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Saturday, August 3, 2013

ZWA Blog: A Powerful Industry Resource & Voice

On July 30, 2013 the Zero Waste in ACTION Blog surpassed the coveted 100,000 pageviews milestone!!!! 

Authored by Elemental Impact, the ZWA Blog posts document the evolution of zero waste from concept to emerging industry standard, tell the story of zero waste pioneers and warriors who shifted paradigms in materials management, and shine light on fallacies within accepted recycling practices. 

Launched in conjunction with the acclaimed 2009 Zero Waste Zones press conference led by the U.S. EPA Region IV interim director, the ZWA Blog initially promoted the ZWZ success. In addition, the blog served as a "zero waste cheerleader" rallying support for companies to understand material, not waste, was generated in their operations; material source-separation for recycling made good business sense and improved the bottom line. 

Over the next two years, zero waste goals evolved into a standard industry practice by astute corporate leaders. The 2011 U.S. Zero Waste Business Council launch established zero waste as vital to business acumen and signaled the ZWA Blog cheerleader role was accomplished.  

Buzz, Chris Moyer (NRA) & Holly
after IFSS session
At the 2011, International Foodservice Sustainability Symposium hosted in partnership with the National Restaurant Association, Recycling Integrity - maintaining maximum material value with minimal energy expended - was introduced by Ei founder Holly Elmore and Ei Partner Buzz Chandler with Asean | Stalkmarket. The ZWA Blog post, Recycling Integrity @ IFSS - The Chris & Holly Show with an Added Buzz, is an overview of the conference session.

Refining recycling practices and delving into final destinations plays a prominent role in blog post topics. Based on the Container Recycling Institute's Understanding Economic and Environmental Impacts of Single-Stream Collection Systems white paper, the ZWA Blog post, Single-Stream Recycling Controversy, documents how single-stream systems achieve their goal of increasing "diversion rates" yet result in decreased actual recycling due to contamination. 

Further substantiating the fallacies inherent within single-stream recycling, the ZWA Blog post, Single Stream Recycling: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly, is a synopsis of an U.S. EPA webinar along with commentary. Maintaining a positive perspective, ZWA Blog posts, Where Oh Where Does our Recycling go? and Beyond Landfill Diversion, validate how "diversion rates" often misrepresent the true recycling inherent within programs. 

Partial SFCI CM Team
launching plastic film recycling pilot
In the ZWA Blog posts, Perpetual Life Cycle System - simplicity is key and The Perpetual Spiral, the evolution from a zero waste focus to nature's no waste systems is introduced as an Ei platform. The WE Consciousness is introduced in the Zero Waste is a Team Sport post and the Concord Mills: Power of "WE" in ACTIONpost gives examples of the magic inherent within team work.

The supply chain's critical role in zero waste achievement, mainly in product and transport packaging, is introduced in the Supply Chain Critical to Zero Waste Success post. In the Consumer Demand: A Powerful Voice to Effect Change, the corporate consumer is called to action using the power of their spending dollars to demand packaging changes. The Waxed Cardboard = Landfill Destiny = $$ Lost post gives an example of packaging that creates trash instead of a valuable material sold in the commodities markets.

Ei's tagline Sustainability in ACTION is well-documented in blog posts:

Sustainable Food Court Initiative - The three pilots are committed to creating sustainable operating practices in food courts amidst many challenges. Blog posts document their successes:
ATL Airport Team accepting
Award for sustainability
Ei ToursTours 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:
Ei Partner Myles Cohen of Pratt
Recycling with Ei Chair Scott Seydel
  • Industry ToursPrior to embarking on program | practice development, Ei strives to understand current industry practices and baselines. Tours of industry leader operations is an effective, efficient and fun avenue for garnering industry education and support. The Seeing is Believing - the magic of tours post is a recap of a recent industry tour marathon.
  • Ei Partner ToursEi 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. Twice per year Ei Partners meet for hosted tours to learn about fellow Partner operations and expertise. The blog posts, Bring the Possible Out of Impossible and Food Waste: Too Valuable for the Landfillrecap recent tours.
  • SFCI ToursThe SFCI Team tours pilot facilities to garner first-hand experience of baseline practices in-place. Tours are an excellent vehicle to establish strong working relationships with on-site managers responsible for operations and facility maintenance. Blog posts, SFCI Atlanta Airport Pilot: ACTION Resumes and Georgia Dome SFCI Team Tour, document two of the many tours.
Ei ConnectsEi plays a valuable industry role by introducing organizations and individuals who share synergies for powerful relationships and action. Several diverse, prominent introductions are documented in blog posts:
2012 F&B Pkging Mtg Attendees
  • Annual F&B Packaging Meeting - Ei and Global Green host an annual December gathering in Washington D.C. of the food and beverage packaging value chain non-profits and trade associations for a day of camaraderie, sharing and strategizing. The blog post, Second Annual F&B Packaging Meeting, gives a 2012 meeting overview.
  • National Restaurant Association | U.S. Composting Council - Ei orchestrated a Washington D.C. NRA | USCC introductory meeting with executives from the respective organizations. The blog post, Collaboration is Key to Success, announces the formal Memorandum of Understanding executed between the NRA and the USCC. 
  • Industry Pioneer Introductions - At Ei’s request, Cindy Jackson, Georgia Institute of Technology waste & recycling director, hosted Tim Trefzer, Georgia World Congress Center Authority director of sustainability, for a campus tour of GA Tech's award-winning recycling program. The ZWA Blog post, ZWZ Participants Work Together, is a tour overview. Subsequent to the introduction, Tim and Cindy developed a strong professional friendship filled with powerful synergies.
Ei in the MediaNational, regional and local media recognizes the importance of Ei projects with impressive coverage. Blog posts give an overview along with commentary of the publicity received. Here are several prominent examples of blog posts promoting Ei in the media:
Spoil Alert author during her
interview @ ATR
HMSHost-Tampa Airport Perry Kranias
with food awaiting donation
The ZWA Blog is an excellent vehicle to share Ei Partners' & Friends' tremendous accomplishments. Ei Partner HMSHost is featured in the blog's most popular - essentially "viral" with consistent strong readership - post, Reduce First, Donate Second & Compost Third.

In the Lighten Up: Be Heard, Be Effective post the Ga Tech highly effective recycling systems are featured after a lead-in with The Adventures of the Recycle Kitty video. CleanRiver's Three C's - Culture, Communication, Collection - a platform for successful recycling programs - is introduced in the Evolution of the Three R's post.

At the Climate Action's COP 16, NatureWorks was a major player announcing new products made with Ingeo™ in a wide array of industries and educating on the low carbon impact of their manufacturing process. NW's industry impact was documented in the NatureWorks Expands Environmental Impact post.   

Ei Ptrs Amy Morelenad &
Chris Bradlee
Ei travels to cities educating on how to implement successful recycling and food waste collection programs. The blog post, Chattanooga Building a Green Brick Road, is an overview of the City of Chattanooga zero waste workshop orchestrated by Ei Strategic Ally The Institute for Local Self-Reliance

For the City of Newark zero waste workshop and meetings, Ei Partners Amy Moreland of Heritage Interactive Services and Chris Bradlee of BASF supported Holly in the educational sessions.The Ei Team Visits Newark for Zero Waste Education post is an overview of the important Newark visit.

A tad racy posts are intended to motivate folks to broaden perceptions. A few examples include: Is Plastic Really Kin to the Devil?, Bottle Caps ON or OFF????, Is Recycling Sexy?!!, and Power of the Voice posts.

Doug Kunnemann (NW)
@ podium as SFCI Co-Chair
Validating the ZWA Blog as a powerful industry voice, Ei serves as media sponsor for prominent industry conferences via published blog posts:
With the late 2012, NRA ZWZ purchase (documented in the NRA Acquires ZWZ post), Ei expanded the zero waste definition beyond material to include water. The Zero WATER Waste: more than a goal, a necessity post introduces Ei's Water Usage | Toxicity Focus.

Water & toxic chemical saving
Grease Lock
Although published in blog format, the ZWA Blog serves as Ei's on-line magazine via in-depth articles much longer than the typical blog post. With a global following, the blog readership is gaining momentum each week and articles are re-published on sustainability-oriented sites.

While the ZWA Blog topics remain within the zero waste | recycling realms, sister blog The IMPACT publishes articles on a wide range of topics. As of this post publishing, The IMPACT Blog is closing in on 35,000 pageviews - impressive, especially considering only one or two articles are published monthly.

Blog readership is augmented in cyberspace on LinkedIN discussions in recycling | zero waste groups, a multitude of tweets, posts on the Ei FB page, on the Ei site news items & pages, and via Ei Partner networks. On the Ei Pinterest page blog posts are "pinned" on fifteen boards defined by category topics.

Ei Chair Scott Seydel & Ei founder
Holly Elmore 
Another important industry resource are the Ei FB albums. Over 80 well-documented albums are organized with an overall synopsis along with individual picture descriptions and support many blog posts via pictorial recaps. Ei Partners and Strategic Allies often use album pictures in their PPT presentations or other promotional | educational material. 

The first 100,000 pageviews established The Zero Waste in ACTION Blog as a powerful industry resource and voice. With an amazing foundation, the blog is certain to gain notoriety, readership and escalated impact. Together WE are staged to shift consciousness to a place where the corporate community evolves beyond zero waste to NO waste!


  1. 100,000 pageviews... Powerful stuff and Great blogpost. I so enjoy keeping up to date with all your efforts while so far away, you continue to energize me.

    1. ... and your energy continues to inspire me! Thanks so much for your unwavering support over the years. Your personal and professional friendship is an important pillar in my life. Holly

  2. I checked out the FB albums and I enjoyed it. This is a long article, but worth reading.

    1. thanks so much! while writing this post, I realized the ZWA Blog is an on-line magazine filled with in-depth articles. I appreciate you taking the time to read the article & visit the Ei FB albums - its takes & time dedication to document an important journey. Thanks! Holly

  3. Nice thought with this blog I enjoy studying and I conceive this website got some truly utilitarian stuff on it!

    electronic waste

    1. Thanks so much for reading the article and taking the time reply. Have a grand day! Holly