By Paige Donner
Arianna Huffington, fresh off her Webby win for The Huffington Post, was chosen to present the California Environmental Leadership Award to the LA Unified School District at Global Green’sannual Millennium Awards held in Santa Monica June 14th at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel. True to form, Huffington Post broke new ground recently when it designated a whole section of the online newspaper “Green.”
Lyn Davis Lear, Ed Begley, Jr., Arianna Huffington
Habitually ahead of the curve, Arianna said, “At the moment we are very excited about expanding. Our recent [$85million] valuation will allow us to expand so we can continue to both aggregate the great work being done and give voice to a lot of great bloggers.”
Global Green’s CEO, Matt Petersen, couldn’t say enough good about Ms. Huffington, “We love Arianna. We think she’s a great voice in our culture and our mediasphere, also in politics. We’re excited to have her here tonight to help us recognize the Los Angeles Unified School District. It’s a school district that gets a lot of grief and so we’re honoring them for a great story that doesn’t always get told.”
Green Carpet Interview with Arianna
Greening Hollywood: What do you think about The Huffington Post’s clocking 100 million hits a month right now?
Arianna Huffington: Well, we go by page views and unique visitors because that’s what advertisers want.
Greening Hollywood: What were your 5 words at the Webby Awards Acceptance Speech? [the Webby Awards allow 5-word acceptance speeches by awardees].
Arianna Huffington: President Obama. Sounds good, right?
Greening Hollywood: Do you think there might be a cabinet position or presidential appointment for you if that were to occur?
Arianna Huffington: I’m loving my current day job. Everything with The Huffington Post is such a great experience every day.
Arianna Huffington interviewed on the Green Carpet at Global Green’s Millennium Awards
Aside from driving a Prius, Huffington is also in the process of “greening” her house. “We are doing everything…From making sure there are no chemical products that we use for cleaning the house, to having a way to turn leftovers into compost, to water purification. I’m addressing a lot of different things in my home… And, of course, The Huffington Post is very eco-friendly,” she added, noting it’s solely an online publication ( i.e. no trees harmed in the printing).
Headlining the evening’s entertainment was slam poet Steven Connell. He wrote and performed a slam poem specific to the night’s celebration of the environment. His solo performance received a standing ovation at Global Green’s Millennium Awards.
Here’s some of it, “…this ain’t the time for tired, this ain’t the time to quit, now is the time to chomp at the bit, spit, kick up some dust. We have to get vocal, cause a scene. It’s time to put energy into gettin’ new energy into gettin’ our global Green….So we take the Earth back to a time when it didn’t hold treasure, when it was treasure for being our home…”. More of Steve’s work can be found at http://www.stevenconnell.com and also on the ACLU website with his slam poetry partner Sekou.
Legendary TV producer Norman Lear walked the Green Carpet with his lovely wife, Lyn Davis Lear, who was honored that evening by Global Green USA with the Entertainment Industry Environmental Leadership Award and who is a co-founder and Board Member of theEnvironmental Media Association. Husband Norman Lear, veteran producer of successful TV shows as iconic as All in the Family, Good Times and The Jeffersons, offered his perspective on the current state of media and the entertainment industry.
Interview with Norman Lear:
Greening Hollywood: How do you see “new” media such as The Huffington Post?
Norman Lear: I think the best thing about “new” media is that it democratizes. People sitting anywhere, so long as they have a computer, can speak to that part of the world that finds them. That at least they can speak and they will be found by some…That’s glorious!
Greening Hollywood: What would you like to see the next administration address immediately in terms of environmental policy?
Norman Lear: The next administration has to help us understand who we Americans are in the world. How much we’re capable of, how much damage we’ve inflicted in the world. How much we consume. I hope we’re going to elect somebody who will help us look into the mirror and see who we really are.
Lyn Davis Lear offered Greening Hollywood her compassionate insights on adopting a greener lifestyle: “I think we shouldn’t be so hard on people. There’s dark forest green and then there’s really light green. We have to feel good that people are conscious of it at all and doing the best they can. The more you learn, the more you become dark green.”
Anna Getty, also in attendance for the Millennium Awards, said: “I am so excited about the new Green The Huffington Post is doing. It’s inevitable.” She offered that one of the organizations she has found helpful in living a more eco-conscious lifestyle is TerraPass, which offers carbon offsets.
“For starters, when considering carbon offsets, it’s best to just consume less. There are so many organizations now that are doing carbon offsets. The one I use is TerraPass. They are going beyond just looking at carbon offsets. They have a newsletter every month where they give tips on how you can reduce carbon emissions in your life, not just by buying a carbon offset but by looking at the way you live your daily life and what you can do to reduce emissions. They are doing it at universities, at schools…you can get a carbon offset for everything.”
On Global Green’s Agenda
Global Green currently has the Net Zero Energy bill in the State Legislature. The bill, if passed, requires all future home construction to be net zero energy compliant. “Buildings are responsible for using 70% of total electricity consumption. ‘Net zero’ meaning you will be required to build a very energy efficient home using very clean energy sources such as solar panels or some other source of clean energy powering the houses,” explains Matt Petersen. Global Green is the primary sponsor of the bill. For more info on these issues check out Architecture 2030’s website.
“Next year we hope to sponsor the Carbon-Neutral Building Bill in the State Legislature as well,” he added, noting that the Schwarzenegger administration has been one that is forward-looking on issues such as state-wide alternative energy usage policies.
Follow Paige Donner on Twitter: www.twitter.com/greeninghollywd