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All Occasions works toward greener rentals

Among All Occasions Party Rentals' strategic initiatives are "go greener" and "increase efficiency."

President Terry Turner said in the past two years, he has found that the two go hand in hand.

"Almost every efficiency we create is green," he said. "We've eliminated road trips, chemicals we use, water, electricity, and all those things are green."

Turner said the greenest thing the company does, though, is in its name - rentals.

"Rental itself is inherently green, because of the reuse over and over and over of the same equipment," he said. "When you think about china, glassware and flatware that people use all the time at their events, this is less plastics, Styrofoam, paper plates that are going to landfills."

Going the extra mile

Being an "inherently green" company wasn't enough. Jason McClure, operations manger, said his promotion to operations manager aided in getting the conversation started about green practices.

"When I got back (into the warehouse) and started seeing with my own eyes the tremendous amount of cardboard, paper, plastic that was being thrown away, I thought, 'This is crazy,'" McClure said.

McClure expressed his concerns to Turner and a recycling plan was implemented shortly after.

All Occasions now recycles approximately the same amount of material that it throws away. McClure said recycling is a green effort that has become the norm in today's culture.

"With us hiring a younger generation, it's more of a lifestyle for them," McClure said. "It is a way of life. It's not just a one off. It's not a fad or a trendy thing to do. That's half the battle - implementing a plan where recycling is an option."

Turner said the more his eyes were opened to various ways the company could be more sustainable, the more sense it made.

Saving gallons, miles and cents

Until two years ago, All Occasions did not think twice about making multiple trips to an event site. If something was left behind, an employee would take a van or truck to save the day with the missing item.

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GoGreenET Achievers nominations open

We're looking to tell the stories of companies that have made significant progress in recycling/waste reduction, energy efficiency, renewable energy and community outreach, or in another area we may not have even considered.

We're looking for a specific project, process change or initiative in each category that can be used as a model for other organizations.

The nomination form can be found here. The deadline to submit a nomination is March 20. 

Winners will be featured in the Greater Knoxville Business Journal's May issue.


Environmental groups including the Tennessee Clean Water Network, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and others say an expansion of TVA's Kingston landfill could lead to coal waste leaking into the Clinch River.

TVA has filed for a major permit modification  with the Tennessee Department of Environment and conservation for the Kingston site and plans an expansion to store waste generated by the Kingston Fossil Plant.

Opponents say the site is unstable and not suited for a landfill due to sink holes and other karst geologic features.

As part of the permitting process, TVA submitted an updated operations manual for the site, which details preliminary expansion efforts begun in September 2013 and estimates Phase II of construction from 2016 to 2020 depending on TDEC approval.

TDEC will review public comment on the proposal through Tuesday.

Related items:

The latest updates from the city of Knoxville's Office of Sustainability show reductions in emissions and energy use both for city operations and the community as a whole.

The city's Energy and Sustainability Initiative, now in its seventh year, measures energy savings and greenhouse gas emission reductions through sustainability improvements for Knoxville. The eventual goal is a 20 percent reduction by 2020.

As a municipality, the city reduced its energy consumption by 6.5 percent. Greenhouse gas emissions associated with city operations fell 13 percent.

At the community level, the emissions associated with energy use, transportation and waste management fell 7.8 percent from 2005 levels.

"These savings reflect the success of projects like the city's conversion of traffic signals to LED technology and energy efficiency upgrades at city buildings," said Jake Tisinger, Project Manager for the Office of Sustainability, in a press release. "Residents and businesses are using less energy than in 2005, and improved fuel economy and cleaner electricity generation have helped reduce greenhouse gas emissions."

When McCamy Development needed a new building for its offices, the firm worked with the architect, construction company and other designers to add a special feature: a large greenspace on the roof.

Almost 40 percent of the 1,300-square-foot roof is covered with greenery, provided by Michigan-based company LiveRoof LLC, reports business writer Ed Marcum in the News Sentinel.

The company uses drought-resistant plants in special containers that are placed together to create a seamless-looking landscape.

Local regional grower Southeast Green Roofs of Fairview, Tenn. selected and grew the green roof plants in the system's modules, which were installed by Dixie Roofing, based in LaFollette, Tenn.

The plants will require minimal maintenance, said Andy Sudbrock, plant ecologist, Southeast Green Roofs, in a press release.

McCamy Development has used the green space for several events and the building's second tenant, fitness studio Barre3, may use the space for outdoor classes.

The city of Knoxville, Knox County, and the town of Farragut have joined with the Water Quality Forum to offer rainbarrels and compost bins to area residents.

Fifty-gallon rain barrels will be sold for $58 and 85-gallon compost bins will be $55.  Officials hope the discounted pricing will encourage residents to protect water quality and help reduce the waste stream to area landfills.

Saved water can be used to water vegetables, flowers and lawns or used for outdoor washing of decks and vehicles among other uses. "During a one-inch rain, more than 700 gallons of water will run off the average roof. That's enough water to take 17 baths or 58 showers," said Melinda Watson, a water quality specialist with TVA in a press release.

The rain barrel is made of 50 percent recycled plastic and is manufactured in the United States.

Pre-ordered rain barrels and compost bins will be available for pickup 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, June 16 at the West Town Mall parking lot by Morrell Road.  A few rainbarrels and compost bins will be available for sale at the event, but preordering is encouraged.

"This program is an important step in offering an inexpensive option to help our residents save money and understand the significance of water conservation and waste reduction," said Parci Gibson with the Water Quality Forum.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Cortney Roark published on May 11, 2017 2:22 PM.

Keep Knoxville Beautiful announces Orchid Award nominees was the previous entry in this blog.

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