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Sunday, May 12, 2024

Shifting Consciousness: individual action matters

Shifting consciousness through programs and initiatives that push the boundaries of mainstream practices is integral to Elemental Impact (Ei) programs and initiatives. Founded as the home to the Zero Waste Zones (ZWZ) in 2009, Ei was THE forerunner in the nation for the commercial collection of food waste for compost.

Ei's mantra signifies the commitment to shifting consciousness:

Ei is a creator, an incubator.
Ei determines what could be done that is not being done and gets it done.
Ei brings the possible out of impossible.
Ei identifies pioneers and creates heroes.

Through mid-2017, Ei focused on a series of zero waste and packaging initiatives designed to segue sustainable-best-business practices into standard-operating practices. Examples include the Sustainable Food Court InitiativePlastic Film Recycling ProgramsSource-Separated Materials Recycling Template, and Total Materials Management Approach.

Ei Era of Regeneration
In June 2017, Ei announced the Era of Recycling Refinement (RR) was Mission Accomplished and entered the Era of Regeneration. The original Ei tagline Sustainability in ACTION evolved into Regeneration in ACTION

Nature Prevails at an abandoned
Cheesecake Factory restaurant.

Photo courtesy of Holly Elmore Images
Within months, the Ei website was overhauled and relaunched with a focus on three main platforms: Nature Prevails, Soil Health, and Water Use | Toxicity.

The Era of RR pages were organized into the nearly 100-page Mission Accomplished section with over 300-downloadable documents. As Ei was no longer active in recycling and zero waste endeavors, Holly Elmore Enterprises (HEE) launched as an avenue for environmental consulting utilizing Ei Founder & CEO Holly Elmore's in-depth expertise. The Mission Accomplished website section continues to serve as a valuable industry resource.

HEE supports the Ei platforms via The Fingertip Press publishing articles and article/photo books, both online and hard copy; the Ei Digital Books page lists the published books along with links to virtual versions. Additionally, Holly Elmore Images launched in 2018 to provide professional photos for The Fingertip Press and the Ei site. 

As she ventured into fine-art photography, the Holly Elmore Images Portfolio site launched in April 2024 to showcase Holly's abstract and otherwise artistic images. In the the Natural Wonders and Farm & Garden Galleries, most of the images were captured in the Ei Rewilding Urban Landscapes Pilots. The IMPACT article, My Photography Story: from an amateur to a professional, announces the portfolio site launch.

What We Eat Matters
Integral to the Ei Era of Regeneration is the commitment to showcase how seemingly benign everyday practices by individuals, corporations/institutions, and communities has a cumulative devastating impact on the Earth's ability to support life as we currently know it. 

The RiA What We Eat Matters article published in January 2024 encapsulates Ei’s important work over the past 7 years in an organized, actionable format:

TASTY: heirloom tomato
surrounded by edible flowers
Photo courtesy of Holly Elmore Images
Personal Well Being
Healthy soils with active, balanced microbial communities, and fungi networks are the foundation for growing nutritious, tasty food that supports mental, physical, and emotional health.

  • Nutrition
  • Physical, Mental & Emotional Health
  • Tasty Food

World Water Pollution and Depletion
As water and soil are in a sacred marriage, conventional farming practices equally pollute soil, aquifers, and waterways.
  • Chemical Farming
  • Time-Released Fertilizers and Pesticides
  • Water-Intensive Food
Diversity Reduction
For a myriad of reasons, the number of species facing extinction increased dramatically over the past decades; thus, there is a severe reduction in the diversity of species living on the Earth.
  • Insect Apocalypse
  • Holocene Extinction (sixth mass extinction)
By shifting the consciousness intertwined within what and how first-world countries eat, the current unhealthy-, toxic-food systems may evolve into robust practices that rebuild soil ecosystems, produce nutritious, tasty food, and benefit communities and the Earth. 

Collective Consciousness
From the opening paragraphs of the RiA November 2023, Collective Consciousness: a movement, a solution:

As humanity toils with significant survival challenges - rising sea levels, extreme weather, diminished fresh water, excessive toxins and pollution, and more, - ancient wisdom emerges from within the chaos with a message: collective consciousness is a solution. Working together in a holographic manner where ALL benefit is a must to ensure survival.

Rusty #10 can used
to propagate plants at
a regenerative farm.
Photo courtesy of
Holly Elmore Images
ALL is defined as the entire spectrum of living species and ecosystems as well as inanimate earth resources. Within humanity, ALL refers to the various societal structures and ensuring that the worker population is treated with dignity, respect, and cared for with the necessities of food, shelter, and clothing.

Yet, collective consciousness begins with individual and group consciousness. In the Era of RR, Ei deployed WE Consciousness, a group consciousness, within numerous zero waste-oriented projects and initiatives.

The 2012 RiA article, Zero Waste is a Team Sport, defines the WE Consciousness within the context of implementing effective zero waste practices. The article details the three-initial-consciousness shifts necessary for zero waste to replace landfill waste:

  • First, the "pay and forget" era is over; the consumer must take responsibility for the by-products generated from their activities and ensure materials are reused or recycled.
  • Second, waste management is replaced by materials / by-products management. In nature there is no "waste"; it is time to emulate nature's perpetual life cycle systems.
  • Third, the "I" focus is replaced with the "WE" focus. When ALL work together, seemingly miraculous results are common.
One of the ZWZ taglines was Collaboration is Key for Success.

Individual Action Matters
Though the current environmental crisis may seem overwhelming, there are ample actions whose impact is negligible on an individual basis yet tremendous from a cumulative perspective. Individuals are consumers whose dollars vote for their choice in products, manufacturing standards and practices, and treatment of the labor force. To maintain profitability, companies and organizations must provide products and services that the consumer is willing to purchase.

When an individual shifts action and shares the new practices with friends personally and on social media, group consciousness emerges within the individual's network of family, friends, and business colleagues. If group members share within their individual network, seeds are germinated for collective consciousness to emerge.

Holly's butterfly pea blossom-tea
blend with sunn hemp flowers
Photo courtesy of Holly Elmore Images
A simple, seemingly obscure, example is Holly stopped using tea bags and only brewed loose organic tea. Many tea bags, even those from reputable companies, contain plastics and contribute to the ingestion of microplastics into the body. If the bags are composted, microplastics infiltrate the compost used to build healthy soils.

Rather than "preaching" about her commitment, Holly created unique, organic tea blends with many ingredients originating in her backyard gardens. Packaged in lovely jars, Holly gifts the tea blends to friends and explains how easy it is to brew loose tea. Many of her friends now predominately brew loose tea, instead of using bags.

Another avenue where Holly contributes to a building collective consciousness is via the Ei Rewilding Urban Landscapes Pilots.

Ei Rewilding Urban Landscapes Pilots 
When she returned to her hometown, Sarasota, Florida, after residing in Atlanta for four decades, Holly  dedicated her spacious approximately 8,500-square-foot yard to two rewilding pilots: Native Plant Landscape and Permaculture-Oriented Landscape.

Collective Consciousness is building around rewilding landscapes to support wildlife ecosystems above and below the ground and creating local food security via home and community gardens. Holly contributes to the consciousness via publishing Ei-magazine articles, documenting the pilots' progress in a series of HEI-photo galleries, circulating newsletters, speaking at meetings and conferences, hosting tours, and sharing her story via artistic photography on social media.

The RiA article, Ei Rewilding Urban Landscape Pilots, substantiates the importance of rewilding landscapes, details simple individual action, and introduces the Ei Pilots; the HEI Ei Rewilding Urban Landscapes album documents the pilots' progress in a series of photo galleries.

Ei Native Plant Landscape Pilot
Native-plant landscapes provide urban wildlife access to food and habitat. "Cide*" free, native-plant landscapes provide wildlife a safe haven amid urban life filled with buildings, roadways, and often sterile and/or toxic open areas.

Local wildlife evolved to thrive on native foliage and, in general, do not eat or nest in non-native plants. Additionally, many non-native plants are invasive and choke out native plants, further challenging urban wildlife.

Native-Plant Landscape Pilot
in May 2024
Photo courtesy of Holly Elmore Images

Holly's front yard was designated for only native plants with a focus on food and habitat for local urban wildlife. First steps included removing the non-native, decorative plants from prior residents and smothering the existing grass.

Pamela Callender of Lifelines consulted, designed, purchased the plants, and installed the native-plant landscape on November 18 & 19, 2021.

Entering its fourth rainy summer season, the maturing landscape is filled with second- and third-generation plants from the original installation.

The HEI album, Ei Native-Plant-Landscape Pilot, documents the the front-yard evolution through a series of photo galleries.

* "cides" are defined as herbicides, pesticides, insecticides, and fungicides.

Ei Backyard Permaculture Pilot
The backyard pilot follows Permaculture-Oriented-Landscape (POL) practices with an emphasis on human-food-producing plants. A food-waste-compost circle surrounded by banana trees is integral to the design. Thus, the general rule for the backyard landscape: any non-native plants must produce human food and/or provide direct soil-ecosystem benefit.

While the front-yard landscape is strictly native plants and was installed over a two-day period, the backyard pilot is an evolutionary process. For nearly nine months, the backyard was permitted to return to its "wild state" with abundant plant diversity; a variety of happy insects frolicked in the knee-high grass infiltrated with flowering plants.

Food forest at nearly two years
in early May 2024
Photo courtesy of Holly Elmore Images
Beginning in early 2021, the backyard was slowly "tamed" with mulched paths, a banana compost circle, a row of native-blueberry bushes under the roof dripline, a pollinator garden, a food forest, and a raised herb-garden area with sun protection. Once the invasive carrotwood tree was removed, the south-side yard was opened to ample sunshine and prepped for a vegetable, herb, and edible-flower garden.

No herbicides or soil tilling were used in the taming process; Holly hand-weeded the majority of the areas before prepping for its destination.

Zach Zildjian with ZZ Design oversees the backyard evolution and uses the pilot as a showcase for "what can be done" in a neighborhood scenario.

The HEI album, Ei Backyard-Permaculture Landscape Pilot, documents the backyard's evolution through a series of photo galleries.

Take Individual Action
Readers are invited to evaluate their daily lives and discover simple, easy shifts that reduce waste, water usage, energy consumption, and/or toxins dispersed into the home and environment; the shifts shall require minimal to no financial investment. Document the estimated weekly or monthly impact and share with friends and family in person and on social media. Embrace the shifting consciousness and witness how group consciousness emerges from individual action.

Shifting consciousness is one of the most profound differences an individual can make. Remember that INDIVIDUAL ACTION MATTERS!


Tax-deductible donations in any amount are greatly appreciated to support Ei's important work. 


About Elemental Impact:
Elemental Impact (Ei) is a 501(c)3 non-profit founded in 2010 as the home to the Zero Waste Zones, the forerunner in the nation for the commercial collection of food waste for compost. In June 2017, Ei announced the Era of Recycling Refinement was Mission Accomplished and entered the Era of Regeneration. Current focus areas include Nature PrevailsSoil Health | Regenerative Agriculture, and Water Use | Toxicity.

The Regeneration in ACTION Magazine articles, From Organic Certification to Regenerative Agriculture to Rewilding Landscapes: an evolution towards soil integrity and SOIL & WATER: the foundation of life, published to explain and substantiate the importance of Ei’s rewilding urban landscapes work within the Nature Prevails focus area. What We Eat Matters is an emerging platform that intertwines within the three focus areas.

The Holly Elmore Images Rewilding Urban Landscapes-album folder documents two active pilots: the Native-Plant Landscape Pilot and the Backyard Permaculture-Oriented Pilot.

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

Ei’s tagline – Regeneration in ACTION – is the foundation for Ei endeavors.

The following mantra is at the core of Ei work:

Ei is a creator, an incubator.
Ei determines what could be done that is not being done and gets it done.
Ei brings the possible out of impossible.
Ei identifies pioneers and creates heroes.

For additional information, contact Holly Elmore at 404-510-9336 |