Shopping bags filled to the brim notwithstanding, the pre-awards show gifting suites aren’t just about free stuff anymore. All of them now have a charity component, and in light of Hollywood’s increased eco-consciousness, green nonprofits are increasingly involved. Such was the case for this year’s Emmy gifting events, several of which benefited green groups and showcased eco-friendly vendors.
The 4th Annual Eco-Emmy Celebrity Chateau, held in a hillside home made from sustainable wood and powered by solar energy, benefited Green Wish, which funds green charities in local communities via the sale of donation gift cards. The varied vendor lineup ranged from Home Depot’s energy-efficient installation service to Eco Skin Collections’ organic cotton, bamboo and hemp fabric fashions to Tierras certified organic tequila, Solar Lite flashlights and lanterns, and Dogswell organic pet food. Designer Deborah Lindquist previewed her new Green Queen T-shirt line for spring, with slogans like “Long Live the Green,” and Organic to Green gifted guests with organic bath and body products packaged in recycled (mostly wine) bottles donated by local businesses.
While getting organic makeup applications from Beverly Hills’ Evolue Beauty and OPI manicures courtesy Rob/B Salon, celebs like Rachelle Carson Begley and Miss J Alexander from "America’s Next Top Model" sampled organic food on biodegradable Hefty plates. Despite flying often between New York, L.A. and elsewhere, the Paris-based runway coach gets around that city by walking or the borrow-a-bike Vélibe system. "America’s Next Top Model" returns to the CW on Sept. 8 with a high fashion-oriented season featuring guest judges like Zac Posen, Diane von Furstenberg and Patrick Demarchelier. What were they looking for this time? “The usual suspects, with personality, that can deliver a picture,” said Miss J.
The Sustainability Emmy Suite supported the Only You Can Save Energy campaign via auctions of goods and services, and featured such vendors as Ecoya soy candles, sustainable carpets from Bentley Prince Street, and the G-Bike electric vehicle that gets 40 miles per charge. Elza Deco’s “air plants,” which require no watering except immersion once a month were just the ticket for the conservation-minded — and those lacking a green thumb.
At the Alive! Expo Green Pavilion, where proceeds benefited Project Green’s efforts to build a green summer camp for underprivileged youth, products included Bug Off organic insect repellant from Greenerways, Aubrey Organics cosmetics’ bath, and body care lines, and green tea from Dragon Tea Pearl.
GBK’s Luxury Lounge split its donations between Hollywood Arts, which provides arts education and career mentoring for homeless young adults, and the Ann & George Lopez Foundation which helps those dealing with kidney disease. Some vendors added their own charitable components, with Tic Tac donating $100,000 to Cancer Care for breast cancer awareness, and Handbag Envy’s purse rental service offering to auction off celebrities’ old satchels and clutches to the charity of their choice. LoveLinksAmerica.com is donating $25 per sale of their bracelets styled after the handmade braided parachute cord-and-uniform button kind worn by soldiers to support wounded veterans.
Some of the products that guests took home included certified organic and vegan hair care from Peter Lamas, Fresh Cloz’s chemical-free odor removal system, and baby goodies like Backseat Driver onesies and UppaBaby strollers — just the thing for expectant mom Emily Procter. Due in early December, the "CSI: Miami" star is back at work, “spending a lot of time sitting down” since her character Calleigh is not pregnant on the show, which returns to CBS on Oct. 3. Off set, she’s following the reduce, reuse, recycle formula by “not really buying much for the baby. I’m using primarily hand-me-downs and making a changing table out of a table I already had. I’m trying not to use as much, being really conscious of the amount of garbage I’m going to make,” she noted.
Earlier, Procter’s co-stars Eva La Rue and Omar Miller attended the Endless Summer Emmy Suite, which benefited the efforts of Room to Read which builds and stocks libraries in Asia and Africa. Miller, who brought his mom Gloria to the event, actually went home to retrieve a book to donate to the charity. “I changed all the light bulbs in my house” to CFLs, he told us. “I have a slow drip water system in my house and I save the water from my shower,” he said.
LaRue, Felicity Huffman ("Desperate Housewives"), Malese Jow ("Vampire Diaries") and Kevin Eubanks were among the celebs who snapped up jewelry from Twisted Silver, Debra Mitchell’s collection of mixed and vintage metals and other materials (including recycled magazine pages). Also selecting products from Whole Life Wellness, health-conscious vegetarian Eubanks recycles more than his garbage: he takes all his electronic waste to a facility that specializes in it. For his next car, “I would love a Prius,” he confided. Since leaving Jay Leno and the "Tonight Show", the guitarist has been working on an album due out in November, with a tour to follow.
The suite’s vendors included Traveler’s Choice’s Eco Traveler line of solar-powered backpacks and coolers that can charge small electronics, Soy Terrific candles, Prana SpaCeuticals’ Shikoma natural skin care products, the Shopper’s Tote bag-consolidating ergonomic handle, and watches from Armitron, Sprout and Anne Klein, the latter’s charm bracelet style a hit with "Bachelorette" Ali Fedotowsky. Now living with fiancé Roberto Martinez in a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood in San Diego that’s close to stores and restaurants, “We walk when we can instead of drive,” she said. She also keeps after him to turn off the lights and place trash in the proper bins. “She’s got me big into recycling,” said Martinez.
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