The Oscars have gone green, – not green with envy – but rather “eco-green.” The largest, star-studded event in Hollywood has an environmental conscience.
It all began in 2007 when late producer Laura Zislin partnered with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) to find ways to reduce the carbon footprint of the infamous awards show.
“It was really the right time to green the Oscars. Certainly with Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth being nominated [in 2007]. It was great. He won an Oscar before he won the Nobel Peace Prize, so the effect of the message of environmental sustainability that came out of the Oscars was huge! I mean, there’s Leonardo DiCaprio showing up in a hybrid. All that affected the American consciousness. Suddenly, it became cool to be green,” said actor and environmental advocate Ed Begley Jr. in a discussion with Gale Anne Hurd, CEO and producer of Valhalla Entertainment.
That same year, Leonardo DiCaprio - an NRDC trustee and nominee for Best Actor – said that “For the first time in the history of the Oscars, environmentally intelligent practices have been thoughtfully integrated into the planning of tonight’s event to make our world healthier and help combat the threat of global warming.”
Joining the conversation with Hurd and Begley Jr., senior scientist at the NRDC Allen Hershkowitz says that he remembers “the first year we changed the toilet paper. And we had these little framed FSC [Forest Stewardship Council] statements in the bathrooms. I stood there watching Jack Nicholson washing his hands and reading our sign.”
Begley, says that everything at the Oscars is sustainable: “[t}here is nothing that is disposable—from the cloth napkins and tablecloths to the plates and cutlery. I’m vegan, and [eating’s] never been a problem for me. It’s one of the greenest galas I’ve ever been to.”...Now, if only they could find a way to harness all the hot air in room, they'd have a "green" fuel source that would last as long as there's a Hollywood.