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Arts and Entertainment

How the Grammys Got Green

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Sunday's Grammy Awards weren't just about honoring the best in music, they were also about supporting environmental awareness and conservancy. And the The Recording Academy® hoped to set the precedent with getting the Grammys to go green.

The show itself was produced to have a reduced environmental impact, which, according to their press release, meant that in partnership with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (LADWP) and STAPLES Center, they used renewable energy to power the venue via a month's worth of wind power, which is quickly becoming a powerful trend in energy.

More energy-saving methods went into the show, like using recycled materials for all the programs and invitations, and adding hybrid and other fuel-efficient cars into the event's motor fleet. All the event waste was slated for recycling, and the party food was organic and environmentally-friendly, with leftovers donated by Wolfgang Puck to Angel Harvest.

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But before the Grammys event got underway, a two-day eco-themed Gifting Suite was set up for nominees, musicians, performers, and the media, called "Green With Music."

The event showcased the hottest eco-friendly luxury goods and services in the offices of The South Collection in downtown Los Angeles, which is billed as the city's "only all green-eco-chic mixed used high-rise development." Pampering met green-consciousness, as entrants were treated food, drinks, and gifts that focused on awareness and indulgence alike. Along with some Grammy stars--like rockers from Evanescence (pictured)--LAist had the chance to stop by the event last Friday.

Guests of the gifting suite were treated to an organic raw food bar courtesy of Chef Rachel Carr of Silver Lake's Cru Vegan restaurant, an organic tea bar from Zhena’s Gypsy Tea, Steaz energy drinks, Chocolates by Theo, cookies by Mani’s bakery, and eco-frozen yogurt by SnoLA!--although we'd just stuffed ourselves silly at a sushi bar, for shame, and only nibbled on a couple of tasty chocolates and sipped some comforting Coconut Chai Tea.

We chatted with Daniel O'Hara from WheatwareUSA, Inc., which is a company that makes products out of heat-resistant wheat-based plastic, like drumsticks and guitar picks and the awesome Adam and Marissa from the green goods and design studio Hybrid Roots, who were getting the talent to sign some artwork for auctioning.

Reusable tote bags were bountiful, and we were lucky enough to get handed plenty to put to good work right away toting our gifts home, and then toting purchases home from stores from now on. One of the nicest encounters was with Erin Barnes of Eco Totables, who shared with us how she and her daughter were inspired by news about plastic bag banning in other cities (maybe soon in LA?) enough to launch their own business of fantastic shopping totes (pictured).

Other cool eco-conscious participants included cleaning product company Shaklee, who were the first company in the world to obtain climate-neutral certification that has the capacity to totally offset CO2 emissions. They've been around since the 60s, and were kind enough to send us home with some of their incredible cleaning wipes (and for a non-cleaning person such as myself, I can attest that they make cleaning less of a chore; they work like a charm and don't have that hideous chemical stench.)

We also really dug the creative recycling of Martha Ramos, whose company Unico turns trash--like wrappers from packaging and candy bars and other tossed items--into amazing hand bags and coin purses. Twirls and Twigs also had some darling baby items like clothes, blankets, and stuffed animals to share and show off. And feel-good and smell-good were not ignored, thanks to Jennifer Hadaway's Klean bath & body products. I was personally stoked to get some incredible grass-scented (that's grass as in lawn, kids) body scrub and some green tea body wash.

Speaking of body stuff, there was a full spa set up, but we dared not indulge, for fear of melting away into indulgent oblivion right there in in downtown. Instead we headed back into the world, armed with totes and treats, feeling like Grammy superstars. And unlike the celebs, we skipped playing on the Segways they had on hand--yes, Segways!

Now for a another segue: A portion of all proceeds from Green With Music will benefit Make it Right, Brad Pitt’s organization dedicated to creating affordable green housing in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans. The Lower 9th Ward is the area most affected by Hurricane Katrina and a deeply important part of our American heritage.

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Photos by Michael Bezjian courtesy of Green With Music

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