Oscar Goes Lean, Clean and Green

Sustainability played a large role in the Oscar night festivities last week, and environmentalists hope it represents a wider awakening in green consciousness across the nation. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences" Laurie Ziskin teamed with leading nonprofit Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) on a number of initiatives to green the events surrounding the awards.

Al Gore, left, and Davis Guggenheim pose with the Oscar for best documentary feature for the film "An Inconvenient Truth," a film that may have influenced the 79th Academy Awards to go green.© AP PHOTO

Behind the scenes, NRDC staffers were busy arranging for the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power to conduct an energy audit of the production and related events to assess their impact on the environment. NRDC also worked alongside the production team to implement energy-saving practices, encourage the use of recycled paper, prevent waste and reduce pollution.

Results included the purchase of renewable energy credits to offset carbon emissions; the use of ecologically superior paper for nomination ballots, envelopes, press materials, programs, invitations and certificates; transportation via hybrid cars for presenters and staff; implementation of a comprehensive garbage sorting and recycling system for event waste; use of reusable service materials and accessories, post-consumer tissue products, and biodegradable dishware for crew meals; and a green Oscar Night Governor’s Ball menu featuring organic and environmentally friendly foods.

While the popularity of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth over the past year no doubt helped event organizers take notice of environmental issues, many Hollywood stars—from Ed Begley, Jr., who rode his bike to the ceremony, to Cameron Diaz, who drove her hybrid Toyota Prius there—have been talking up the importance of taking care of Mother Nature for years. Given the influence Hollywood has on America (and the world), environmentalists hope that the greening of the Oscars this year will help these stars spread their green messages to an even wider audience.

Source: NRDC