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Sunday, June 16, 2019

Sustainability in ACTION garners a new life, at the speed of bike!

Elemental Impact (Ei) plays a valuable industry role by introducing organizations and/or individuals who share synergies for powerful relationships and action. During the Ei Recycling Refinement Era, the following prominent Ei Connections were strong contributions to ongoing industry events and working relationships:
The EPA Scaling Up Compost
in Charlotte, NC Team
The Ei Connects website page details the plethora of introductions over the years; the Ei Connects FB album is a pictorial recap of many notable introductions.

With a decade of living the original tagline, Sustainability in ACTION, followed by  the new tagline, Regeneration in ACTION, Ei developed long-term relationships that continue to segue into empowering introductions.

Sustainable Pattie
Pattie Baker
photo courtesy of Pattie Baker
In December 2008, eco-journalist Pattie Baker, alias "Sustainable Pattie," interviewed Ei Founder Holly Elmore, then the Green Foodservice Alliance (GFA) Executive Director, for a New Life article on restaurants embracing sustainable operating practices. The following February Pattie attended the popular GFA Carbon WHAT? seminar hosted at the Atlanta Community Food Bank and sponsored by the EPA R4 | Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Sustainability Division. Thereafter, Holly and Pattie developed a deep-rooted friendship that continues to grow stronger with the years.

An avid urban cyclist since 2013, Pattie authors the Traveling at the Speed of Bike Blog and in March 2018 published a book by the same title. In her frequent blog posts, Pattie shares the wonderous world when life is lived at the speed of bike.

As a League of American Bicyclists Cycling Instructor, Pattie advocates for bicycle safety via education on road rules and etiquette, riding technique, equipment, and a sense of delight. With safety a top priority, Pattie embraces use of  BikeNoodles inspired by Warren Huska's ingenuity in the article Cyclist says his pool noodle makes Toronto streets safer for him. According to Pattie, "I’ve been using BikeNoodles in suburbia for the last 2.5 years, with 100% success at eliminating illegal passing and driver aggression."

Sustainability in Action Bicycle Tour
Long recruited by Bicycle Tours of Atlanta (BTA), Pattie joined the staff as a tour guide in 2018. BTA believes there is no better way to explore this beautiful city than by bicycle and the joy associated with feeling like a kid again. Beyond corporate and private tours, BTA offers the following tours on a regular basis:
  • Fall in Love with Atlanta, see Atlanta like you never have before.
  • Atlanta Street Art, discover a world of beautiful street art in Atlanta.
  • WonderRoot, a tour of Atlanta's newly curated collection of civil rights & social justice murals.
  • Sustainability in Action, explore the sustainable side of Atlanta.
GWCCA bee hives on the
Sustainability in Action Tour
The Sustainability in Action Tour was crafted by Pattie as an eleven-miles, 3.5-hours ride through Downtown, Midtown, the Georgia Institute of Technology, Piedmont Park, the Old Fourth Ward Park, the Atlanta Beltline, and other carefully-curated as well as spur-of-the-moment highlights on some of the most acclaimed bike infrastructure in the USA.

On the tour, riders get up-close and personal on a rubber-hits-the-road showcase of best practices and innovations relating to environmental, economic, and social sustainability in a city embracing the defining challenges of our times.

As the Sustainability in Action Tour rides by the Georgia World Congress Center and Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Pattie reached out to Holly for introductions via the extensive Ei network.

Mercedes-Benz Stadium (MBS)
On May 9 Pattie and Holly met at MBS for a sustainability tour of the "greenest professional sports stadium in the world." MBS Operations Manager – Tours Dawn Brown hosted the impressive tour with General Manager Scott Jenkins joining the first half. 

Dawn, Holly & Scott
photo courtesy of Pattie Baker
After an education on the state-of-the-art design and construction that earned MBS LEED-Platinum Certification, the tour focused on the waste-reduction practices in-place within back-of-the-house operations. The tour ended at the recently planted raised-bed gardens along the Northside Drive administration entrance.

Though built as the home to the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United, Mercedes-Benz Stadium plays an integral community role with many local athletic events and educational tours. With a staff of 41 tour guides. Dawn manages on average 700 visitors per week on various educational tours, including one dedicated to the MBS's impressive art collection.

The Traveling at the Speed of Bike Blog post, a growing movement, gives a tour overview from Pattie's perspective.

Georgia World Congress Center Authority (GWCCA)
During the GWCCA campus tour, Director of Sustainability Tim Trefzer shared the GWCCA’s long-term sustainability commitment. In February 2009 the GWCCA hosted the acclaimed Zero Waste Zones press conference. Thanks to Tim’s diligent efforts, the GWCCA is the world’s largest LEED-certified conference center. 

The GWCCA hosted the 2013 NCAA® Men’s Final Four® as the "greenest games ever." More than a tagline, the 2013 Final Four sustainability success forever evolved sporting-event sustainability protocol. Post-event, Tim and an EPA colleague drafted the Final Four Sustainability RFP sustainability section. Thus, new industry standards were established! 

Pattie & Tim at the
GWCCA bee apiary
Additionally, Tim consults with the Super Bowl leadership on implementing sustainability standards at their prestigious sporting event. Tim co-chaired the 2019 Super Bowl Sustainability Committee when MBS hosted the prestigious event in Atlanta earlier this year.

As Pattie has seen it many times while riding at the speed of bike, the GWCCA bee apiary was the prime tour focus.

In August 2018, the GWCCA introduced their three-hive bee apiary located in a pocket park on the corner of Boone Boulevard and Northside Drive. Managed by Bee Downtown, a North Carolina-based company focused on revitalizing bee populations in urban environments, the GWCCA hives support the urban-bee population in downtown Atlanta.

Each hive is destined to produce 80 pounds of honey per year, with the first harvest this summer. Harvested honey will be used by Levy Restaurants in their foodservice operations as well as bottled for gifts.

The Traveling at the Speed of Bike Blog post, bee downtown, gives a tour overview from Pattie's perspective.

An Ei Connects FB album section includes a pictorial recap of the Sustainability in Action Bicycle Tours.

Ei was honored to introduce Patti to long-term partners and colleagues. It was fun to witness synergies during the tour, especially when Patti learned Scott rides his bike to work at the stadium!

... and the original Ei tagline Sustainability in ACTION garners a new life while traveling at the speed of bike.

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