For the forty-third anniversary of Earth Day, and in conjunction with its twentieth anniversary, EarthShare of Georgia (ESGA) organized three key events in 2013 to promote environmental stewardship to leaders from the business world with our environmental member groups and the community at large. Kaiser Permanente, the Presenting Sponsor; The Coca-Cola Company, the Speaker Sponsor, and forty-three other companies provided cash and in-kind donations to support EarthShare of Georgia’s Earth Day 2013 events.
The Earth Day Corporate Green Day Challenge, on Saturday, April 6, 2013, allowed employers in both the public and private sector to show support by matching employee teams to community environmental projects. Nearly 500 volunteers from 16 company sponsors participated at 13 locations throughout the Atlanta area. Contributing 1,440 volunteer hours and nearly $30,000 worth of service, 150 lbs. of recycling and 1,305 lbs. of trash were collected; more than 21,000 feet of trails were built and nearly 2,000 feet of gardens were weeded. Each company team was evaluated based on specific criteria that included the number of participating employees per capita, team spirit and project accomplishment. Bank of America received the Corporate Green Day Challenge Award, with ateam of 92 employees that planted over 180 plants, mulched 25 acres of trails, removed invasive plants, transplanted 75 plants and built a garden area of native plants along the trail with Friends of Kittredge Park.
The Eleventh Annual Earth Day 2013 Leadership Breakfast took place on Friday, April 19, 2013, in the Oceans Ballroom of The Georgia Aquarium. Business and environmental leaders and supporters gathered to celebrate innovations in sustainable business practices and support EarthShare of Georgia. The 2013 keynote speaker was Bruce Karas, Vice President of Environment and Sustainability for The Coca-Cola Company. Stephanie Stuckey Benfield, Executive Director of GreenLaw; Alice Rolls, Executive Director of Georgia Organics; and Curt Soper, State Director of Georgia/Alabama for the Trust for Public Land provided environmental updates on land and water quality issues in Georgia. Leap Communications received the 2013 Outstanding Community Partner award for their generous donation of pro-bono graphic and print design services since 2011 to EarthShare of Georgia; Cox Enterprises was awarded the 2013 Campaign Champion award for their strong employee-giving campaign that grew by 21%from 2011 to 2012; Trees Atlanta won the 2013 Outstanding Member Group of the Year award for exceeding their annual requirements in all areas as a member group of EarthShare of Georgia; and EarthShare of Georgia’s 20thanniversary Community Leadership award was presented to the Presenting Sponsor, Kaiser Permanente, in honor of their 10-year partnership with EarthShare of Georgia.
More than 300 people attended the 17th Annual Earth Day Party on Thursday, April 25, 2013 from 7:00-10:00 pm at the King Plow Art Center. EarthShare of Georgia’s Earth Day Party is Atlanta's premiere Earth Day event that brings together a diverse group of grassroots environmentalists, devoted philanthropists, and business professionals whose collective goal is to integrate sustainable practices and policies wherever we work, live or play. Guests enjoyed live music, food by Bold American Catering, a dessert station by Radial Café and an eco-silent auction. Proceeds from the Earth Day 2013 events benefit EarthShare of Georgia, Georgia’s only dedicated environmental fund.