While the world watched Hollywood's finest descend on the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles for the 83rd Academy Awards, producers behind the scenes were quietly making the event more sustainable.

Credit Al Gore. His film, "An Inconvenient Truth," earned a Best Documentary nomination in 2007 that encouraged the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences take stock of its environmental footprint. Teaming up with the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Oscars every year have addressed key aspects — from energy to food — that have the greatest impact.

For this year's Academy Awards, here's how the green initiatives stacked up: 

  • Just like the 2011 Grammy Awards, the Oscars’ red carpet was made from recycled water bottles.
  • All food served was local and organic.
  • The event was be powered by 100 percent renewable energy. In 2008, the NRDC did something similar with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, using renewable wind power. Back then, it saved almost 630 metric tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere.
  • All food was served on reusable china and glassware.
  • All silverware was compostable — and all organic waste was composted. Presumably this functioned as it did in 2008 when compost bins “were placed throughout the area, including at catering and craft services locations, accompanied by picture-based designs explaining proper disposal.”
  • All glass, plastic, and aluminum will be recycled.
Allen Hershkowitz, senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council, has been working on the Oscars' greening efforts since 2007. While he says such shifts won't change the world, they are a step in the right direction.

”Every day we’re pumping 90 million tons of global warming emissions into the atmosphere," Hershkowitz told the LA Times earlier this month. "Those emissions are coming from millions of sources. It’s not one single source that we can reform to get us out of this mess. We need millions of environmentally intelligent decisions, and that’s what this effort is.”

via Ecorazzi.com

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

How the 2011 Oscars went green
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