San Franciscans love a little Hollywood stardust, especially when it arrives at their doorstep attached to a pressing cause. Case in point: The celebrity-studded fundraiser for Global Green USA, recently held at the beautiful LEEDS-certified Bently Reserve.
Headlined by Oscar-winning actress Goldie Hawn and up and comer Vanessa Hudgens, (High School Musical, Spring Breakers and the forthcoming Gigi on Broadway), the 10th annual SF gala was the largest and most successful yet, raising $400,000.
The event, which included a dinner by star chefs, an eco-fashion show and a performance by Shoshana Bean from Wicked, also benefited from larger forces at work:
Global Green's primary focus--climate change--appears to have reached critical mass this year.
Witness the People Climate March, where more than 300,000 people descended on NYC in September, protesting governmental inaction over the issue of climate change.
Witness the United Nations Summit on September 23, 2014, intended to bring nations to a global agreement by 2015 that "limits the world to a less than 2-degree Celsius rise in global temperature."
Witness The Conference for Inclusive Capitalism in May, 2014, in which England's Prince Charles and Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde cited climate change as one of the threats to economic stability around the world. (Lagarde considered wealth inequality and too-big-to-fail banks the greatest threats.)
While the awareness of climate change has risen on the macro level, individual efforts still matter. The Global Green USA fundraiser in SF focused on "eco-lifestyle," what the individual can do to offset climate change in their daily lives. Below are some of the event's take aways for going green, globally and locally.
"Being green includes greening our schools, our homes and buildings and creating greater human capital through our schools. As an individual, I pick up trash on the beaches and everywhere. I also have a green drink everyday [which can help bring the body into balance.] I figure one day I actually will be green because I do not live without green drinks!"
"I love the solar aspect of green living. Solar is the new age, the new generation of fuels. It is a way of powering our lives without destroying the environment. I am personally looking into going solar and composting. Any little thing we can do makes a difference."
Dr. Dean Ornish, Leading cardiologist/Consultant to President Clinton, with Zem Joaquin
"What is good for you is good for the planet. What is personally sustainable is globally sustainable. Lifestyle consumption contributes more to global warming than all forms of transportation combined. So when you eat healthier, move more, stress less and love more, it is healthier for you and healthier for the environment as well. "
Zem Joaquin, Global Green USA Board Member and founder of Ecofabulous
"Some of the leaders in eco-fashion are Stella McCartney on the higher end and H & M's conscious collection on the lower end. Personally, I wear a lot of vintage. The greenest thing you can do is buy something that already exists."
Images courtesy of Drew Altizer Photography