Green-minded celebs flocked to the Warner Bros. lot to walk the green carpet and honor individuals, corporations and productions for their planet conservation efforts at the 21st annual Environmental Media Awards, where Justin Timberlake received the EMA Futures Award for his Mirimichi golf course in his native Tennessee. After joking about recycling balls and all the different green things he loves from golf courses to money to Kermit the Frog and certain herbs, Timberlake declared that it was "truly an honor to receive EMA's green seal of approval. My idea came out of the desire to create green space in the community where I grew up, and when, to borrow a phrase from Joni Mitchell, I heard that somebody was going to take paradise and put up a parking lot I decided to buy paradise myself. We made a commitment to building a sustainable model for a golf course and we honor the land and the ecosystem that Mirimichi shares with nature," he said, proud of the official sanctuary certification it received from Audubon International. "Doing things the green way is not always the cheapest way in the short term, but it's the most sustainable way and the right way in the long term to do things. For those of us who travel the world making movies, TV shows and music we have to be aware of our carbon footprints," added Timberlake, who made a commitment to go carbon neutral on his last tour.
Other honorees included the Producers Guild of America for its efforts to promote and facilitate sustainable practices and operations on film and TV sets, including a carbon calculator and training workshops; Southern California Edison for its commitment to renewable energy; and Marc Nathanson, for his waterless urinal. "The earth's most precious resource is fresh water," he reminded in his acceptance speech, underlining that statement with some statistics: "There are over 100 million water guzzling urinals in the world. They each waste an average of 40,000 gallons. We have installed 350,000 waterless urinals throughout the world, saving 1.4 billion gallons of water per year."
In the film category, "Revenge of the Electric Car," Chris Paine's sequel to "Who Killed the Electric Car?" took Documentary Film and the animated "Yogi Bear" (featuring Timberlake as the voice of Boo Boo) won Feature Film for its forest conservation and endangered-species-saving message. In television, a holiday episode of "Futurama" featuring Al Gore as a guest voice, earned the Episodic Comedy award, and "CSI" won on the drama side for an episode about hydraulic fracturing, the natural gas extraction method that producer Andrew Haas deemed "probably the most dangerous threat to our water table today."
"A big part of our mission is to let pre-schoolers know that very small people can make a big difference," producer Robert Scull said, accepting the Children's Television award for Nickelodeon's "Bubble Guppies." And in the Reality category, there was a tie: "HGTV Green Home." "We've worked really hard at making sure that the show is not just green in front of the camera but also behind the camera," said host Jamie Durie (pictured right). "We had our crew carpool to the set, used actual dishes at craft services and catering that we'd wash and bring back the next day. We felt like we were practicing what we preached instead of just doing a show about green," added producer Loren Ruch. They're readying a new home now in Serenbe, Ga., for the season that will premiere next spring. Other films, TV shows and events received Green Seal awards for their green production practices, among them "Moneyball," "Crazy, Stupid, Love," "The Good Wife," "Parenthood," the Emmy Awards and the Sundance Film Festival.
"Entourage" alumni and EMA Young Hollywood Board members Perrey Reeves, who lives off the grid on 40 acres in Costa Rica when she's not working, Emmanuelle Chriqui, who wore shorts made from recycled shoe leather, and Constance Zimmer, who has a water filtration system at home, said they all drive Priuses, several models of which, along with Lexus hybrids, were brought for display by Toyota. Brita, another event sponsor, provided water stations at the event to make it water bottle-free. "We've helped movie and TV sets to become more sustainable by reducing plastic bottle waste," said spokesman Drew McGowan, noting plans to install a filtered water station on the set of "Hot in Cleveland" and outlining the Brita Filter for Good project's mission to help musicians reduce the carbon footprints of their tours.
Illuminated by LED lighting, the event featured organic and sustainable gourmet food at the after-party and provided compost and recycling bins, with helpers stationed nearby to help guests sort their garbage. Ed Begley, Jr., who'd arrived late from another event just in time to present the documentary award, revealed at the party that he has yet to break ground on the new green home he's building. "It's a long, laborious process," said Begley, who's recurring this season on "CSI: Miami" and recently completed the comedy "In Security" with Alan and Adam Arkin, playing Officer Krupke. "Yes, there is a 'West Side Story' joke in there," he confirmed.
Earlier on the green carpet, Kyra Sedgwick talked about using stainless steel water bottles, driving a hybrid, and taking public transportation and walking when she's at home in New York. "We need to get off fossil fuels," says the "Closer" star, who returns to TNT in new episodes Nov. 28. "From the earliest days of production we were determined to have a green set," she noted, mentioning a plastic bottle ban, reusing old scripts, recycling and composting "to protect the environment. It has bonded cast and crew in a shared passion, educating all of us to be mindful of our waste."
EMA board member Wendie Malick and co-stars Valerie Bertinelli and Jane Leeves were on hand to present an award and see "Hot in Cleveland" lose for its organic farming episode, but they were excited about the new run of episodes that premiere on TV Land Nov. 30. Executive producer Sean Hayes and John Mahoney are on the guest star list.
"It's one of the biggest issues of my generation. We need to take responsibility so that our children and their children aren't going to suffer," said EMA Young Hollywood Board member Emily VanCamp, who is "really frightened" by global warming and climate change. "I just bought a house and I'm trying to use eco-friendly materials and be really conscious," said the "Revenge" star, noting that "we're trying to reduce plastic" on the set. Her co-stars (pictured below) in the ABC drama, which got a full season pickup, accompanied her to the event. Madeleine Stowe, who has "learned so much" from her environmentally conscious teenage daughter, is greening the home she shares with her and her husband of 25 years, "Private Practice" actor Brian Benben, with CFL light bulbs, bamboo flooring and solar panels. She's relishing playing the "wicked and sociopathic" Victoria on "Revenge" on which her relationship with Frank (Max Martini) will "take a very dramatic turn."
"Revenge" stars Ashley Madekwe, Josh Bowman, Connor Paolo and Gabriel Mann were eager to find out more about the EMA and noted the steps they're taking personally. "I turn off the lights and the water, I've done that since I was a kid," said Bowman. "I try to cut down on useless appliances, unplug things, don't overcharge the phone, turn the computer off. And I drive a hybrid, the Honda CRZ," added Paolo.
Newlyweds Carter Oosterhouse and Young Hollywood Board chair Amy Smart, who met through the EMA and married Sept. 10, had a green wedding. "We composted or recycled everything so it was literally one trash bag for 225 people," said Oosterhouse, who is working on a new show called "Million Dollar Rooms" for HGTV while his wife is shooting a recurring role on the second season of Showtime's "Shameless." "She's very upfront about telling me when I'm not being as eco-friendly as I should be," he confided. His foundation Carter's Kids has partnered with EMA to build playgrounds and gardens at underserved schools in the Los Angeles area.
"Parks & Recreation" star Nick Offerman, who grew up on a farm in Illinois, wishes he had the time to grow sweet corn in Los Angeles but instead satisfies his agrarian yen by reading the writings of Kentucky farmer Wendell Berry, who he believes "makes an incredible amount of sense about how we have lost touch with the land we live on and the impact that we have on it." With a couple of films in the can including "Casa de Mi Padre," shot in Spanish with Will Ferrell (it will be subtitled, he assures), Offerman is married to sometime co-star Megan Mullally, and says their "sense of humor and making our relationship a priority" keeps their relationship strong. "We never put any job in front of our marriage. "
"Overpopulation is driving all sorts of consumption and the climate crisis is unprecedented. The oceans are already 30 percent more acid. Getting off fossil fuels, not just oil but coal and natural gas also, is one of the first things we need to do because that will already take care of a lot of problems," said Daryl Hannah, who drives a diesel car that runs on waste grease and added a patch reading END OIL to the front of her dress.
Now recurring on the CW's "Hart of Dixie" and soon to be seen in FX's "The League," Nadine Velazquez said she totes her own water bottle and reusable bags. She'll also play Denzel Washington's flight attendant girlfriend in "Flight" and appear in the thriller "Snitch" with Dwayne Johnson and Susan Sarandon.
"The generation before did an incredible amount of damage but it's not too late to reform so remind your parents to take their own bags to the grocery store and not to leave the water running. There's no excuse not to recycle," said Matthew Rhys, an EMA Young Hollywood Board member. The "Brothers & Sisters" alumnus next shoots "The Mystery of Edwin Drood" for the BBC and goes to New York to do "Look Back in Anger" in January.
Scottie Thompson, a new member of the board, said she grew up environmentally conscious on a farm in Virginia, and now grows vegetables in her backyard in L.A. "I compost, recycle and try to bike or walk when I can," added the actress, who'll star in the TNT movie "Deck the Halls," about a detective whose visit home for the holidays turns into a crisis when her father is kidnapped. It airs Dec. 20.
"The environment is a part of kids' consciousness now. In the old days, it was just self-esteem issues," said Matt Dearborn, talking about messaging in children's programming. His show "Zeke & Luther" was nominated for an episode about a giant ball of trash and community responsibility. Kids and new families are also a priority focus for the EMA this year, according to CEO Debbie Levin. "Helping young celebrity parents figure out how to be sustainable is probably our biggest goal for next year," she said.
Photos: ZUMA Press (all), EMA Video (Nick Offerman)