Sunday, January 18, 2009

Green Galas

Since inaugural excitement has taken over many of the news sources I draw from, not to mention a lot of my daily conversations, I haven't had a whole lot to post to the blog (hence the recent Biodynamic Beauty post snagged from my article-in-process file). Lucky for us, the NY Times' Leslie Kaufman published a great article about the two greenest inaugural galas being held this Monday night: One hosted by Al Gore and the other by the International Conservation Caucus Foundation.

Among those joining Gore for the organic fare at the National Portrait Gallery are the Sierra Club, the National Resources Defense Council, Earthjustice, Vote Solar Initiative, Youth for Environmental Sanity, and musicians and Maroon 5, whose performances are pro bono. Guests will clearly interpret the "conservation-as-lifestyle" message as they walk on a carpet made of recycled fibers and enjoy the strictly local menu.

Blocks away, the Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Federation, and celebrity guests Robert Duvall, Ed Norton, among others, will be treated to the Boys Choir of Kenya and organic beer at the ICCF gala. Certain sponsorship of this gala is troubling (for example: Exxon Mobil) but caucus president David H. Barron sticks to the philosophy that governments and businesses are the most effective at protecting wildlife and the environment and told the NY Times, "We are not into symbolism. We are focused on a much bigger impact."

No matter how you slice it, the carbon footprint of all these guests traveling to and from the district to attend these balls is certainly significant but such is the case for any of the galas, green or not, so kudos to these two for highlighting the issues.

And Al, Mr. Barron, if you are reading this and looking to fill any extra seat at your tables, please note that I could hop on the MARC train and get down to the events with little to no enviro-impact. Just saying.

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