, see the Ei FB album, 11-05-12 Global Enviro System Tour.

NYC Ei Tour


 Chris Bradlee (BASF) & Anselm
in front of the “living wall”

At the foundation of Ei’s tagline Sustainability in ACTION is integrity.  Ei Partners are committed to working as a team to develop flexible programs and practices that evolve along with shifts in technology, circumstances and economic parameters. Education is essential to weave integrity within program|practice development.

Tours are excellent vehicles to learn first-hand about industry practices and fellow partner business expertise.  Ei hosts industry and partner tours designed for experiential education, strategic planning and bonding among the Ei Team.  Tour participation is open to Ei Partners, Strategic Allies and Advisory Council Members.

Ei Partner Heritage Interactive Services hosted the first Ei Partner Tours in Indianapolis, IN this summer with great success.  The IMPACT Blog post, Ei Partner Tours Launch in Indy, is an overview of the inaugural tours that set the stage the November NYC Ei Partner Tours.

 Entrance to ELS offices
Scheduled in early November, the NYC Ei Tours coincided with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.  A smaller group convened in NYC for two days with flexibility the tour theme.  The Food Waste:  Too Valuable for Landfill section includes an overview of the Global Enviro tour on the first day.

On the second day, the partners toured EcoLogic Solution’s Brooklyn offices and warehouse space.  ELS founder Anselm Doering impressed his partners with the integrity infiltrated throughout ELS operations and offices. The IMPACT Blog post,  NYC Ei Partner Tours, is a tour overview and the Ei FB album, 11-06-12 EcoLogic Solutions Tour, is a pictorial recap.

The Charlotte Ei Partner Tours is scheduled in early March. 

Panthers Recycling Team Spirit

 Panthers Tailgate Recycling Volunteers
Common ground in successful recycling programs is team spirit among the entire material stream.  The Carolina Panthers team spirit is evident as the tailgate and stadium recycling program continues to increase collection tonnages each season.  Under the stewardship of Jake Wilson, Keep Mecklenburg Beautiful executive director, the Panthers’ program is creative and provides fun incentives for volunteers, tailgaters and parking lot attendants.

With two remaining stadium games, the season-to-date recycling stats are 26.52 tons collected from tailgate festivities along with 46.9 tons from inside the stadium.  The ZWA Blog January post, Panthers Winning Recycling Season, gives an overview of the program development while the recent post, Recycling Team Spirit at Panthers Games, is a 2012 season update. 

Year End Tax-Deductible Donations

Remember Ei in your year-end tax planning!  Ei is a non-profit under the Internal Revenue Service 501(c)3 provision and donations to fund our important work are tax-deductible.  Donations in any amount may be made on the Special Payments page.  Thank you!

Upcoming Events

U.S. Composting Council Annual Conference
January 28-31, 2013
Orlando, FL

The Magic of Compost - the world’s largest conference and exhibition for the organics management industry – composting, anaerobic digestion, renewable energy from organics, compostable plastics, wood waste and organics recycling. The most comprehensive program of training courses, education and technical sessions, and facility tours and “live” equipment demonstrations.

SWANA’S Road to Zero Waste
February 25 - 26, 2013
Atlanta, GA

Join SWANA's Recycling & Special Waste Division in Atlanta as we continue to explore "The Road to Zero Waste." Featuring a variety of zero waste experts and case studies, this two-day event will provide the latest information on zero waste initiatives and practical advice on how your community can use these concepts in your municipal solid waste management plan.

Southeast Recycling Conference & Trade Show
March 10-13, 2013
Destin, FL

The 26th Southeast Recycling Conference & Trade Show (SERC) will be a four day event linking industry leaders and recycling officials, offering focused educational sessions, the latest recycling products, equipment and services and exciting networking opportunities all at an economical rate.

Wishing you a wonderful holiday season!



Holly D. Elmore 

Founder & CEO, Elemental Impact
Director, Substainable Food Court Initiative

ZWA Blog