What better way to inaugurate MNN’s weekly green-Hollywood column than with a report from the 18th annual Environmental Media Awards, where environmentally activist individuals like Rosario Dawson, companies like Tiffany, and eco-representative TV shows and movies including 30 Rock, Boston Legal and Into the Wild were honored and attendees celebrated post-ceremony at a party with free-flowing food, drinks and eco-friendly freebies.

First down the green (of course) carpet was the self-named Bag Monster, festooned with hundreds of plastic bags to make a point and promote reusable canvas bags from Chico. More conventionally dressed guys followed, including Hart Bochner (The Starter Wife), who wrote and directed nominated film Just Add Water, which takes place in a town dying due to toxic waste pollution. “I’m passionate about the cause,” said Bochner, who drives a hydrogen-powered car, recycles, composts, uses energy-efficient lighting and conserves water and heat at home. “I don’t run the furnace unless icicles are dripping from my nose!” he laughed.

Leading environmental activist Ed Begley Jr., who has solar panels on his house and generates electricity by riding his stationary bike, advises everyone to weather-strip their homes this winter. “You can save a lot of energy and a lot of money,” he said.

CSI: Miami’s Eva LaRue said she switched all the incandescent bulbs in her home to CFLs, composts for her vegetable garden, and drives a Lexus hybrid  (several of those, and Priuses, were on display, courtesy of sponsor Toyota). Her co-star Megalyn Echikunwoke also drives a Lexus hybrid, walks and rides her bike as much as possible, and on set, “I make a point to use only one pair of latex gloves per episode.”

 

Desperate Housewives narrator Brenda Strong is an electric car fan -- she has both a Volt and a Tesla at home. “I’ve always been extremely active regarding environmental issues,” she explains. As a mother expecting her second son in March, Bahar Soomekh (Crash), who was an environmental science teacher before she became an actress, is especially concerned about the planet’s future but was encouraged by the presidential election results. “I’m filled with hope for good things happening in our country and hopefully around the world,” she said, noting that her family is diligent about conserving water and energy at home: “The little things make a difference in your wallet and in the environment.”

Meanwhile, at the recent Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa press junket, Ben Stiller said he has two hybrid cars, recycles and turns off lights in unoccupied rooms, while Sherri Shepherd gave props to her favorite green household product: vinegar. “It’s clean, natural and fresh, “ said Shepherd, who adds it to water with a drop of fragrance. “It kills bacteria and saves money, too.” 

More celeb tips and dish next week …