Ellis HotelThe Ellis Hotel in Downtown Atlanta was recently recognized with the Good Earthkeeping – Division One Award at the Stars of the Lodging Industry Award Ceremony. The Georgia Hotel & Lodging Association gives the Good Earthkeeping award to hotels annually for developing eco-friendly practices and experiences, recognizing lodging properties that have developed a culture toward integrating environmental management practices that improve everyday operations and the bottom line, while maintaining quality service and meeting guest expectations. www.ellishotel.com.

A second Urban Farming Training Class is being offered by Truly Living Well Urban Farms on Saturday mornings from 9 to11 a.m. for six weeks beginning April 3. The classes include an introduction and overview of urban farming, soil preparation, garden design and more. The cost of the classes is $250 for the entire series. Individual classes may be attended at a cost of $50 each. For information, call (404) 520-8331 or e-mail admin@trulylivingwell.com.

The Ben Massell Dental Clinic, a program of Jewish Family & Career Services, has been awarded LEED Gold certification for energy use, lighting, water and material use as well as incorporating a variety of other sustainable strategies. The only resource for comprehensive, quality dental care available to indigent individuals and the working poor in metro Atlanta, the BMDC was founded in 1911. It moved into its current location, a 7,900-square-foot state-of-the-art facility at 700 14th Street in August 2008. www.YourToolsForLiving.org.

Green Irene LLC, a national consulting firm that promotes eco-friendly homes and offices, has just announced Bert McDert as its newest Eco-Consultant with the opening of his green consulting practice in Atlanta. McDert will add his eco-consulting practice to his business, Grow Yer Own Groceries. Eco-Consultants like McDert perform 90-minute Green Home Makeovers by walking through the client’s home to develop a set of customized recommendations. The major topics covered in the Green Home Makeover include: energy conservation, water conservation, water purity, indoor air quality, toxic-free living, energy efficient lighting, recycling, waste reduction, and safety and emergency preparedness. Along with the consulting service, local clients receive a three-month membership to Ask Green Irene. This extensive, “green” database allows clients to research green-focused questions that may arise after the initial Green Home Makeover. For more information about Green Irene consulting services in Atlanta, contact McDert at (678) 428-6178 or Bert.ATL@greenirene.com. You can also find additional information at www.greenirene.com/BertATL.

Mint Julep, Atlanta’s exclusive Lilly Pulitzer Via Shop, has introduced Lilly Loves Green to Atlanta. The year-long Lilly Loves Green campaign creates awareness for the vast amount of discarded clothing that clogs landfills and how this can be alleviated by recycling. Lilly Pulitzer is introducing several eco-friendly initiatives to benefit organizations including the World Wildlife Fund, the American Forest Organization, Ocean Conservancy and more. In Atlanta, Mint Julep will carry an extensive selection of the Lilly Loves Green collections, including men’s, women’s and children’s apparel and swimsuits, as well as shoes, accessories and more. Mint Juelp is at 326 Pharr Rd. in Buckhead. www.mintjulepga.com.

Tickets for the Natural Products & Green Living (Alive!) Expo are on sale now. The event will be held Saturday, May 15, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, May 16, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Georgia World Congress Center. Tickets for one-day general admission are $10 (ages 16 and under are free). During the past six years, Alive! Expo has drawn thousands of attendees who are interested in learning more about health, wellness, natural living and green products. From getting individual advice from experts in the field to attending lectures and seminars by some of the industry’s most cutting edge experts, guests get an insightful look into what is new and exciting in the industry. Attendees will also find plenty to do, like sampling natural and organic product lines and services including vitamins and supplements, organic foods, anti-aging products, beauty products, wines, natural clothing, hyperbaric oxygen chambers and alternative medicines.  www.AliveExpo.com.

The deadline for the 2010 Georgia Centennial Farm is April 30. The program was created to draw attention to historic farms and to encourage their preservation. Nominees must be a working farm with a minimum of 10 acres actively involved in agricultural production or generate at least $1,000 in annual income.  In addition, farms must be continuously farmed for at least 100 years and owned by members of the same family for at least 100 years or be listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Since starting in 1993, the program has recognized 359 farms around the state. Applications are available at gashpo.org under Historic Resources or call Gretchen Brock at (404) 651-6782.

Soles4Souls and the Georgia Recycling Coalition recently joined forces to create one of the largest shoe recycling initiatives in the country.  The Georgia Recycling Coalition (GRC) launched the program in October by placing shoe recycling bins at drop-off locations throughout the state, with Soles4Souls agreeing to collect all shoes donated to be repurposed or recycled through their organization. The GRC has collected nearly 50,000 pairs of shoes through the program. For more information on how to get involved and donate, visit www.giveshoes.org.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.