products by: Michael Chagala

And the Oscar Goes to...

February 20, 2013

All Oscar nominees go for the gold—specifically that coveted little statuette that honors the best in film—but going for the green on Hollywood's big night is growing in popularity. And that's true for this year's event, which takes place Feb. 24.

The weeks leading up the award ceremony are filled with parties, and solar has popped up as a special guest at some of them. The biggest is Global Green's annual soiree, which this year raised money for the organization's Solar for Sandy program, which aims to help communities rebuild from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, as well as develop solar solutions to help combat the effects of natural disasters.

"Our Solar for Sandy initiative will install small backup generator solar systems in nonprofit community centers and staging areas in response to future disasters," said Matt Petersen, Global Green president, in a statement. "Lowering their electricity costs is just part of the benefit when creating a model for policymakers to show this is a good investment. Each solar system unit produces roughly 25 kilowatts and can store energy in special system batteries. In the future, before bad weather, communities could begin storing energy in these batteries in anticipation of a storm using generators that would not be knocked out along with the grid. Ultimately, we want Congress and the government to integrate solar backup systems into the grid both to serve these communities in the future, as well as to address lowering the production of greenhouse gases. As we see more storm surges, it's going to continue to affect infrastructure. The solar backup generators are part of a long-term solution."

The Global Green Oscar week party, held at the Avalon Hollywood, includes Best Supporting Actress nominee and Oscar winner Helen Hunt on the celebrity host committee, and entertainment headliner Willie Nelson and Sons. Celebs are chauffeured to the event, now celebrating its 10th year, in Chevy Volts and the Chevy Spark EV is showcased.

Also part of the Oscar Week festivities is a party in honor of the International Labor Organization's Green Jobs Program. The event is hosted by Oscar winners Ron Howard and Hans Zimmer and Ron Howard, and sponsored by Vanity Fair. Titled Una Notte Verde, the party will promote awareness of green jobs and the growing green economy. Two of the organization's programs are featured at the event: one in which Kenyan women start businesses centered on solar-powered lanterns, and another that develops green entrepreneurial ideas in China through the Green Business Options Training Scheme.

Just as prevalent as parties on the Oscar schedule are gift bags and gift lounges for nominees, presenters, and other celebs. Environmentally friendly cosmetics, clothing, trips, and other items are regularly offered. This year, Doris Bergman's fifth annual Valentine Romance Oscar Style Lounge and Party, held at Café La Boheme in West Hollywood, included a solar goodie for guests: solar backpacks and laptop messenger bags with a built-in, flexible solar panel that powers an internal battery that can be used to charge phones and tablets.

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