Category Archives: Global Green USA

Environmentalists Honored For Extraordinary Efforts

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By Gina Hall
[Gina is a USC Film School Graduate. She works with Global Green USA and is a guest blogger for the Green Blog Network.]
Environmental nonprofit Global Green USA celebrated its 15th annual Millennium Awards at a star-studded fundraising gala at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows in Santa Monica on Saturday. Celebrity guests and presenters included Kyra Sedgwick, Kevin Bacon, Jamie Lee Curtis, Christopher Guest, Orlando Bloom, Miranda Kerr and Adrian Grenier. 
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One of the evening’s high-profile honorees was actor Mark Ruffalo, recently nominated for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for The Kids are Alright. Actress Laura Dern presented Ruffalo with his honor for his work to eliminate the controversial hydraulic fracturing, a.k.a., “hydrofracking,” a chemical process that fractures shale in order to retrieve oil and natural gas. The process, as seen in the Oscar-nominated documentary Gasland, has been shown to contaminate water supplies to the point of becoming flammable. Ruffalo has testified before Congress, arguing for a ban on the practice and has started his own foundation, Water Defense, to educate the public on the dangers of hydrofracking.

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Ed Begley, Jr. was also among the honorees, for his work to inspire others to create a more sustainable world. Featured on the reality program, Living with Ed, the actor and Studio City resident has become associated with the ultimate in green living – even going as far as generating power for his home via stationary bicycle.  Other honorees included the Los Angeles Business Council for their work to encourage the use of solar power in the city, and Wendy Schmidt, founder of the Schmidt Family Foundation and the Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X Prize. 
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“Thanks to our sponsors, including Sprint, 360 Vodka and dozens more, Global Green raised over $470,000 to support our local and national initiatives,” noted Global Green’s Communications Director Ruben Aronin. 

“We are so excited to celebrate the impressive achievements of our 2011 Millennium Awards Honorees,” said Global Green President and CEO Matt Petersen. “It’s particularly auspicious to celebrate these leaders as World Environment Day approaches and we mark the one-year countdown to the Rio Earth Summit in 2012, when our global leaders will gather to make commitments to make our world more sustainable. Global Green will be marshaling its supporters to call for local and community-based approaches to solving climate change, including creating greener cities, schools and affordable housing for families.”
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Film Review: Scarred Lands and Wounded Lives

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By Gina Hall
[Guest Blogger Gina Hall has a Film Degree from USC. Her day job is with Global Green USA in Santa Monica]

The documentary Scarred Lands and Wounded Lives: The Environmental Footprint of War is a shocking revelation of the long-term environmental impact of America’s wars over the past century and isn’t for those with a weak stomach or who want to pretend we’re always the good guys. From hundreds of sunken World War II ships slowly leaking oil, to Agent Orange, to land-mines and cluster bombs that still litter a landscape, the film highlights America’s lasting legacy in the war zones we’ve left behind after declaring “mission accomplished.”Filmmakers Alice and Lincoln Day feature several expert talking-heads who guide the narrative matter-of-factly through our various assaults on the lands in which we wage war. It’s not an entertaining documentary, it doesn’t use animation or clever editing to engage. It has facts and visual evidence on its side. And if the melted faces of children affected by Agent Orange or the landmine-mangled foot of an elephant doesn’t viscerally affect you, then you have a harder heart than mine.

A statistic the film cites is that prior to the past hundred years 90 percent of war victims were combatants and 10 percent were civilians. Now it is the reverse, with 90 percent of victims being civilians to 10 percent actual combatants. The total body counts may be lower, but the documentary makes clear the human costs of spreading “freedom.” In addition there’s the toll on our coral reefs, water supply, soil, air and just about everything else we need to sustain life on Earth. There’s a cringe-worthy moment of footage of a U.S. armed forces official selling the natives around Bikini Atoll on their important contribution to humanity in allowing nuclear bomb tests near their homes.

It becomes clear that people in these conflict areas don’t hate us, as Bush said, because of our freedom, they hate us because we’re assholes. We seem to have a bad habit of bombing, consuming resources, salting the earth and moving on. The film doesn’t look to place blame on our men and women in the armed services, but does shine a light on economic policies that put them there. With documentaries like this, it’s getting harder and harder for our government to sell war as the humanitarian act of liberation.  If you have to see the proof for yourself, the images are here and they’re not easy to look at.

The film is being aired locally around the country, is available for screenings and on DVD. For more information visit www.scarredlandsfilm.org

Photo Credit: Scarred Lands and Wounded Lives

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Bringing Life to the Pre-Oscar® Party

By Gina Hall
“Ever help plan an Oscar® party?”

“Oh, sure. Lots of times. The key is having lots of snacks. I make an awesome veggie plate. It takes a lot of work, though. Like an hour to make. You need chips – no cheese puffs though. Orange stuff gets all over the fake ballots…”
“Um, no. A real Oscar® party. For Global Green USA. Green Carpet, celebrities, Hollywood venue, paparazzi. It’s for a great cause. No cheese puffs.”
I had been to a lot of Hollywood parties, living in Los Angeles it’s often part of your job. So the opportunity to go behind-the-scenes of Global Green’s 8thAnnual ecofriendly Pre-Oscar® Party peaked the interest of this writer. And as a part of this experience, it’s my privilege to fill you in on how this all goes down – and believe me it takes a lot of blood, sweat and organic vodka to ensure you, the partygoer, have a good evening.
Global Green is a national non-profit environmental organization committed to protecting the environment, stopping global climate change and nuclear proliferation, and making the world a safer, more sustainable place. It would be hard not to like these guys. And to add to the goodwill they put out into the world, they stage events, like the Pre-Oscar® Party, that put on a good show for the public all while using the proceeds for initiatives like rebuilding New Orleans and greening public schools.

The Pre-Oscar® party was conceived of by Global Green President Matt Petersen and Board member Sebastian Copeland who are chairs of this year’s event.  The annual party and fundraiser grew out of the success of Global Green’s Red Carpet Green Cars initiative which began in 2003 and has taken a who’s who of Oscar nominees and winners to the Academy Awards in fuel-efficient vehicles instead of gas-guzzling limousines.
The Pre-Oscar® party venue was a given — the Avalon Hollywood, where Global Green has held this event for the last several years. Historically, it was The Palace where The Rolling Stones, Prince and Nirvana had played before it was restored. Across from Capitol Records and in view of the Hollywood sign, it’s as iconic Hollywood as you can get.
Entertainment is also key. Events Manager Nina Storm, way cooler than me and hip to what the kids are listening to these days, spent some considerable time coordinating Global Green’s volunteer music committee while working her own connections and wound up with an enviable indie band line-up, featuring Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Portugal. The Man and Best Coast.
Of course, once you decide to throw a party, you need to make sure lots of people will turn out. And that’s where Director of Communications, Ruben Aronin, shines. If modern scientists ever needed proof that the singularity is near, they need look no further than Aronin who has seemingly merged with his desk phone and iPhone to coordinate many of the logistics of the event. Celebrity attendees, media coverage, sponsorships, and social media outreach all flow through him. And while a lesser man may crumble under the sheer volume of information he has to process in a day, Aronin is probably the most low-key guy in the office.

 

Then there’s the external coordination of the event team, publicists, web designers, graphic artists, videographers, party staff, and organic wine and alcohol deals – when it comes down to it, throwing a party is actually a pretty sobering experience.
But the reward comes February 23rd when it all comes to life. Daytime media events will unveil Global Green’s Model City Carbon Index, which demonstrates how cities like Los Angeles contribute 70% of our carbon emissions and includes action alerts on what you can do to help reduce that number. Celebrities, musicians and eco-luminaries will glide down a green carpet made from 100% sustainabile materials. A Red Carpet, Green Dress design competition created by Suzy Amis Cameron, wife of James, will be unveiled and helps to support sustainable fashion design. Sponsors, like Planters, Chevy Volt, Pureology and more than a dozen more will have displays showcasing some of the latest in green products and technology.
Organic cocktails, customized video loops and live Twitter feeds are all details that have been coordinated by someone on the Global Green staff. So if all of these people are prepared to put in an enormous effort to promote a message of sustainability, you might say that the cause is worth checking out. When you come to the party, take a moment to appreciate the atmosphere, the talent, the people and the cause behind the evening. And the next time you brag about the awesomeness of your veggie plate that takes a whole hour to make, just make sure it isn’t to someone who’s planned one of these things.

 

 

The celebrity host committee includes Orlando Bloom,Jim Carrey,  Rosario Dawson and Alison Brie as well as event committee members Eric GarcettiWalton GogginsMia Maestro, Oscar NomineeLucy WalkerDeirdre Wallace and Richard Wegman. Additional celebrity attendees include Carrie UnderwoodHayden PanettiereKara DioGuardiDane CookMaggie Grace, Oscar Nominee David O’Russell,Dr. Drew PinskyDana DelanySharon LawrenceYvonne Strahovski,Ian ZieringDaniel SunjataSam TrammelStephen DorffPaul StanleyDaniel PowterElizabeth RohmDaphne ZunigaGillian JacobsJonathan SadowskiAlexandra PaulLuke Matheny & Ryan SilbertThomas KretschmannEnrique Murciano and more.

WHAT: Global Green USA will host its 8th Annual Pre-Oscar® Party featuring special musical performances from Black Rebel, Portugal. The ManBest Coast, and DJ’s Jeremy Sole and Michael Smith.  The theme for this year’s event is “Greener Cities for a Cooler Planet” and willbenefit Global Green’s initiatives to promote smart solutions to climate change by creating healthy, green communities. The event will feature the debut of the nation’s first ever Model Carbon City Index tool

 

 

Tickets for this year’s Pre-Oscar Party are still available atwww.globalgreen.org/preoscarparty and you can follow all of the excitement at their twitter feed @globalgreenusa

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>Global Green Sustainable Design Awards, NYC

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By: Alisa Ahmadian 

Global Green held its 11th Annual Sustainable Design Awards Ceremony on the picturesque Hudson River at Pier 60 in New York City.

eBay’s John Donahoe

The event honored innovative leaders in bold environmental design that is transforming our international infrastructure for a greener future.Global Green is known for its pioneering policy and green building efforts in New Orleans post-Katrina. 

The night began with an intimate cocktail reception where guests mingled, enjoyed organic spirits and perused displays ranging from green building supplies to exotic vacations. Aside from event honorees, other attendees included Entourage star and environmental activist Adrien Grenier and actor Edward Norton, who told us that he supported Global Green’s work because “no one has done more than Global Green to re-build New Orleans sustainably.” Heatherette designer Richie Richalso attended the event as well as former Law & Order: Special Victims Unit star Judith Light.

Global Green USA Sustainable Design Awards, Dec. 6th, 2010, NYC.

The evening moved on to the main event: a formal dinner, with tables beautifully decorated with potted plants and herbs and a delicious organic dinner.

Global Green CEO & President Matt Petersen served as the Master of Ceremonies for the night, introducing honorees including: 

• eBay Inc., John Donahoe, President & CEO – Organizational Design Award

• Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, Sue Cischke, Group Vice President, Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering, Ford Motor Company – Product Design Award

• Sophia Bush and Austin Nichols– Entertainment Design Award

• Arianna Huffington, Co-founder & Editor-in-chief of Huffington Post – Media Design Award

• Wade Greene, Philanthropic Advisor to the Rockefeller Foundation- Policy Design Award

Sophia Bush and Austin Nichols
 Speaking about the successful launch of Huffington Post Green [of which Greening Hollywood was one of the foundational contributing columns], Arianna Huffington underlined the urgency of the launch, saying that “green is more important now than ever. Washington is full of ‘flat-earthers’ that are waging a war on science, evolution, everything.” Sam Champion of Good Morning America broke up the night with jokes, saying that he was “here to support Global Green, but I’m leaving soon to go to bed!” due to his 5 AM call time. 
Adrian Grenier

One Tree Hill co-stars Sophia Bush and Austin Nichols re-hashed their eye-opening trip to Louisiana following the BP oil spill this spring, telling us about the anger they felt when visiting beaches “that were totally controlled by BP-we felt like BP completely took over, and we wanted to do something about it.” Other honorees voiced similar passion and inspiration to make change, including Wade Green, a longtime anti-arms political advocate. Wade said that “after thirty years, I am still committed to working for solutions for peace on local, state and federal levels.” John Donahoe of eBay echoed the sentiment, stating that he is “constantly amazed by the power of the global community.”

Rounding out the inspiring evening, Matt Petersen took the stage once again to announce that over $400,000 had been raised during the event to benefit Global Green’s widespread international campaigns.

Sponsors of the event included Hotel Gavarni, Paris’s first independent hotel to be European Ecolabel certified.

To learn more about Global Green, please visit http://www.globalgreen.org

Alisa Ahmadian works for Cook + Fox in environmental building and architecture in New York City. All photos credited to Alisa Ahmadian

 

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>Happy Thanksgiving from Global Green USA & Chance to Win Trip to San Francisco

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[Message from Global Green USA]

Dear Friend,


On behalf of everyone at Global Green USA, we’d like to wish you and your families a very Happy Thanksgiving.  We’d also like to take a moment to thank you for your ongoing support to help ensure that we can continue to create green schools, affordable housing and climate friendly cities that are benefitting tens of thousands of families and children in Los Angeles, New Orleans, San Francisco, New York, Youngstown, Ohio and cities throughout the country.  In the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing more about some of our 2010 successes and 2011 plans and inviting you to continue to be part of the Global Green extended family.
Right now, we also wanted to say thanks by sharing an exciting opportunity made possible by our board member Zem Joaquin.  Click here and enter for a chance to win an all expense paid VIP trip for two to GGUSA’s December 13th Gorgeous and Green Ecofashion Show.

If you are interested in more information or purchasing tickets to our Gorgeous & Green Event, please click HERE.

And there’s also still time to get tickets to our December 6th New York 11th Annual Sustainable Design Awards featuring Arianna Huffington, Adrian Grenier, One Tree Hill’s Sophia Bush and Good Morning America’s Sam Champion. Click HERE for more information.

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>Pierce Brosnan Talks Whales At Global Green Awards

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Pierce Brosnan and wife Keely Shaye Smith took to the Global Green podium Saturday night in Santa Monica to speak out in support of Whale Rights.

 
Pierce Brosnan speaks out in support of whales at Global Green’s June Award Ceremonies in Santa Monica. Photo courtesy Charley Gallay.

Pierce Brosnan, Actor and Environmentalist, who is the global whale spokesperson for the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), and Fred O’Regan, President of IFAW, have written an Open Letter to President Barack Obama. 

Obama administration officials are pushing to lift the global ban on whale hunting. In 1986, after two centuries of whaling pushed whales to near extinction, the International Whaling Commission (IWC) banned commercial whaling worldwide. It remains one of the 20th Century’s most iconic conservation victories.

Beginning with President Ronald Reagan, the international ban on commercial whaling has been a policy championed by every single American President.

 
 
Keely Shaye Smith and husband Pierce Brosnan produced PSA in support of whales and against lifting the ban on whaling. Photo courtesy Charley Gallay, Santa Monica, June 12, 2010.

The PSA, which was co-written and co-produced by his wife Environmental Activist Keely Shaye Brosnan and Beef Films began airing on Sunday, June 6, 2010.
To view the PSA and the open letter go to SaveTheWhalesNOW.org

Pierce Brosnan, Actor and Environmentalist, was an honored presenter at the 14th annual Global Green USA Awards Gala. Photo courtesy Michael Caulfield.

The marine devastation caused by the ongoing BP oil disaster drills down on how crucial it is that the United States extends protection to all threatened marine species – especially including the world’s largest and most majestic mammal – the whale.

L.A. City Controller, Wendy Greuel, supports Global Green USA. Photo courtesy Michael Caulfield.

Ripped from recent headlines is Peter Bethune, of Sea Shepherd’s, trial in Japan for his attempt to prevent a Japanese whaling ship from slaughtering whales in the international waters of the Antarctic.

Paul Watson, founder of Sea Shepherd, said that Mr Bethune “is being used as a political football by right-wing nationalists in Japan.”
Mr. Bethune has described what he’s going through in the Japanese courts as “judicial rape.” Read More HERE

Mr Bethune is expected to be found guilty of the assault charge despite weeping in court last week and saying he had no intention of hurting whalers. Japanese courts boast a conviction rate of more than 99 per cent and if found guilty he faces a maximum of 15 years in prison.
By labelling its hunting “scientific research”, Japan has often killed more than 1,000 whales a year. In 2008, Japan’s fishing fleet came back with only just above half of its target number, in part because animal rights activists, including Sea Shepherd and Greenpeace, targeted the whaling voyage.
Pierce Brosnan and Keely Shaye Smith were honored presenters at the Global Green USA Awards this past weekend held at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel and Bugalows in Santa Monica.
Other presenters included: Hosted by Good Morning America’s Sam Champion, Pierce Brosnan & Keely Shaye Smith, Michelle Rodriguez, Amy Smart, Alison Brie, Sharon Lawrence, Judy Greer, Rhona Mitra, Walton Goggins, James Kyson-Lee, Cheryl Tiegs, Bahar Soomekh and State Senator Fran Pavley helped tribute the evening’s honorees including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, The University of California System, The W Hollywood Hotel & Residences, James Cameron & Suzy Amis Cameron, and Global Green President Matt Petersen.

Matt Petersen, President of Global Green USA and Award Recipient for 2010, with Cheryl Tiegs. Photo Courtesy Michael Caulfield.

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (EPA)
International Environmental Leadership Award: Recognizing their 40th anniversary as a federal agency.

Mark G. Yudof, University of California System President; Matt Petersen, Global Green USA President; Marty Collins of Gatehouse Capital. Each accepted an award at this year’s Global Green Awards Ceremony in Santa Monica. Photo courtesy Michael Caulfield.

THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA SYSTEM
California Environmental Leadership Award: UC President Mark G. Yudof is accepting this award in recognition of the UC System’s expansive leadership in constructing green buildings on their campuses, more LEED certified buildings than any other university in the country.

Allison Brie presents award to Marty Collins of Gatehouse Capital.  Photo Courtesy Charley Gallay.

W HOLLYWOOD HOTEL & RESIDENCES
Green Building Environmental Leadership Award: Marty Collins of Gatehouse Capital is accepting the award in recognition of their contribution to advancing green building with the newly opened and first LEED certified hotel in Los Angeles.

 
Michelle Rodriguez, 14th Annual Global Green Gala Awards, Santa Monica. Photo courtesy Michael Caulfield.

JAMES CAMERON & SUZY AMIS CAMERON
Entertainment Industry Environmental Leadership Award: In recognition of their longtime commitment to environmental advocacy, specifically recognizing the global impact and environmental message of the landmark film AVATAR.
MATT PETERSEN
Founders Award: In recognition of his incredible leadership and bold vision during his 15 years of service at Global Green USA.

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>Global Green USA Message From Matt Petersen

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On Monday, I toured the coast of Louisiana, talked with media covering the BP oil spill, and met and talked with fishermen who are devastated by the impact. It was a sobering day.

The whole region seems to be holding its breath, waiting for the oil to hit the coast. Volunteers were waiting to help clean the birds and wildlife, but the need was limited to date. That day will come soon enough, and we are already seeing the impact upon the wildlife with turtles and dolphins dying in the last few days due to the spill.

   Also disturbing were the testaments of media stating they were being      prevented from getting to areas where the spill was worst, and documenting the disastrous impact. This should not be happening, and the reporters stated that it was BP officials holding them back.

The fishing community is in shock. Their lives and livelihoods are at risk. As one fishermen told us about watching the spill unfold, “Its like having a knife to your throat, and it is slowly cutting across.”

We need to create a cleaner future, and invest more urgently in renewable energy like wind and solar, and require higher standards for fuel efficient vehicles and mass transit to reduce our dependency on oil. We need to halt new offshore oil drilling, and ensure we are regulating BP and others more aggressively. We need to hold BP accountable to pay the full cost, and demand they not drag it out for 20 years as Exxon did after the Exxon Valdez disaster. We must demand that our federal government continue efforts now and in the future to ensure this never happens again.

But we also need to help the communities on the Gulf Coast now – please help Global Green respond today. This Sunday we are helping mothers and their families by sending volunteers to Grand Isle (one of the impacted fishing communities), and helping host a community cookout for this community of fishermen, mothers, grandmothers, and kids. We will also be delivering healthy food to those who are already in financial crisis due to the spill.

If you want to volunteer to go down and help on Sunday, please click here to learn more.

We are also helping their voices be heard – we are bearing witness to their struggles, and telling their stories. Watch this short video that tells the story of one fishing community and their fears, and their future. You will hear similar gut wrenching testaments to what I heard over and over on Monday.


Thank you for all you do in your community and for others in need.
Sincerely,
Matt Petersen
President & CEO

 

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>Greening Malibu: Malibu’s Rising Tide

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By Sara Marie Paul

Malibu, March 13, 2010  – Last Saturday CSA rocked the house at event for Kofi, long-time Malibu resident and record-producer, who is running for Malibu City Council.   We were asked to donate some food, however, I decided to take it to the next level.  I brought the healing arts!  I rolled in there with 5 chefs, including myself, 2 healers….3 counting Angel, and about 20 of my eco warrior buddies.  After listening to the presentation about the environmental issues in Malibu, I began to realize more about my mission here on Earth.   With 15 years experience in gathering people and resources, it is finally all coming together.  It’s all about enjoying life and being together.   I sang my heart out with the violin guy!  He was so great.  And of course Point Dume was amazing.  I look forward to my return. 
Sara’s Green Oscar Round-Up

Global Green USA Pre-Oscar Party Entertainment
Mac Africa Oscars Viewing Party
My long-time friend, Mac Africa, put on her 11th annual Oscars viewing party at the Beverly Hilton on Sunday afternoon. There was a silent auction and 5-course-meal. I popped in there with my eco kids just in time to see The Cove win for best documentary, which was the highlight of my night.  I saw the film at Sundance last year and spent some time with the cast and crew.  And even though I am a food warrior and Food Inc. was up against them, I was still rooting for them to win.   How could anyone kill a dolphin?   We are in serious trouble if that doesn’t change soon.

Alternative T-Shirts at Global Green USA 2010
Alive Expo Green Pavilion

Alive Expo Green Pavilion is an eco-luxury education suite that takes place during Oscars, Emmy’s, and Sundance.  I’ve been working with these women for the last year and have helped to enhance their event with great food. Here we are for the 2010 pre-Oscars event at the London Hotel.  I was so swamped all weekend!  Stephen Bender, the new superman, said that that our blood oranges “were the best swag he every got!”  My friend,who hooked up the 360 vodka, was mixing it with wheat grass!  And they had gin too, which I have to say tastes very good with wheat grass.   I never took an interest in gin because I hate tonic water.  After seeing that it has high fructose corn syrup, now I know why.
The room had a decent buzz and my daughter Angel and her pals Cree and Jai had a blast.  They are the next generation of eco soldiers!

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>Avatar Director James Cameron Talks Greening Hollywood On Global Green USA’s 2010 Pre-Oscar Bash Green Carpet

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Celebrities came out in force to discuss Greener Cities For A Cooler Planet at this year’s Global Green Pre-Oscar Bash. Greening Hollywood was there to capture the moments and document Avatar Director James Cameron’swords about the importance of making films with an environmental theme and also Leonardo DiCaprio’s, Jessica Alba’s and others’ support of Global Green USA, Greening Hollywood and Greening The Globe. Stay tuned for the Academy Awards on Sunday March 7th, 2010. Suzy Amis Cameron will wear her Eco-chic gown on the Oscar Red Carpet.

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>Greening Hollywood: Going Global and Green at The Oscars

>What do these three things have in common? More and more, these days.
Oscars 2008 marks the second year in a row that the Oscars have gone Green, thanks largely to the non-partisan NRDC’s initiatives spearheaded at last year’s Academy Awards. To see the Environmental Achievements of this year’s 80th Annual Academy Awards, please go here.

Global Green USA, another environmental organization operating in the crossroads of celebrity and environmental activists, is the American affiliate of President Gorbachev’s Green Cross International which is an organization dedicated to stopping climate change. At this year’s Pre-Oscar bash held at Avalon in Hollywood, Matt Petersen, President and CEO of Global Green spoke to us about their philosophy behind galvanizing celebrity endorsements of environmental causes.

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