Thursday, September 26, 2013

Hospitality Bathrooms Go Green In 2013

When travelers look for lodging while on a trip, they want their room to be a retreat for relaxation. Some consumers prefer a country-style bed and breakfast while others gravitate towards contemporary designs. One feature that not many will argue about is green sustainability.

Hotels are embracing eco-friendly products to decrease impact on the earth and reduce operation bills, while maintaining comfortable luxury for guests. How are they doing this? By targeting the space where the most waste takes place – the bathroom. Below, we highlight five sustainable products that have caught our attention for hotel and resort bathroom spaces.

The Organic 2 Handle Single-Hole Faucet

Starck Organic 2 Handle
Single-Hole Faucet
Designed by Philippe Starck, this faucet contains a third less brass than traditional fixtures. The handle at the top controls water temperature with an adjustable temperature restriction, and the distinctive rotating spout controls volume, creating an easier method of controlling water flow.

The Versacork Series

Sustainable Flooring Versacork Premium™
The Sustainable Flooring Company strives to provide flooring, wall, and millwork options of high quality, while maintaining its personal commitment to not adversely impact the environment for company benefit. All of the company’s products are made from reclaimed or recycled wood, bamboo or cork. In addition, various combinations of the three materials can be used to create the best possible match for clients’ needs. The Versacork Premium™ series is a suitable application for showers, pool surrounds, back splashes, and bar tops, while offering remarkable slip-resistance when wet or dry. It is soft to the touch and absorbs body heat for a warm floor.

Vetrazzo® Recycled Glass Countertops

Vetrazzo® Countertop in 'Chivalry Blue'
The variety of color options Vetrazzo® provides is simply astounding. The countertops are comprised of 100% recycled glass, including architectural or art glass, beer bottles and jars. The end result creates a unique look and feel for the hotel’s style. Once a Vetrazzo® countertop is installed, it truly becomes a functional work of art within the bathroom.

Algiers Vanity Light

AFX Algiers Vanity Light
AFX has re-innovated the decorative light fixture category by using the latest LED technology with fluorescent lamping, modern ballasts and top-quality design engineering. The versatile Algiers Vanity features a contemporary design with metal end covers and satin nickel finish. Moreover, it can be mounted vertically or horizontally to the wall or ceiling.

American Standard Tropic Showerhead

American Standard Tropic Showerhead
Hotels, resorts, and other businesses or facilities can potentially save thousands of dollars annually by making an investment in low-flow bathroom appliances. As an example, New York’s LaGuardia Airport saved over $160,000 in one year, after spending $90,000 to convert its restrooms. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has a full list of products that adhere to the WaterSense® conservation standards. One manufacturer leading the effort is American Standard. The company has a number of products listed, including the Tropic showerhead. Tropic uses 1.5 gallons per minute, compared to the standard flow of 2.2 gallons per minute, without sacrificing performance.

Each of these companies has various eco-friendly products that will fit into any style of bathroom. Joining the sustainable hospitality industry is not only a profitable economic decision, but also a wise environmental decision.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The New Business of Agribusiness, Part II: Skylight Farm on Tending the Land and Community

[Photo Credit: Justen Clay Photography]
Last week, friends and followers of Eberly & Collard Public Relations were introduced to Justin Aiello and Skylight Farm. Our team was given the opportunity to share Skylight Farm’s integrative and relational marketing methodology, which has propelled Aiello into the spotlight as an innovative, new face for organic agribusiness. This week, our team is excited to delve more deeply into the in’s-and-out’s of organic growing and how Skylight Farm’s unique practices affect the Georgia growing community.

Why farm? Justin Aiello, the young owner and operator of Skylight Farm, could provide a long list of reasons why he chose to quit his previous job and pursue farming, but they all point to caring for the land and his community. The 27-year-old farmer, motivated by a desire to contribute to the local, sustainable food-culture in Atlanta, has spent the past year learning and researching the effects of farming on the local environment. His comprehensive study of biointensive growing methods, as well as the opportunity to be schooled in southern growing culture by seasoned veterans, has provided the farmer with a unique outlook on agribusiness. Skylight Farm is a blending of old methods and new practices with an innovative and fresh outlook on agribusiness.

[Photo Credit: Justen Clay Photography]

Aiello’s growing methods range from those that have been passed down through generations of Georgia farmers, to the employment of the most modern agricultural technology. Everything done on the farm is put to practice with great care and sustainability in mind. Skylight Farm employs a number of different growing methods that enable Aiello to produce as much as possible, while caring for the land in the best way possible. 

From SPIN, or small plot intensive farming, to conservation tillage methods, Aiello’s approach to growing is both pioneering and conscientious. Skylight Farm does intensive crop rotations and cover cropping, to keep the soil nutrient-rich as well as helping to prevent pest and disease problems. The farm also composts, harnesses integrative pest management practices and as Aiello emphasizes, makes use of “good, old-fashioned hard work.” 

[Photo Credit: Justen Clay Photography]
Since Skylight Farm sits on only a few acres, the farmer has embraced one growing method in particular, SPIN farming. Aiello explains, “SPIN farming allows you to grow very productively on a small space, only a few acres. In order to achieve the highest variety and most production out of a small space, you must plant smaller sections of crops and plant more often.” This means that a field could produce as many as 15 different crops at any given time. So, Skylight Farm plants row-by-row, alternating the rows in which different crops will be grown. Aiello illustrates that a 100 foot row of carrots might be completely harvested over the course of two weeks, so he plants a new bed of carrots, in a different place, every two weeks. He elaborates on the benefits of this method, sharing that, “SPIN farming allows us to have a steady supply of vegetables while maintaining a high variety in our crop rotation as well as making sure we don’t over-use the soil with just one crop.” The farm currently serves as a model for this method of farming and Aiello hopes to educate future growers on the environmental benefits to be found in this approach to production.

With education and preservation in mind, Skylight Farm utilizes integrative marketing to develop relationship with its local community in the hopes of sharing its engaging and unique approach to agribusiness. Those who interact with the farm, whether it’s digitally or at the Piedmont Park Green Market, learn something new about farming with each interaction. When Aiello shares photos documenting the step-by-step process of growing kale or posts an article about food seasonality, Skylight Farm bridges a gap in the connection between producers and community. Each time a customer asks Aiello about his business at the farmers market and he shares tidbits about organic farming, the purpose of Skylight Farm comes full circle. 

[Photo Credit: Justen Clay Photography]
As ECPR seeks to connect consumers with what they are consuming, our team gets excited about sharing innovative businesses, like Skylight Farm, who are creating fresh connections. In tending the land, Justin Aiello and Skylight Farm are investing in the health of Atlanta. As Aiello emphasizes, “Building relationships with a farm is not only a way to support your local economy, but also a way to support sustainable, healthy living. Know your farmer, know your food.”

To get to know Skylight Farm, click the link to visit their Facebook page:

You can also visit with Justin and the rest of the Skylight Farm team or pick up some veggies at the Piedmont Park Green Market every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Click the link for more information: 

[Photo Credit: Brittany Price]

Friday, September 13, 2013

ECPR is Chicago-bound for the Casual Market!

It's that good time of year again... Three members of our ECPR team, Jeff Collard, Don Eberly and Dominique de Bruin, are gearing up for the International Casual Furniture & Accessories Market 2013, Sept. 17-20, 2013, in Chicago, Ill. The rest of us will be back in our Atlanta office next week participating in the show through social media!

We have been working with the Casual Market for several years, and this is our second year as the official public relations firm for the show. With 45 permanent showrooms and nearly two hundred temporary exhibitors, we have been working diligently to provide public / media relations and social media services to the Casual Market management team and its exhibitors and showrooms. We are looking forward to attending and assisting with the market next week.

Leading up to the show, our team has creatively and strategically conducted targeted marketing campaigns directed toward trade media professionals in the casual industry. This includes conceptualizing press release campaigns to raise show awareness; writing byline product trends articles for key trade publications to provide retailers, dealers and designers with the tools they may need for stocking 2014 store inventory; and distributing educational insight to consumer media outlets to keep homeowners abreast of new and evolving trends and products in the casual industry. Each of the aforementioned campaigns was designed to not only enhance the Casual Market’s presence among the trade, but also to provide additional brand recognition for exhibitors and showrooms alike. 

As the official public relations firm and media contact for the Casual Market, our team will be onsite in the show’s press room, offering assistance to our friends in the media as well as supplying public relations and social media support to exhibitor / showroom representatives. Part of our scope of work is to aid in bringing together and coordinating interviews between manufacturers and key media members.

In addition, throughout the show, our team will be managing press kit material. In part, this will assist editors with learning more about new products and trends seen at the show. Also, while maintaining the press room and press kit distribution, ECPR will be interacting on Facebook and Twitter live during the show. We welcome showroom and exhibitor representatives, media personnel and even attendees to drop by the press room to share thoughts and feedback on this year’s show, which we will then share on Facebook and Twitter. For companies, showgoers and media using their own channels, the hashtag for Facebook at Twitter is #CasualMarket2013.

To learn how our team can assist with trade show marketing, media relations and publicity, visit our website at

For more information about the International Casual Furniture & Accessories Market, visit the website: We hope to see some of our industry friends and fans at the show!

Those lucky enough to attend will be enlightened with the worlds most beautiful and technologically advanced outdoor furnishings and accessories for 2014. 

2013 Casual Market - Sept. 17-20

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The New Business of Agribusiness, Part I: Skylight Farm on Connecting Crops with Culture

[Photo Credit - Justen Clay Photography]
With a background partly rooted in agribusiness and horticulture, the Eberly & Collard Public Relations team has a unique passion for these industries, in addition to others in which we specialize. Today, we believe that many consumers have become increasingly disconnected from the growth and production of their food sources. One of our missions in working with agribusiness companies and horticultural businesses is to utilize cutting-edge marketing and branding methods to connect consumers with the important backstories surrounding what they are consuming. The Eberly & Collard team gets particularly excited when our work creates an innovative connection in the agricultural industry.

Brittany Price, one of our newest team members, has worked extensively with Atlanta-area biodiverse vegetable farm, Skylight Farm, offering communications, marketing and business development support. This young, up-and-coming local business is owned and operated by 27-year-old Justin Aiello of Douglasville, Ga. Skylight Farm is the result of Aiello’s landscaping background paired with his desire to care for the environment; it may also have something to do with the fact that Aiello just loves good food.

Through a farm apprenticeship, the young farmer learned the ins-and-outs of organic production. When Aiello was provided land on which to start his own farm, he knew the biodiverse and organic model was the path he would take, as he explains, “Stewarding the land organically allows me to give back just as much as I take, maintain healthy, nutrient rich soil and have a farm that will be sustainable for many years to come.” Aiello is one of a growing number of Georgia farmers who are revolutionizing the face of organic farming in two key ways: with a fresh perspective in agribusiness marketing and with innovative and specialized growing methods.

[Photo Credit - Justen Clay Photography]
While Skylight Farm’s growing methods are inspiring for those in the agricultural world, there is often a disconnect between the world of farmers and the world of consumers. As Aiello and the ECPR team knows, community-based, integrative marketing is essential for the agricultural and horticultural industries.

Often, representatives from organic farms will simply show up for a farmers market, hoping their goods will speak for themselves. However, Aiello believes the highest level of marketing is necessary for a farm’s success. This means that everything is executed with the consumer in mind, including the basic layout of his booth at the market, the farm’s customer outreach, and especially its branding. From the farm’s extensive utilization of social media marketing to the award-winning design created for Skylight Farm by Atlanta-based designer, Russell Shaw (to view Skylight Farm’s branding, click here), a great deal of the young farm’s success is due to a comprehensive approach to marketing. Aiello has also built relationships in the food service industry creating a partnership with BoccaLupo, an Atlanta-based modern, Italian restaurant that was recently featured on the cover of Atlanta Magazine as one of the city’s best new restaurants.

[Photo Credit - Justen Clay Photography]
Aiello emphasizes the importance of relationship-building in his business model, as he believes that a farm will never be truly successful without garnering the support of its local community. He explains, “I think one of the most beautiful things about food is that it bridges all gaps; we all eat and there is something especially wonderful about sharing food with people.” For Skylight Farm, this looks like an innovating and comprehensive approach to the business of organic farming.

From its novel, natural growing methods, to Aiello’s exceptional marketing and branding standards, Skylight Farm creates a new norm for the agricultural industry. No matter the size of a farm, the Eberly & Collard team believes that Justin Aiello of Skylight Farm, along with a growing community of like-minded businesses, will have a profound effect on the way growers and producers connect with consumers. Our team is excited to be a part of building these connections.

Stay tuned for Part II of our Agribusiness Series featuring Skylight Farm, in which we’ll share more about what it takes to operate an organic farm: the farm’s growing practices and as Aiello emphasizes, “all the good old-fashioned hard work,” that goes into making Skylight Farm a success.

For more information on Skylight Farm, click the link to visit their Facebook page:

You can also visit with Justin and the rest of the Skylight Farm team or pick up some veggies at the Piedmont Park Green Market every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Click the link for more information:

[Photo Credit - ECPR]