Southern California environment news and trends

Just how green was the Oscars red carpet?

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

During the week leading up to the 84th annual Academy Awards (which appear to have been watched by more people than last year’s telecast), the Hollywood community made a concerted effort to keep things as environmentally friendly as possible. From a range of eco-friendly events to Livia Firth’s much-discussed Green Carpet Challenge, this year’s Oscar hoopla had a decidedly emerald glow.

Established by Firth in 2010, the Green Carpet Challenge is her annual pledge to wear only eco-positive clothing on the red carpet, and was taken on by an array of stars at last night’s ceremony. Best Actress winner Meryl Streep is already blowing up fashion pages today with the details of her Lanvin gown, which Firth happily related was the French fashion house’s first custom “eco gown.” 

“The gown is gold, full-length and made from Eco Certified Fabric sourced with help from the GCC,” Firth said on British Vogue's fashion blog. “I could not be more delighted!” Firth wore a red Valentino number made from polyester derived from recycled plastic bottles.

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Brad Pitt’s nonprofit helps build sustainable housing, community center

84th Academy Awards Nominations Luncheon - Inside

/Getty Images

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 06: (L-R) Actors George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill attend the 84th Academy Awards Nominations Luncheon. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

It really is quite astounding the myriad ways the Academy Awards and Hollywood in general put their collective green foot forward as the big night approaches. It’s a recurring theme, as this week Global Green held their eco-positive Pre-Oscar bash, where actress Emmy Rossum wore a dress made partly out of pineapple. Across town, a slew of A-list stars hit up a Vanity Fair party, which also hosted Livia Firth’s Green Carpet Challenge, as reported by the L.A. Times. It was the third annual event where Firth (wife of actor Colin) calls out fashion houses to create sustainable gowns for Oscar night.

Far removed from the glitz of Hollywood parties, Best Actor nominee Brad Pitt’s nonprofit organization Make It Right is dealing with environmental issues in a more hands-on fashion. FOX News in Kansas City (Pitt is from Missouri) reports this week that Make It Right is donating $2.3 million towards converting an old school that has sat dormant for more than ten years into a community center with housing, a gym and medical services.

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Which is more sustainable? Livia Firth’s dress vs. the Golden Globes menu

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Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Actor Colin Firth and wife Livia Giuggioli arrive at the 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards on Jan. 16, 2011 in Beverly Hills. Firth was nominated in the best dramatic actor category for his work in 'The King's Speech.'

It’s no wonder Hollywood’s 1% was looking especially fat and happy at this year’s Golden Globes ceremony; the “Global Food Harmony” menu featured chocolate flown in from Switzerland and honey caramel from France. Terrapass even tabulated the carbon footprint left behind on just those two items, along with hazelnuts from Italy and almond paste from Spain to come up with 9,261 lbs of CO2 emissions to get them all to big event, raising the ire of Global Green U.S.A.

“Flying in ingredients from around the world is unsustainable and only adds to growing greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming,” a Global Green U.S.A. spokesperson lamented to the UK's Daily Mail.

On the other end of the spectrum, Livia Giuggioli Firth, wife of the actor Colin Firth, hosted the third annual Green Carpet Challenge event at the Soho House in West Hollywood last weekend. Livia Firth, who is the creative director of London eco-consulting group Eco Age Ltd., recruited A-list designers like Giorgio Armani and Stella McCartney to design a series of “green” dresses for her to wear to the season’s award shows. The dress she wore to the Golden Globes was an Armani creation fashioned from recycled water bottles.

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