Lifestyles of the Green and the Famous

Greening the games and eco-hip hop

Despite the astounding opening to the Beijing Olympics - both criticized for waste and awed for its imaginative spectacle - game fatigue may be setting in for TV viewers, between beach volleyball and gymnastics and diving and track and field. Swimming star Michael Phelps scooped up eight gold medals, but he made time to stop by the USA basketball locker room with well wishes for the LA Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, Miami Heat's Dwayne Wade, and the Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James. The team may have trounced China on the court, but China’s flag bearer from Houston's team who’s playing for his homeland, Yao Ming, is a winner, having been named the UN's first-ever Environmental Champion.

Ming hopes to raise awareness, encouraging public transport, waste management, and green energy, saying: "I sincerely believe small actions done by many over a long period of time can really bring about positive change. By doing a little now, we can avoid a lot later." We'll see who wins at the hoops during the semi-finals on the 22nd and the finals on the 24th.
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Sheryl Crow drives green, Kelsey Grammar gets wild, and Hollywood’s latest film festival

Sheryl Crow, Ben Harper, and his wife Laura Dern are greening their rides with The Blade, a tailpipe accessory that cuts carbon emissions and increases fuel economy. On the blog for her appropriately named album, Detour, Crow, who got the gizmo as a birthday gift, claims it has boost her fuel economy by three miles per gallon and cuts air pollutants in half. Plus 20% of the $200 price is donated to the NRDC.

Continue reading Sheryl Crow drives green, Kelsey Grammar gets wild, and Hollywood’s latest film festival

Gossip Girls, Gyllenhaal siblings, and Olympic athletes are free to be green

The dish among the new green scene features the trendy cast of the CW’s hit show, Gossip Girl. Blake Lively, Leighton Meester and Penn Badgley now star in clever video clips on CW’s Free2BeGreen website to motivate the 13-25-year-old viewers to “take a reusable mug and change the world,” “remove your name from mailing lists to help save 62 million trees,” and more. In partnership with the NRDC and Stop Global Warming orgs, the campaign takes the message onto the set by banning plastic water bottles. Among other “chick flicks,” Alexis Bledel of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 suggests sending your old jeans packing to Habitat for Humanity for insulation in New Orleans homes.

While her brother Jake Gyllenhaal plans to open a vegetarian restaurant in LA, Maggie Gyllenhaal, of record-breaking blockbuster Batman flick, The Dark Knight, just launched the “Climate Matters Video Contest” with Brighter Planet and 1Sky. As one of the jurors, she’ll select 10 winners with the best global warning messages to be broadcast to millions on Link TV, FSTV, and online venues to incite political leaders to take action. The clips will air during a special Washington media event in October. Brighter Planet’s efforts to stop greenhouse gas emissions and 1Sky’s involvement in communicating global warming solutions to the government is a fitting collaboration. Leonardo DiCaprio’s sisters, Leila and Nadia Conners, who produced The 11th Hour, and Tia Lessin, producer of Fahrenheit 9/11, will also judge the entries. Grab your camcorder, shoot a 30 or 60-minute spot about a passionate environmental action, and upload to the website by 9/22. You might win up to $3,000 from Brighter Planet’s VISA card as well as have an impact on Congress and the president-to-be. And of course, you might even impress Maggie herself.

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Green Project Runway, eco country music, and saving pandas

Actress Natalie Portman strutted down the catwalk on Bravo’s Project Runway last week to judge season five’s second episode, “The Grass is Always Greener.” The contestants’ were challenged to design outfits with eco-friendly fabrics. The winning cocktail dress was created by Suede, an ironic name considering Portman’s vegan shoe collection for Te Casan. The show repeats before this week’s episode on Wednesday at 9 pm ET.

Songstress Kathy Mattea has just released a powerful album, titled Coal. The West Virginian whose grandfathers were miners is also an environmentalist and trained as one of Al Gore’s 1000 “Climate Presenters.” In her album, she expresses her concern over strip mines raping the countryside, burning coal’s effect on global warming, and the safety of miners. Mattea recently attended the first National Summit on the Arts and Environment in McLean, VA, hosted by the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, Americans for the Arts, and The Aspen Institute. It plans on forming a National Council on the Arts and Environment to encourage audiences to go green as well as ensure artists’ green practices backstage.

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Batman’s eco-challenges and Demi Moore’s activist daughters

Holy pollution, Batman! The Dark Knight broke records, hauling off boffo box office this weekend, but during the nine-day November shoot in Hong Kong, the movie encountered a batch of off-the-chart eco-blunders. A scene with Christian Bale diving into Victoria Harbor had to be canceled due to toxic waters, when salmonella and tuberculosis were found among the sewage bacteria and industrial runoff. Did Acme Chemicals and U.S. tomatoes join up with The Joker to fight the Caped Crusader?  Then, Hong Kong officials expressed concern over noise pollution from helicopters swooping overhead at 2 am. Next, producers asked 60 companies to light up the dazzling Hong Kong skyline from 5 pm to midnight for a full week during filming. Not many of the companies cooperated. Perhaps the lighting effect got added in post-production, as suggested by the conservation group, Green Sense, who protested the conspicuous energy consumption… 

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Issue 25

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