Stepping out on the recycled red carpet
When the Grammys and Oscars unroll their red carpets later this month, they'll be made from recycled water bottles. The power used during the telecasts will be 100% renewable. The food served will be organic and locally grown.
It's all part of an effort to show that green is no longer niche. It's mainstream. And even people who live large lifestyles are embracing it.
"Hollywood and the music industry helped end the Vietnam war. Hollywood and the music industry heped civil rights advance. They helped advance gender equality. So these institutions when they are mobilized to social reform, they instigate a cultural shift," said Allen Hershkowitz, senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Hershkowitz has been working with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the past four years to help green its premiere awards program. The effort came about after a producer of Al Gore's Academy Award-winning documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth," approached the nonpartisan environmental group about reducing the event's carbon footprint. Shortly thereafter, the Recording Industry Assn. of America followed suit with the greening of its Grammys.
Embracing the eco mantra "reduce, reuse, recycle," both events serve food items on reusable china and glassware; the silverware is compostable. Organic food waste is composted off site. Plastic, aluminum, bottles and paper are all collected at the event for recycling.
The greening of the events encompasses the weeks-long setup process and post-event breakdown, as well as the Big Night.
"Will this by itself save the world? No," Hershkowitz said. "Every day we’re pumping 90 million tons of global warming emissions into the atmosphere. Those emissions are coming from millions of sources. It’s not one single source that we can reform to get us out of this mess. We need millions of environmentally intelligent decisions, and that’s what this effort is."
-- Susan Carpenter
Photo: Lady Gaga at the 2010 Grammy Awards. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times