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Apr 10, 2017

CodeGreen Challenge at Harrah’s New Orleans

by Margaret George

Just in time for Earth Month, our yearly CodeGreen Challenge gets team members even more involved in the community than usual, providing opportunities to support CodeGreen and give back to local causes. This year, we’ve challenged properties to create a CodeGreen cocktail made of local and sustainable ingredients.

Here’s what Harrah’s New Orleans has planned for 2017:

Key Local Priorities:

Rebuilding Homes

Harrah’s New Orleans HERO volunteers partner with Rebuilding Together on renovating at least two homes per year. Harrah’s actively seeks out homes that need an eco-conscious upgrade, like energy efficient windows.

Addressing Coastal Erosion

According to Michael Ruffin, Community Relations Manager and CodeGreen Leader, “As Hurricane Katrina demonstrated, coastal erosion is a major environmental issue on the Gulf Coast. HERO has partnered with groups like the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation to plant native marsh grasses in the bayous and wetlands.”

He continued, “We’ve joined a national fight to protect our wetlands utilizing our most invaluable asset, people. Through our HERO program, we continue to develop strong partnerships with leading organizations to help alleviate environmental challenges. We have a long way to go, but we continue to make progress.”

Students and HERO volunteers clean up at Jean Lafitte National Historical Park

Secret to Last Year’s Success: Last year, to build interest in national parks, Harrah’s New Orleans introduced a costumed character, Olly the Oak Tree, from Bayou Segnette State Park. Olly made a special appearance in the team member cafeteria to spread the word about Nature Deficit Disorder, which can be cured with a visit to a national park.

2017 Plans: Like many Caesars Entertainment locations, Harrah’s participated in last month’s Earth Hour with guests and employees.

On March 31, the location’s HERO volunteers worked with Caesars Foundation and the National Park Trust to chaperone 110 fourth graders from Chalmette Elementary on a trip to Jean Lafitte National Historical Park.

Bourbon Street Old Fashioned

According to Michael, “Exposure is a major key to success. It’s important that we explore the history, arts, culture and landmarks with our youth.  Those volunteering had an opportunity to teach, learn and most importantly, be of service to the next generation.”

CodeGreen Cocktail: The Bourbon Street Old Fashioned is made of southern whiskey and local citrus. Louisiana’s own Crystal Hot Sauce serves as a stand-in for the traditional bitters. Of the drink, Michael says, “This creative drink is a reflection of New Orleans’ vibrant culture. It’s also a delicious way to share the message of environmental conservation with both locals and visitors. We debuted it at our pop-up at the annual French Quarter Festival last weekend!”