Oscar Night – Greener Than You Might Realize

Red Carpet - Academy Awards

Red Carpet – Academy Awards

That red carpet tonight actually has a lot of “green” to it. Actually, there’s nothing “new” about last year’s red carpet. According to Allen Hershkowitz (a senior scientist at the NRDC), not only was it made of entirely recyclable materials, but it was used in 2012 and 2013 too — and the plan is to roll it out again this year, in 2014. Back in 2007, actor Ed Begley Jr. explained, An Inconvenient Truth was up for an Oscar, Leonardo DiCaprio showed up in a hybrid, and suddenly, “it became cool to be green.” That year, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) teamed up with the show’s producer Laura Ziskin to reduce the environmental impact of the event. ”By announcing this initiative from such a legendary and respected stage, the Academy is reaching tens-of-millions of people across the world with a message that cleaner, more sensible energy choices and a simple commitment to environmental stewardship are Oscar-worthy endeavors for everyone,” Frances Beinecke, NRDC President said in a press release, at the time.

Exactly what does “going Green” look like, at the Oscars ? Here are some stats from last year’s (2013) Awards event – “A total of 183MW of Renewable Energy Credits were purchased from wind power projects to cover the two weeks of preparation and telecast of the Oscars. Other choices included utilizing hydrogen fuel cell lights, B-20 biofuels, and uninteruptible power supplies. The latter took seven days of generator use out of the equation, reducing fuel use and related air emissions by more than 4,000 gallons of fossil fuels. Incandescent lights were replaced by LED fixtures, even for the Governor’s Ball, where 18,000 LED points of light were installed in the chandelier.”

Even the food and supplies to serve it are environmentally friendly. For example, at the Governor’s Ball, the food served was sourced from 80 regional farmers. The seafood had to be certified by Seafood Watch. And any food that was prepared but not consumed, was given to LA Specialty Chefs to End Hunger. Flowers were either composted or donated after being used.

Recycled goods were part of the invitations as well as napkins for the Governor’s Ball. In the Dolby Theater, where the ceremony is held, easily accessible recycling bins were implemented to allow backstage workers to recycle throughout the ceremony’s preparations. Out of 50 tons of non-food waste, at the end of last year’s awards show, 70 percent of that was recycled. It is estimated that through paper-saving measures, like double-sided printing, 10,000 sheets of paper were saved.

Naomie Harris wearing the 2013  Red Carpet Green Dress

Naomie Harris wearing the 2013
Red Carpet Green Dress

Suzy Amis Cameron, wife of James Cameron of Avatar fame, created a related even in 2009 known as the Red Carpet Green Dress competition. The winning red carpet look is made from organic, sustainable, or recycled fabrics, and the winning designer is mentored by an established brand to help create the glamorous gown. This year, actress Olga Kurylenko will reveal the winning design, a dress by Alice Elia. Alice is from Bordeaux, France and is of French-Lebanese descent. She is currently studying ESMOD’s ‘Fashion Design & Creation’ curriculum in Paris, and is currently being mentored through dress construction by the college’s couture team. .

Beyond Skin (an ethical footware and fashion label in the UK) has collaborated with PETA to develop a vegan, limited edition, red carpet shoe for Red Carpet Green Dress. The faux suede and metallic-trimmed evening shoe is made from Dinamica (manufactured in Italy) is durable, long lasting, and made from 100% recycled bottle tops.

Hershkowitz also pointed out the incredible platform for advancing sustainable initiatives the Oscars provides. As a large organization actively working to reduce its footprint, there are direct, positive effects on the environment. The publicity that goes along with this places “green” business practices at the forefront of discussion, and makes it a desirable trait for an organization or company. But Hollywood’s commitment to environmental awareness and sustainability support goes beyond one event.

For a long time, we have been aware of the work of the Environmental Media Association, a nonprofit organization dedicated to harnessing the power of the entertainment industry and the media to educate the global public on environmental issues and motivate sustainable lifestyles. As they are quick to point out – “Green doesn’t always mean something is sustainable. And sustainable may not always be the best choice.” There are degrees of “green” and the “greenest” could be defined as what is actually sustainable. And there are even degrees of sustainability.

Debbie Levin, EMA President with Darren Criss, actor-singer.

Debbie Levin, EMA President with Darren Criss, actor-singer.

Every year, the EMA has an awards night as well. The 23rd Annual EMA Awards was on Oct 19, 2013. They are so green, that they don’t have a “red” carpet, they have a green carpet. Examples of some of the work honored include for Feature Film “Promised Land”, for Documentary Film “Gasland Part II”, for Television Episodic Comedy from Last Man Standing “Mother Fracker” and for Children’s Television from Nick News With Linda Ellerbee “What’s the Deal With Fracking?”. Some of the 2013 EMA Award Honorees included Matt Damon, who received the EMA Board of Directors Ongoing Commitment Award and Bill McKibben who received the EMA Lifetime Achievement Award.

And when you pop that cork on your bottle of wine while watching the Academy Awards on Sunday night (Mar 2nd, 2014), don’t forget to recycle BOTH – the cork and the glass bottle. Yemm & Hart supports the conversion of wine corks into tile products for the built environment.

~ Information Resources

Sustainability at the Oscars: Going Green Can Be Glamorous by Colleen Casey posted on Feb 27, 2014 at CheatSheet – http://wallstcheatsheet.com/life/style/sustainability-at-the-oscars-going-green-can-be-glamorous.html/

Olga Kurylenko To Reveal The Fifth Design From Suzy Amis Cameron’s Red Carpet Green Dress On The Oscar Carpet posted Feb 26, 2014 at Red Carpet Green Dress – http://redcarpetgreendress.com/home/news/#sthash.1y3I9ybF.dpuf

Why Yes, There is A Difference Between Green And Sustainable by EMA Staff posted Feb 21, 2014 at Environmental Media Association – http://www.ema-online.org/

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Blog author ~ Deborah Hart Yemm is co-founder of
Yemm & Hart, a green materials producer

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