I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that while I’ve lived in this beautiful city since 1985, today was my very first Falcons experience (I know, ridiculous) at the Georgia Dome thanks to an invitation from Everywhere and Novelis, the official recycling partner for the Atlanta Falcons.

Atlanta loves its Falcons and has a heck of a good time showing it.

The day could not have been more perfect for tailgating (hello sunny 62 degrees in late November) , and as I drove by the various fans celebrating the Dirty Birds kickoff, I felt a renewed sense of pride for the city I call home.

I also felt way overwhelmed at the fact that I am so dependent on my iPhone (pre-iOS 6 update) map function that I can’t even adequately navigate certain parts of downtown anymore without following a blue circle.

Thankfully, Britton was there to guide me to a perfect parking deck across from STATS and we were on our merry way to the Novelis tent.

Well hello there, Disco ball!

I finally met Beth Bond, the driving force behind Southeast Green,

L-R: Beth Bond, moi, Novelis can, Danica Kombol (photo credit: Everywhere)

was introduced to Peggy Whitlow Ratcliffe, Co-Founder/Executive Director of livethrive.org,

L-R: Fiona Bell, Peggy Whitlow Ratcliffe (Photo credit: Everywhere)

and enjoyed speaking with Jules Toyara, Project Manager at the City of Atlanta’s Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, as well.

(Photo credit: Everywhere)

I had a fabulous time connecting with Fiona Bell, PR guru for Novelis.  Turns our she’s my neighbor.  It’s a small, wonderful world.

I learned a great deal about Novelis, the world’s premier producer of rolled aluminum and the global leader in aluminum recycling.  Headquartered right here in Atlanta, Novelis delivers sustainable solutions for the most demanding applications, which includes automobiles, beverage cans, architecture, and consumer electronics.

Part of their vision is to help re-create a more sustainable future for society, and when I mentioned that I freak when I see an aluminum can in the trash can, Derek Pritchett, Vice President of Global Recycling, informed me that he is the chief “freaker-outer” in that department.

L-R: Derek Pritchett, Jules, Beth (Photo credit: Everywhere)

At the core of Novelis’ sustainability commitment, the company has a target to increase its already extensive use of recycled aluminum to 80% in all of its products by 2020…an admirable and attainable goal.  I’m a huge fan of the fact that Novelis made recycling stations available in the Georgia Dome parking lots and at the stadium’s gates for fans to deposit their recyclable items before and after the game.  You can read more about the partnership between Novelis and the Atlanta Falcons here, including exciting opportunities for classrooms to get a visit from Falcons players and cheerleaders along with other prizes.

Here are a few more recycling facts which will hopefully shed light on aluminum and our society’s use of it:

  • Just one recycled soda or beer can saves enough energy to run a television for us to three hours.
  • Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to power an iPod for 5.5 hours.
  • The number of cans recycled every 30 seconds equals the number of people who could fill an entire Georgia Dome.
  • Aluminum cans go from the recycling bin to store shelves as new cans ins just 60 days.
  • America recycled enough aluminum cans last year to stretch to the moon and back…8 TIMES.
  • Did you know that aluminum never wears out?  It can be recycled forever without losing quality along the way.
  • Recycling diverted a whopping 1.7 billion pounds from landfills.  That is more than twice the weight of the Empire State Building.

You do recycle at home right?  If not, Google your county’s recycling  program STAT and help prevent those landfills from becoming…well…full.   Also, your child’s school should most certainly have a recycling program as well.  If not, be a green hero and help start one.  Today.

Thanks again to Everywhere and Novelis for asking me to participate in this super fun tailgating experience, and for supporting Atlanta’s efforts to go green.

P.S. Without fail, Everywhere’s Tamara Knechtel rocks some sort of amazing fashion staple every single time I see her.  Check out this rhinestone neck ensemble.  She is ready for some football!

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