EMA continues its #GreenMySchool Program, presented by Birds Eye Vegetables, with longtime Board Member Constance Zimmer. Constance returns to her roots to build a school garden at the Heritage Museum of Orange County, CA. Dozens of bright-eyed students get their hands dirty in organic soil with Constance to grow a variety of vegetables and fruits in four raised garden beds. The amazing students of Hector Godinez Fundamental High School and the Mitchell School, Kellogg Garden Supplies, and the Heritage Museum OC make the day possible.
EMA stands in solidarity with the water protecters at Standing Rock. President Debbie Levin joins Board Members Frances Fisher, Josh Fox, Ray Halbritter, Daryl Hannah, Bryn Mooser, Dawn Olivieri, Nikki Reed, Ian Somerhalder, John Streur, John Quigley, and Shailene Woodley in North Dakota to call for a stop in the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. In addition to participating in the peaceful protests, EMA hosts speaker panels that are live-streamed on Facebook.
In partnership with LineupMedia.fm, EMA launches the Environmental Media Network. The Network consists of the two podcasts Going Green With Asher Levin and Organic Lunch With Debbie Levin. Both shows feature interviews with EMA’s celebrity Board Members as well as other green icons, activists, and scientists.
The 26th Annual Environmental Media Awards are held under the stars on New York Street at Warner Bros. Studios. The show, presented by Toyota, Lexus, and Calvert Investments, is hosted by Board Member Nicole Richie. With a focus on the future of environmental messaging and activism, the show Honors Jaden Smith and Shailene Woodley the Male and Female EMA Futures Awards, Moby the Missions in Music Award, Robyn O’Brien the Green Parent Award, and United Nations PRI the Corporate Responsibility Award. The Awards are a massive success with two billion press impressions and an additional 50+ million impressions on social media. The evening’s dinner is prepared by James Beard Award Winning Chefs Jon & Vinny.
EMA hosts a Mommy-focused discussion at Au Fudge called A Conversation About Fashion, Food, and Beauty: Keeping Pesticides, Toxins, and Harmful Chemicals Out of Your Home and Off of Your Children. President Debbie Levin moderates the panel of Anna Anissimova, Alexx Monkarsh and Sarah Wright Olsen.
EMA Joins the Sierra Club and the National Park Service for National Park Service Centennial: Give Back Day. EMA President Debbie Levin, EMA Board Member Darby Stanchfield & Karrueche Tran, and Thomas Middleditch, star of HBO’s “Silicon Valley”, join the festivities, which include the planting of native species, speakers, and exhibits. The event honors NPS, a system of over 400 parks that protect our lands, wildlife, clean air and water, and boost our economy.
EMA co-hosts the Los Angeles premiere of director Josh Fox’s new film, “How to Let go of The World And Love All The Things Climate Can’t Change” as part of the #LetGoAndLove tour. EMA President Debbie Levin moderates a special panelist discussion with Josh Fox, Shailene Woodley, Chris Paine, and EMA Board Members Frances Fisher and Ed Begley, Jr. EMA, Food & Water Watch, and the Center sponsor the screening, which takes place at Ahyra Fine Arts in Beverly Hills, for Biological Diversity.
Ocean optimism is the sentiment of EMA’s third Speaker Series Event, “How Political Hardball Can Help Save Our Oceans and Coastlines”. The Event takes place at the New Roads School in Santa Monica. The panel includes Santa Barbara County Supervisor Salud Carbajal, Angela Howard, Esq., Legal Director Surfrider Foundation, and David Wilmot, Ph.D., Co-Founder and President Ocean Champions. EMA Board Member Ashlan Cousteau moderates the discussion.
EMA Launches its Healthy Family Seal and Trusted Partners program to help guide eco-friendly and healthy shopping choices. The companies and products that receive the Healthy Family Seal meet our high-quality standards for how they produce their goods, what their goods are made of, and how the company communicates with the public.
EMA hosts its second Speaker Series event at CSUN titled: “Two Months Later: Porter Ranch & the Role of Environmental Disasters in the 2016 Election”. The discussion, moderated by EMA Board Member Hart Bochner, features Paula Cracium, President, Porter Ranch Neighborhood Council; Alexander Nagy, Senior Organizer, Food and Water Watch/Save Porter Ranch; Scott Smith, Lead Scientist, Water Defense Fund; Graciela Geyer, Campaign Representative for My Generation Campaign, Sierra Club; Vien Truong, Director, Green For All; Loraine Lundquist, Faculty Associative, CSUN Institute for Sustainability; Stevie Ruiz, Assistant Professor, CSUN Chicana and Chicano Studies Department; Henry Stern, Senior Policy Advisor, State Senator Fran Pavley’s Office. The discussion focuses on the impact of domestic environmental disasters on this year’s election.
In partnership with Earth Day Texas, EMA hosts “Celebrities for Change Gala” on Earth Day in Dallas, Texas. The Gala features EMA President Debbie Levin, Board Members Malin Akerman, Lance Bass, Ed Begley, Jr., Frances Fisher, Wendie Malick, Carter Oosterhouse, Carla Shamberg, Amy Smart, Michael Turchin, John Quigley, and Zoe Lister-Jones and Daryl Wein. The audience and talent share laughs, stories, and green-living tips. From climate change to recycling, the event covers a lot of ground. Further, It sends a huge message to the rest of the world when Los Angeles and Dallas stand together on these issues.
EMA launches its 2016 #GreenMySchool program in Board Member Lance Bass’ hometown of Clinton, MS. The program, presented by Birds Eye Vegetables, sends celebrities home to create school gardens and teach kids the importance of vegetables and agriculture. Lance joins students from his old school, Eastside Elementary, for a fun day of gardening and learning. The event receives over 138 million press impressions with an additional eight million impressions on social media.
EMA hosts a booth at Disney’s Environmentality Fair at the Disney Grand Central Creative Campus.
EMA hosts its first newly minted Speaker Series Event “Microplastics vs. the Ocean: The Hidden Danger” in Santa Monica. The panel includes Dr. Marcus Eriksen and Anna Cummins of 5 Gyres, Asher Levin of EMA, Dr. Stephanie Wear of The Nature Conservancy, Richard Bloom, and EMA Board Member Amy Smart as the moderator. The discussion focuses on the impacts of and solutions to plastic pollution in our oceans.
EMA partners with Participant Media to help promote “The Magic Beach App”. The app teaches children how to read, spell, and take care of our oceans and coasts. EMA designs an infographic on beach litter to help raise awareness for the app.
EMA, along with Spectral Q, hosts a fundraising Concert for Just Label It Featuring Michael Franti and Jillian Speer. Hosted by Gary Hirshberg.
Au Fudge becomes the first restaurant to receive an EMA Green Seal. The restaurant, owned by Jessica Biel, EMA Board Members, Estee Stanley and Kimberly Muller as well as Joey Gonzalez, Jonathan Rollo, Monica Saunders-Weinberg and Terrace Tower. By adhering to our standards and continuing to monitor all menu, event and boutique items, Au Fudge has received the honor for its commitment to eco-friendly practices and sustainability. The Salon is in partnership with our friends at the Sierra Club, who kick off their “Ready for 100 Campaign“.
EMA Announces its Speaker Series. The series teams EMA up with the most important Social and Environmental NGOs for engaging conversations, panels and keynotes with the brightest minds from all over the globe. Videos and podcasts of the discussions are made available online.
EMA hosts a Salon with the Sierra Club at the RYOT studios in Venice to celebrate the launch of our #ActInParis virtual reality campaign. EMA President Debbie Levin and Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club, gives speeches about the importance of COP21.
EMA works with RYOT News – recently purchased by the Huffington Post – and the Sierra Club to create the first green virtual reality PSA. The virtual reality video, narrated by Jared Leto, takes viewers to Portage Glacier in Alaska to experience the devastating effects of climate change. The video gets millions of media impressions.
EMA hosts a Salon at Founders Norman & Lynn Lear’s Estate to educate and motivate people to tell their elected leaders to #ActInParis at COP21. EMA Director of Business Development, Asher Levin and Executive Director of the Sierra Club, Michael Brune gives speeches.
EMA supports Board Member Stana Katic and the Alternative Travel Project, which urges people to GOcarLess in Los Angeles. Fewer cars mean cleaner air, less congestion, and healthier citizens.
The 25th Annual Environmental Media Awards are held in the Steven Ross Theater at Warner Bros. Studios with Gala following on New York Streets on the backlot. The show is hosted by Lance Bass. President Debbie Levin begins the show with a look back at our first 25 years and announces EMA’s Membership Program. EMA honors Van Jones with the organization’s inaugural EMA GreenBiz Global Innovator Award. George Miller receives EMA’s Lifetime achievement award. Gwyneth Paltrow, Kristin Davis, Don Henley, and Zem & James Joaquin are EMA’s other top Inductees. “Interstellar” wins best feature film. The Awards are broadcast live on Fusion Network and receive millions of press and social media impressions.
EMA launches its Membership Program to educate and inspire people to live sustainably.
EMA supports Just Label It’s #ConcealOrReveal day of action on social media.
EMA attends and supports DIGDEEP’s Waterless Pool Party in L.A. to raise awareness for water conservation during California’s historic drought.
EMA President Debbie Levin Presents Josie Maran With Eco Award at Fifth Annual Official First Ladies Luncheon.
EMA Partners With “Racing Extinction” for the Los Angeles Premiere. The screening takes place at Laemmle NOHO Theater and is part of EMA and Sierra Club’s Act in Paris Campaign.
EMA Board Member Amy Smart and EMA Executive Board Member and Dan Jacobson call for Stronger Climate Leadership in Los Angeles at Environment California Luncheon. EMA President, Debbie Levin presents Amy with special Award from Environment California for her years of activism.
EMA partners with JUST LABEL IT to help launch the “Conceal or Reveal” campaign that recruits celebrity moms across the nation to urge both Congress and corporate America to “Just Label” their products. Our campaign contains two inspirational PSAs and accompanying photo essays, featuring EMA Board members, Malin Akerman, Frances Fisher, Sara Gilbert, Constance Zimmer, along with Jordana Brewster, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ali Landry, Jillian Michaels, Sharon Osbourne and Molly Sims. The campaign reaches over 20 million media impressions with both PSAs premiering on nationally broadcast programs, CBS’s “The Talk” and NBC’s “The Today Show.”
EMA attends the Red Carpet Premiere of Disney’s “The Monkey Kingdom” at Pacific Theaters at the Grove, followed with our inaugural Sustainable Earth Month Family Celebration. Celebrities, LA tastemakers, bloggers and guests all come out to celebrate sustainability. Designed to encourage and embrace activities for the entire family, we have local and organic food as EMA gathers to celebrate our natural resources. Thanks to the efforts of EMA Corporate Board member, Kathy Kellogg Johnson, our guests can plant a portable, edible garden right there in the middle of our event!
EMA President, Debbie Levin co-hosts a radio show; Green is Good broadcast to 40 million listeners on iHeart radio.
EMA partners with the UTA Foundation for their annual “UTA Green Expo.” The event includes booths from Earth Friendly Products, Electronic Recyclers, Naturepedic, Gardein and a showcase for Toyota’s new hydrogen-powered concept, the Mirai.
EMA takes its School Garden Program national! Partnering with our friends at Gardein and Birds Eye Vegetables, we launch #GreenMySchool. #GreenMySchool takes celebrities back to their hometowns to build sustainable gardens in their elementary schools. This four-year program will allow celebrities the chance to give back to their communities, educate children on the importance of organically grown produce and reinforce our mission of linking the concept of environmental sustainability and nutrition.
EMA produces the PSA titled “That’s KXL.” The spot features many of our EMA Board members and helps give additional voices to the movement to stop plans to build the Keystone Pipeline. After a hard fought battle we are happy to report plans to build the pipeline have officially been stalled and so far there is no drilling.
EMA and Board Member Darby Stanchfield launch our exciting new “Don’t Be Plastic” program, installing a hydration station in the makeup trailer for Darby’s show “Scandal”, partnering with EMA Corporate Board Member, Star Waggons. “Scandal” is now saving over a 1000 plastic bottles per week on their production.
EMA re-launches ema-online.org with a new look.
EMA launches a partnership with the Burkle Global Impact Initiative and the UN Foundation to present a series of salons on pressing environmental issues. Adrian Grenier and Peter Glatzer, co-founders of SHFT.com and Barry A Cik, Founder of Naturepedic, speak about “The Sustainable Economy” in the first salon. It was held at Wondros with over 70 guests and coverage in The Hollywood Reporter, our exclusive media partner. The second salon “Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology: What is it and How does it work?” focuses on the technology for the new Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles and the future of the automotive industry. It was held at the home of EMA Executive Board Officer, David Margulies with Jana Hartline, Toyota’s environmental communications executive and engineers, Craig Scott and Jaycie Chitwood.
The EMA Green Seal recognition program continues with over 250 awardees to date. This year was the biggest yet with 59 recipients!
For the first time, we are able to announce how much a studio saved by making sustainable production choices, which is an astonishing $400K for Amazing Spiderman-2!
EMA partners with Appeal to Reason to shoot and publish multiple PSAs. EMA in partnership with Food & Water Watch, Environment California and Americans Against Fracking launches “What the Frack,” a campaign featuring over 25 celebrities calling for the end of fracking. The PSA is featured on MTV.com, Huffington Post and RYOT.org. EMA teams up with The Wilderness Society to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the U.S. Wilderness Act with “We are the Wild” PSA. The law was created to protect places “where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man” and has protected more than 110 million acres of wilderness from coast to coast. The spot features EMA Board Members Wendie Malick, Lance Bass, Darby Stanchfield, along with William H. Macy, Felicity Huffman, as well as Princess Daazhraii Johnson, Madison Burngarner (San Francisco Giants), Cheryl Strayed, (author of WILD) Dylan Johnson (Alpine Climber) and Keri Herman (Olympic skier). The PSA attracts media distribution and plays a role in the launch of Fox Searchlight’s feature film, Wild.
EMA works with FOX and FOX Broadcast Co., Disney’s sustainability team, Hot In Cleveland, The Soul Man, The Exes and Jennifer Falls on environmental content, green show ideas and Earth Day webisodes featuring talent from New Girl and Bones.
The Nature Works Everywhere Garden Program in partnership with EMA and the Nature Conservancy opens new gardens in Atlanta and New York City. EMA Board Members Amy Smart, Malin Akerman, Lance Bass, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Rosario Dawson, Francesca Eastwood, Frances Fisher, Dawn Olivieri, Carter Oosterhouse, Raphael Sbarge, Darby Stanchfield, Scottie Thompson as well as Ian Somerhalder and Kat Graham visit EMA sponsored school gardens. Chef Susan Feniger from Border Grill prepares the menu for the 5th Annual School Gardens Luncheon.
Debbie speaks at the MAGIC (Fashion) Convention in Las Vegas on a panel discussing sustainable fabric sourcing in the fashion industry and how fashion can fuel change. Debbie is joined on the panel by Evie Evangelou, Founder & President, Fashion 4 Development; and Jeanine Ballone, Founder, Zero to Hero Foundation.
Debbie Levin is honored at Fashion 4 Development’s Fourth Annual Official First Ladies Luncheon with their first Eco Award in New York during the UN Climate Summit and World Conference. Madame Ban Soon-taek, First Lady of the United Nations hosts along with Founder, Evie Evangelou and Vogue Italia’s, Franca Sozzani.
EMA works with TakePart to support the launch of EMA Co-founder, Lyn Lear’s short film, What’s Possible. The short, narrated by Morgan Freeman is the UN Climate Summit’s Opening Film with the world. In addition, EMA works with the Equator Prize Awards Ceremony to secure talent and support media relations.
EMA teams up with the Global Call for Climate Action (GCCA), in conjunction with Climate Nexus and the Climate Reality Project to facilitate the placement of several environmental op-eds written by pop culture influencers. Mark Ruffalo, Frances Fisher & Francesca Eastwood, Amy Smart & Carter Oosterhouse and Leonor Varela participate in the global media campaign.
After nearly 15 years working closely with Dan Jacobson and Environment California, EMA celebrates the pass of the California statewide plastic bag ban! EMA’s Young Hollywood Board members support the effort with press conferences, celebrity outreach, phone calls, trips to the Governor, local trips to grocery stores and posts promoting awareness throughout social media channels!
The 24th Annual Environmental Awards are held in the Steven Ross Theater at Warner Bros. Studios. Ed Begley Jr. and Stana Katic open the sold-out show. Dr. Enric Sala of the Pristine Seas Project receives the Board of Directors Heroes Award, the Executive Producers of Showtime’s ‘Years of Living Dangerously’ receive the Outstanding Achievement for Environmental Content Award and FOX’s Fall Eco-Casino Party receives the Green Production Award.
The inaugural EMA Parent Board Speakers Salon is held at the home of EMA Parent Board member Ashlee Margolis with guest speaker Robyn O’Brien, a former food industry analyst who founded the AllergyKids Foundation to restore the health of children and the integrity of our food supply. Robyn relays insight and detailed analysis from her research into the impact the global food system is having on our health. Attendees include Kristen Bell, Hilary Duff, Mandy Moore and EMA Parent Board members Kimberly Van Der Beek and Constance Zimmer, Board Chair.
Culver City receives Silver certification from the California Green Communities and SoCal Edison. EMA Young Hollywood Board member Rachelle Lefevre is on hand to present the award.
EMA partners with Green Works to debut their new campaign “You Don’t Have to Be Ridiculous to be Green” with a launch event at Sur in West Hollywood. Hosted by Lance Bass, over 200 guests watch the premiere of “The Real Green Housewives,” including Joanna Garcia, Mario Lopez, Lisa Rinna, Ashley Tisdale and Lisa Vanderpump
Working with the Sierra Club and a coalition of organizations, EMA provides support for the Forward on Climate Rally in Washington DC. EMA Young Hollywood Board members tweet to over 3 million Twitter subscribers encouraging them to join the rally and stand up for climate change legislation.
EMA President Debbie Levin and EMA Board member Amy Smart speak at an executive speaker series A Greener World at Sony Studios to discuss EMA’s programs, urban gardens and the documentary Save the Farm.
EMA Board and Young Hollywood Board members Malin Akerman, Lance Bass, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Dawn Olivieri, Carter Oosterhouse, Amy Smart, Alison Sudol, visit EMA sponsored school gardens.
The EMA Green Seal recognition program continues with almost 200 awardees to date. This year the application is updated and includes an “Aspirational” category for Bonus Points!
EMA is showcased in Elle Magazine International in an interview with EMA Young Hollywood Board member Emmanuelle Chriqui in honor of World Environment Day.
EMA partners with the Hollywood Health & Society Norman Lear Center USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism for a special screening of the award-winning documentary Chasing Ice for over 150 writers and showrunners. The movie follows photographer James Balog as he captures a multi-year record of the world’s changing glaciers. Climate change experts Dr. Josh Willis and Dr. Paul Bunje speak after the screening in hopes of inspiring writers to include more environmental themes in their work.
EMA Young Hollywood Board Member Lance Bass welcomes EMA President Debbie Levin, EMA Executive Board member Ed Begley, Jr. and Director of the Norman Lear Center and Professor at the USC Annenberg School Marty Kaplan, onto his Sirius XM Radio show, Dirty Pop. The trio discuss everything from climate change, to politics to Ed Begley, Jr. going on a date in his electric “golf cart” in the 1970s.
The 23rd Annual Environmental Media Awards are held at Warner Bros. Studios and Darren Criss opens the show with a special live performance.
Matt Damon receives the EMA Board of Directors Ongoing Commitment Award. Bill McKibben receives the EMA Lifetime Achievement Award. Anna Getty receives the EMA Green Parent Award. Hayden Panettiere receives the EMA Futures Award. The Screen Actors Guild Awards receive the EMA Green Production Award. Fifty Green Seal Certificates are handed out to deserving feature films, television shows and special events.
EMA launches a new website with daily news blogs, green tips, hot button issues and photos, including vintage photos and videos from our first 23 years!
EMA returns to the Sundance Film Festival for the second year with our partner Brita, who debuts a new documentary about the music industry’s growing commitment to sustainable touring. EMA Young Hollywood Board Member Malin Akerman hosts a party celebrating the documentary and performs with her band. Brita replaces over 50,000 bottles of water at the Festival via the Nalgene reusable bottles and Brita hydration stations.
Throughout the year, EMA Young Hollywood Board members including Malin Akerman, Lance Bass, Mehcad Brooks, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Francesca Eastwood, Beau Garrett, Ginnifer Goodwin, Rachelle Lefevre, Carter Oosterhouse, Amy Smart, Emily VanCamp and Constance Zimmer, in addition to Ali Larter and Mary Louise Parker, visit EMA’s 16 sponsored school gardens (including three new ones), generously lending their time and support as school garden mentors. The gardens provide lessons not only in healthy eating, but help improve cognitive and social skills. At one school, the hands-on experience of working in a garden helped improve its overall science scores by nearly 60% in a single year.
Carson High School’s beautiful and lush garden played host to EMA’s Third Annual School Gardens Luncheon. EMA Young Hollywood Board Members Lance Bass, Francesca Eastwood, Beau Garrett, Ginnifer Goodwin, Carter Oosterhouse, Amy Smart and Constance Zimmer join in the celebration, along with students and teachers from many EMA sponsored schools. Chef Mary Sue Milliken and her Border Grill team prepare produce collected from our sponsored school gardens for a delicious and nutritious lunch.
EMA and SoCal Edison continue our ongoing partnership with California Green Communities, a community-based effort encouraging cities to use environmentally sound practices through water conservation, efficient transportation, waste reduction, energy efficiency and other activities. Throughout the year, awards are presented to the city of Claremont, Culver City, Riverside and Simi Valley, for their commitments and progress towards sustainability.
EMA Executive Director Greg Baldwin moderates the second annual Sound of Social Change Grammy Panel prior to the Grammy Awards. The summit features panelists discussing corporate responsibility in the field of sustainability, decreasing their impact on the environment and how industry insiders can use their collective power to drive change in greening.
Debbie Levin and EMA Young Hollywood Board Member Alison Sudol host the green business panel discussing business achievement in economic development, social responsibility and stewardship of the environment at the 17th Annual Sustainable Quality Awards (SQA) produced by the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, Sustainable Works and the City of Santa Monica. Six local companies were honored as EMA and the Chamber of Commerce join forces to present the luncheon about “Green Messaging and Media.”
EMA President Debbie Levin participates in a panel hosted by the UCLA Center for Corporate Environmental Performance to talk about corporate sustainability and the growth of the ‘green consumer.’
EMA is on hand at Los Angeles City Hall along with Environment California and Heal the Bay to witness Los Angeles history as the ban against single use plastic bags is passed by the Los Angeles City Council. EMA board members Amy Smart, Carter Oosterhouse and Rachelle Lefevre are also there to witness this historic vote.
EMA Young Hollywood Board Members Malin Akerman and Emmanuelle Chriqui team up to represent EMA by starring in a PSA about Green Works’ Reverse Graffiti Project. Reverse graffiti, or “clean tagging,” is a method of creating art by removing dirt and grime from a filthy surface. The video went viral and has been viewed over half a million times.
EMA launches our newest board, the EMA Parent Board with the mission to logically educate and motivate practical, yet sustainable parenting using celebrities to role model their inspiring challenges. In an overall partnership with the E! Network, EMA Executive Board Member Suzanne Kolb is working alongside EMA to bring these experiences to E!’s global audience.
The 22nd Annual Environmental Media Awards are hosted by Malin Akerman at Warner Bros. Studios. Malin and her band also open the show with a live performance. Kelly Meyer receives the EMA Lifetime Achievement Award, Elon Musk receives the EMA Corporate Responsibility Award, Jessica Alba receives the inaugural EMA Green Parent Award and Ian Somerhalder receives the EMA Futures Award. Twenty-four productions receive the EMA Green Seal Award.
EMA and EMA Young Hollywood Board member Emmanuelle Chriqui partner with Brita FilterForGood on the Brita FilterForGood Film Project and competition, in conjunction with the Sundance Film Festival. Emmanuelle announces winners of the film shorts competition at a special Sundance party. The event was the culmination of an exciting campaign to shed light on water issues across the U.S. and help raise awareness of how films can inspire a path to a healthier planet. Brita FilterForGood makes the legendary Sundance Film Festival a water bottle free event and provides 40,000 FilterForGood Nalgene bottles and Brita Hydration Hubs for Festival attendees.
EMA’s Young Hollywood Board (YHB) meets for the first time to discuss pressing environmental issues and how they can best use their celebrity status to create environmental awareness and inspire positive change. The YHB continues to expand and their involvement with the EMA School Gardens program continues to grow. School garden mentors now include: Malin Akerman, Lance Bass, Mehcad Brooks, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Rosario Dawson, Rachelle Lefevre, Maroon 5, Ali Larter, Carter Oosterhouse, Mary Louise Parker, Matthew Rhys, Nicole Richie, Wilmer Valderrama, Emily VanCamp and Olivia Wilde.
EMA celebrates the second anniversary of the EMA School Gardens Program with a special luncheon at University High School, one of our 17 adopted schools. The event is held in an amazing green space the school shares with the Gabrieleño Tongva tribe. EMA Young Hollywood Board Chairperson Amy Smart and YHB members Malin Akerman, Beau Garrett and Matthew Rhys, along with students, teachers and parents from many of our adopted schools, enjoy a special meal prepared by Border Grill Chef/Owner Mary Sue Milliken who incorporates vegetables and herbs from our partner school gardens.
EMA hosts Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Lisa Jackson in an intimate gathering at the home of EMA Founding Board Members Cindy and Alan Horn. Members of EMA’s Executive Board, Young Hollywood Board and Corporate Advisory Board were on hand to exchange ideas with Administrator Jackson on how we can help safeguard and protect the EPA’s role in our country.
EMA joins forces with the largest green consumer show in North America bringing the EMA Awards to Toronto! World-renown scientist Dr. David Suzuki receives the International Award of Excellence along with the documentary, Force of Nature: The David Suzuki Movie. Petropolis: Aerial Perspectives on the Alberta Tar Sands, Land of Destiny, Down2Earth and popular CBC reality series, Dragon’s Den also honored. Canadian born EMA YHB Member Rachelle Lefevre and Debbie Levin represent EMA.
EMA partners with event sponsor Green Giant on the inaugural “Green Awards,” celebrating individuals across the country making a difference for the environment. The awards bring together three finalists in each of four categories: Green Parent, Green Civic Leader, Green Entrepreneur and Green Local Organizer. Over fifty thousand people vote online to chose the four winners, who each receive twenty-five thousand dollars to expand their environmental projects. EMA Board Members Carter Oosterhouse and Amy Smart host the evening’s festivities and EMA Board Members Ed Begley, Jr., Frances Fisher and Young Hollywood Board Members Emmanuelle Chriqui, Beau Garrett and actor Reid Scott are presenters.
EMA partners with The Artists & Athletes Alliance and UCLA, for an Evening with Philippe Cousteau, CEO of Earth Echo International and Special Correspondent for CNN at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills. Philippe talks about his recent expedition to The Arctic Circle to study global warming and provides an update on the Gulf Oil Spill.
EMA continues our partnership Southern California Edison (SCE) and Green Seal on the California Green Communities (CGC) program which recognizes environmental achievement and fosters innovative ways for participating cities to reduce carbon emissions and energy consumption while building vibrant, sustainable communities.
The first 10 cities meet at Claremont City Hall to discuss their progress vying for certification and after less than two years, four cities receive the first CGC Silver Certification – Claremont, Monrovia, Riverside and Santa Clarita – and are just inches away from Gold and Platinum in many areas!
EMA teams up with Lowes, Rebuilding Together and Carter Oosterhouse’s Carter’s Kids to construct a brand new garden and playground, as well as renovate houses in the neighborhood surrounding Nueva Esperanza Charter Academy in San Fernando, CA. EMA YHB Members Amy Smart, Carter Oosterhouse, Ali Larter and husband Hayes MacArthur, as well as Beau Garrett assist the LA Conservation Corps with their final touches in the beautiful EMA garden.
EMA holds a Show-runners Briefing at the offices of Executive Board members, CAA to discuss story lines, issues provided by many of the national environmental organizations and green production. Creative teams representing half-hour, hour scripted and reality series all participate.
The 21st Annual Environmental Media Awards, hosted by Emmanuelle Chriqui, Constance Zimmer and Perrey Reeves, are held at Warner Bros. Studios and streamed live for the first time by Livestream. Justin TImberlake receives the Futures Award, Marc Nathanson receives the Board of Directors Ongoing Commitment Award, Southern California Edison receives the Corporate Responsibility Awards and PGA Green receives the Green Production Award. A performance by A Fine Frenzy opens the event.
EMA begins its third decade!
EMA celebrates the first anniversary of the EMA School Gardens Program with a luncheon at The Learning Garden at Venice High School. EMA Young Hollywood Board Chair Amy Smart emcees a program focusing on the importance of healthy foods in our schools. Executive Chef Mary Sue Milliken and the Border Grill Truck serve an organic meal incorporating fresh organic vegetables and herbs from our partner schools!
As the School Gardens program continues to thrive, the EMA Young Hollywood Board continues to grow and now includes Malin Akerman, Cassidy Horn, Cody Horn, Ali Larter, Ben Lear, Bree Lear, Maddie Lear and Rachel Lefevre.
EMA takes part in the first Green Screen Panel at ShoWest in Las Vegas highlighting the current and future advances towards a more sustainable theatre experience.
In a massive show of support from the entertainment industry, there is a major expansion of environmental oversight throughout the physical production process, with the placement of new environmental stewards, sustainable production managers and sustainability coordinators at various studios. EMA gathers a committee of all the studios so the EMA Green Seal program, now in it’s 8th year, can further explore ways to honor and message the work of Hollywood.
EMA partners with The Green Living Show, Canada’s largest green consumer trade show held in Toronto. Actor/environmental businessman Colin Firth, his wife Livia and their business partner Nicola Giuggioli receive the EMA Green Living Award for founding Britain’s first ecological destination store Eco Age. EMA President Debbie Levin and EMA Board member Amy Smart are on hand to present the award and sit on a panel discussion with Colin and Nicola about easy and workable solutions for leading a sustainable lifestyle.
EMA’s Executive Board, Young Hollywood Board and Corporate Advisory Board meet at the home of Lyn and Norman Lear for a discussion about water with guest speaker Dr. Farouk El-Baz, in conjunction with The Science & Entertainment Exchange, a program of the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C. Dr. El-Baz is Research Professor and Director of the Center for Remote Sensing at Boston University and known for his pioneering work in using space images to explore for groundwater in arid land.
EMA partners with Brita FilterForGood, along with The Sundance Channel, to launch the Brita FilterForGood Film Project, a competition asking people across the country to share an environmental challenge facing their community.
Three winners are selected to have their ideas turned into short films, directed by Sundance filmmakers and screened at a specialevent during the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. EMA Young Hollywood Board member Emmanuelle Chriqui lends her voice to the project and helps raise awareness of how films can inspire a path to a healthier planet.
EMA continues our partnership with Southern California Edison and Washington, DC based Green Seal on the California Green Communities Challenge, focusing media and public attention on the activities of the ten participating cities that are working towards environmentally sound practices.
The 20th Annual Environmental Media Awards, hosted by Olivia Munn and Jason Ritter, is held at Warner Bros. Studios for the first time and streamed online on the National Geographic’s YouTube channel. Ted Turner receives the Lifetime Achievement Award and Jeff Skoll receives the Corporate Responsibility Award, with a special anniversary performance by Kenny Loggins who performed at the 1997 EMA Awards.
EMA’s 20th Anniversary.
EMA’s Young Hollywood Board is formed. Amy Smart is board chair and board members include Nicole Richie, Maroon 5, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Rosario Dawson, Maria Menounos, Emily VanCamp, Anna Getty, Olivia Wilde, Matthew Rhys, Lance Bass, Carter Oosterhouse and others.
EMA and the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) begin an ongoing partnership to support organic gardens and greenery in urban schools across Los Angeles. EMA will directly support a number of school gardens through funding and celebrity mentoring vis-à-vis EMA’s Young Hollywood Board. The kick-off press conference was held at Bernstein High School in Hollywood with Nicole Richie, Amy Smart and Anna Getty.
EMA partners with the non-profit, third party certifier Green Seal based in Washington, DC to recognize productions that implement sustainable initiatives into their production practices. Since 2004, the EMA Green Seal has been awarded to over 100 EMA recipients. The new program has been strengthened with more detailed and exacting criteria, and the Green Seal organization will provide third-party auditing services.
In partnership with our friends at Southern California Edison, EMA helps launch the California Green Communities (CGC) campaign. This community-based effort encourages cities to adopt environmentally sound practices. Working through the mayors’ offices, each participating city will strive to achieve the Green Communities certification. Criteria will include energy efficiency, waste management, water management, air quality and other issues.
The 2009 Environmental Media Awards are held at Paramount Studios for the first time and streamed online on wonderwall.msn.com. Sir Richard Branson receives the Corporate Responsibility Award. National Geographic Society receives the Legacy Award. Centropolis Entertainment receives the first ever Green Production Award and Jason Mraz receives the Missions in Music Award.
EMA debuts an organic T-Shirt line by Alexx Jae for men, women, children, and babies. Celebrities supporting and wearing the T’s include Halle Berry, Anna Faris, Heather Graham, Gwyneth Paltrow, Nicole Richie, Amy Smart, and Constance Zimmer.
EMA President, Debbie Levin appears on the TODAY Show launching a national cell phone recycling campaign raising money to protect the environment and lowering CO2 emissions.
Lionsgate Entertainment launches a PSA campaign on behalf of EMA’s cell phone recycling campaign. Scarlett Johansson and Eva Mendes appear in The Spirit print ads, asking people to Answer the Call for the Environment and recycle old cell phones!
The 18th Annual EMA Awards are held at The Ebell of Los Angeles and streamed on msn.com. Rosario Dawson receives the Futures Award. Tiffany & Co. receives the Corporate Responsibility Award and the Philadelphia Eagles receive the Board of Directors Ongoing Commitment Award.
EMA co-hosts the “Golden-Green Party” with E! Entertainment at the 2007 Golden Globe Awards. The entire event from décor to food is sustainable. A tree is planted in honor of each person attending.
EMA partners with Global Cool to host a press conference and dinner in London at 10 Downing Street with Prime Minister Tony Blair. The topic was climate change and how to empower the general public.
EMA speaks at the Industry Insights Summit on why it is important to make your business and products environmentally conscious. The 3-day conference was attended by 150 executives/marketers who define promotional strategies and partnerships.
EMA leads a panel at the Association of Film Commissioners Conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico, focusing on creating a sustainable environment while filming on location. Attending the conference were representatives from both the United States and abroad.
The 17th Annual EMA Awards are held at The Ebell of Los Angeles, again aired on E! Entertainment Network. Trudie Styler receives the Lifetime Achievement Award. The Honorable Al Gore and Kevin Wall receive the Outstanding Achievement Award for Live Earth. Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. receives the Corporate Responsibility Award. Sienna Miller receives the Futures Award and Incubus receives the Missions in Music Award.
EMA and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics co-host a Hollywood Forum on Safe Cosmeticsmoderated by Amy Smart. The gathering brings together entertainment industry makeup artists and hairstylists to learn about the issue of chemicals in cosmetics and personal care products.
EMA hosts the “Green Power Family Hour,” celebrating the environment and teaching tips to adults and children on ways to keep a greener lifestyle.
EMA teams up again with BP America and KABC to raise awareness about BP’s A+ for Energy teacher grant campaign and supports the celebratory luncheon honoring the winning California teachers.
EMA holds an intimate dinner party hosted by Mary-Kate Olsen specifically for Young Hollywood Celebrities to introduce the guests to very manageable ways of living a sustainable lifestyle that the general public can witness and adopt as part of their own lifestyle.
The 16th Annual EMA Awards are held at The Ebell of Los Angeles and aired on E! Entertainment Network. The Red Hot Chili Peppers receive the EMA Missions in Music Award and Maroon 5 receives the Futures Award. The EMA Green Seal expands to include Corporate Offices of Studios, Agencies and other entertainment industry companies.
EMA forms a Corporate Advisory Board with representatives from many of the most influential companies in our country. The Board’s common goal is improving their bottom lines through aggressive “green” options for the consumer.
Ed Begley, Jr., Danny DeVito and Rhea Pearlman, Daryl Hannah, Salma Hayek,Edward Norton, and Brad Pitt celebrate the BP Solar Neighbors Program™ with EMA and the Enterprise Foundation.
EMA recruits celebrities to purchase solar for their homes. For every home, BP Solar donates a system to a lowincome family in Los Angeles.
EMA Board members guest on KNBC’s “Green Eats,” communicating sustainable choices to support The Heritage Tree Preservation Act and the Campaign For Old Growth, protecting California’s oldest and biggest trees.
EMA hosts the “Green Power Baby Shower.” The Briefing educates future and current parents about ways to keep their families as healthy as possible in their homes. Panelists include Ed Begley, Jr., Blythe Danner, Dr. Alan Greene, Dr. Harvey Karp, Bob Scowcroft of the Organic Farming Research Foundation, and Nancy Chuda.
EMA attends the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies in Aspen, chairing the Entertainment & Advertising Panel for the awe-inspiring group of 60 politicians and businessmen including Hon. Al Gore and Hon. John Kerry.
The 15th Annual EMA Awards are held at The Ebell of Los Angeles with keynote address by The Honorable Al Gore. EMA Co-Founders Cindy Horn and Lyn Lear receive the Board of Directors Ongoing Commitment Awards. Futures Awards are given to Cassidy Horn, Cody Horn and Ben Lear.
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and EMA partner on an informative Town Hall meeting entitled Hollywood Ocean Night, bringing together celebrities, producers, directors, journalists, ocean scientists and environmentalists to discuss ocean conservation.
EMA takes Earth Day “global.” CNN Headline News showcases green lifestyles and dedicates an entire week profiling a celebrity a day regarding their environmental behaviors. The segments air several times each day and deliver 1.7 billion impressions.
Eddie Bauer and Condé Nast Publications help bring national attention to the environment and the work of six non-profit organizations, including and organized by EMA. The print campaign appears in the August and September issues of 14 high profile magazines and reaches nearly 69 million readers.
EMA launches an ad campaign led by Board Member Hart Bochner, soliciting the Hollywood industry in support of reversing the widespread industry use of the rapidly vanishing rainforest wood, lauan.
EMA partners with the Campaign for Old Growth in support of the Heritage Tree Preservation Act to protect the biggest and oldest of California’s trees.
The 14th Annual EMA Awards are held at The Ebell of Los Angeles. Daryl Hannah receives the Board of Directors Ongoing Commitment Award. Willie Nelson receives the Missions in Music Award. Fritz Coleman accepts a special Community Service Award for KNBC’s “4 Our Planet” PSA campaign. EMA hands out our Inaugural EMA Green Seal Awards, a recognition program honoring progress in sustainable production.
EMA co-hosts “Investing in Media that Matters,” a gathering in Sundance Village with the goal of creating more social mission/environmental independent feature film and television projects. Robert Redford delivers the opening remarks and Pierce Brosnan delivers the keynote address.
EMA participates in Creative Artist Agency’s first environmental symposium helping attendees learn about the growing environmental movement and the latest advances in hybrid technology.
EMA works with BP, Inc. on A+ For Energy. The program awards 2 million dollars in grants and scholarships to 300 of California’s educators for teaching energy education and conservation in the classroom.
Dr. Jane Goodall enlists EMA’s help in ending the abuse of chimpanzees and other great apes performing in film and television productions.
The Sierra Club and EMA partner on a “Get Out The Vote” celebrity print campaign. The campaign delivers a parent/child message and includes Pierce Brosnan and his son Sean, Robin Williams and his daughter Zelda, and Joanne Woodward with her daughters Clea Newman-Soderlund and Melissa Newman.
The 13th Annual EMA Awards are hosted by Rob Schneider at The Ebell of Los Angeles. The Futures Award is presented to Edward Norton and Alanis Morissette receives the Missions in Music Award.
EMA works with the Alaska Coalition and The Wilderness Society enlisting support in a bipartisan endorsement to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil exploration and drilling.
As part of Campaign Hollywood, Vanity Fair and Bebe co-host an event celebrating the launch of three more “gen e” PSA’s, starring Cameron Diaz and Gwyneth Paltrow; the cast of Will & Grace; and REM.
EMA and Ed Begley, Jr. work with the Alaska Coalition on the Alaskan Rainforest Project and PSA campaign, reaching 80 million listeners.
The 12th Annual EMA Awards are co-hosted by Amy Smart and Andy Dick at The Ebell of Los Angeles. The Board of Directors Ongoing Commitment Award is presented to Blythe Danner and the inaugural EMA Missions in Music Award is presented to the Dave Matthews Band.
EMA launches the “gen e” program – an opportunity for Young Hollywood to become involved with environmental concerns and role model sustainable lifestyles. Vanity Fair and GUESS? co-host the launch party as part of “Campaign Hollywood” introducing EMA’s first “gen e” PSA campaign with Amy Smart.
EMA delivers the keynote speech on how to inform and educate the public via the global entertainment industry at the Organic Farming Research Foundation’s Conference.
Hollywood Squares hosts EMA on “Protect Our Planet Week,” dedicating five shows to the environment with participants including Jane Fonda and Rob Reiner. The viewership was estimated at 30 million people.
The 11th Annual EMA Awards are held at The Ebell of Los Angeles. Chevy Chase is Master of Ceremonies and the Board of Directors Ongoing Commitment Award is presented to Lisa Simpson (Fox’s The Simpsons.)
EMA receives an honor from the White House 2000 Millennium Green Project by Hillary Rodham Clinton.
EMA begins an ambitious new program of one-on-one environmental briefings with creative teams in production, pitching “green ideas” to work into a creative team’s story vision.
EMA hosts a series of briefings: The Greening of Hollywood is held at Disney Studios and presents an expert panel discussing products designed as alternatives to the tropical rainforest hardwood lauan.
Too Hot for Television, is an industry briefing on global warming designed to education, inform and expose the tools the industry needs to become role models to the millions who tune in each week. How Television Can Save The World features a keynote address by Norman Lear.
EMA works with the Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund, the Endangered Species Coalition and Dr. Jane Goodall in launching a four-city simultaneous Press Conference calling for repeal of the “Extinction Rider” in the 2001 Budget Proposal.
EMA partners with The Alaska Rainforest Campaign, Earthjustice, NRDC, Sierra Club, U.S. Public Interest Research Group and The Wilderness Society to save the landmark Roadless Area Conservation Rule.
The 10th Annual EMA Awards are held at Barker Hanger and co-hosted by Wendie Malick and David Spade. The Board of Directors Ongoing Commitment Award is presented to Keely Shaye Smith & Pierce Brosnan. A special Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to Jayni & Chevy Chase and Olivia Newton-John receives the Ermenegildo Zegna International Environmental Award.
EMA works on the California Integrated Waste Management Board’s Finish the Job Public Service campaign to encourage proper disposal of used motor oil.
EMA introduces a new campaign on Earth Day for tape recycling called “Review, Rewind, Recycle.”
The 9th Annual EMA Awards celebrate EMA’s 10th Anniversary with a special salute to EMA Founders Cindy Horn and Lyn Lear.
EMA works with the Los Angeles Unified School District and DWP in the Cool Schools Program to “green” the city’s schoolyards, as part of a larger initiative by DWP to promote energy-efficient measures to reduce pollution and enhance the quality of the environment.
The 8th Annual EMA Awards are held at Will Rogers State Park. Lauren Shuler Donner and Richard Donner receive the Board of Directors Ongoing Commitment Award and Jim Fowler receives the Lifetime Achievement Award.
EMA participates in a trip to Laguna San Ignacio with Pierce Brosnan and Glenn Close to help save the last pristine nursery for Pacific Gray Whales.
EMA co-presents a conference The Stories Kids Care About. The conference discusses how research proves kids care more about the environment than any other issue and turn to TV and movies more often than any other source for information. Over 150 writers, producers and executives attend, representing TV networks, major studios and production companies that reach millions of kids worldwide.
The 7th Annual EMA Awards are held at Will Rogers State Park. The Ermenegildo Zegna International Environmental Award is presented to John Travolta, with a special performance by Kenny Loggins.
Working with Heal The Bay and NRDC, EMA launches the “The Forty Day Fight” to win a critical battle for storm water permits to help clean up Santa Monica Bay.
EMA works with the Coalition for Clean Air to develop a major media campaign to refocus public awareness on the poor air quality in Southern California.
EMA joins forces with NRDC for an environmental justice battle waging in Athens Park, noting that hazardous waste dumps are most often located near people of color.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. returns for another TV industry briefing providing an update on the wrangling in Congress, particularly how it affects our most important environmental laws, one year after the “Contract with America.
The 6th Annual EMA Awards are held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The Board of Directors Ongoing Commitment Award is presented to Rob Reiner. The Ermenegildo Zegna International Environmental Award is presented to Ted Danson, with a special performance by Joni Mitchell.
EMA launches an on-line resource, the Environmental Production Guide, featuring environmentally friendly information and product alternatives for film and video production.
EMA hosts a briefing on The State of the Environment moderated by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who describes the “Contract with America” as a “stealth attack” on current environmental safeguards and urges the audience to use the power of television to help Americans understand the connection between protecting the environment and protecting their health.
EMA combines forces with NRDC to help protect rainforests in British Columbia.
The 5th Annual EMA Awards present the Ongoing Commitment Award to Josh Brand & John Falsey, for their compelling environmental themes on Northern Exposure. Paul Hawken delivers the keynote address focusing on how the business sector – including the entertainment industry – can and must be part of a sustainable future.
EMA sponsors a briefing for over 200 television writers, producers, performers and executives on Population and Consumption, moderated by Jane Fonda.
The 4th Annual EMA Awards are held at CBS Television City. Dr. Maya Angelou delivers the opening remarks and Mikhail Gorbachev delivers the keynote address, with a musical performance by Carole King. The National Audubon Society receives the Board of Directors Ongoing Commitment Award and a Special Music Award goes to Greenpeace and Greenpeace Records.
EMA sponsors a special screening of HBO’s powerful environmental documentary Earth and the American Dream in Washington, DC with a delegation of actors lending their support, and arranges a briefing with President Bill Clinton, Vice President Al Gore, congressional members, environmental leaders, and other top environmental officials, to discuss environmental issues facing the administration.
EMA introduces a new series of workshops entitled Environmental Dialogues. These salon style briefings bring writers and producers together with environmental leaders to discuss, question and debate specific and timely environmental topics.
EMA launches an initiative to encourage the messaging of on-screen recycling.
The 3rd Annual Environmental Media Awards are held at Fox Studios. Vice President Al Gore delivers the keynote address stating, “I greatly admire the work of this organization … because I can say with no exaggeration no group has had a larger impact on the thinking Americans bring to the environment and on the way we as a nation converse with one another about the problems that beset the environment.”
EMA co-sponsors an entertainment industry briefing entitled Environmental Child Abuse focusing on the growing threat to children posed by environmental pollution.
EMA co-sponsors a forum entitled Energy Policy and Environmental Quality: A Sustainable Energy Strategy, featuring a panel of the nation’s leading energy experts.
The 2nd Annual EMA Awards are held at Sony Pictures Studios. Luanne and Frank Wells receive the inaugural EMA Ongoing Commitment Award for their outstanding efforts on behalf of the environment.
EMA receives the President’s Environmental and Conservation Challenge Award from President George H.W. Bush at a Rose Garden Ceremony. The award recognizes outstanding individuals, organizations, or groups who have made a substantial contribution to environmental quality.
EMA publishes 30 Simple Energy Things You Can Do to Save the Earth geared for the entertainment community and offering new tips on how to conserve energy.
The 1st Annual EMA Awards, honoring exemplary television and film projects that effectively incorporate environmental themes, are held at Sony Studios. Diane Sawyer is Master of Ceremonies; Robert Redford gives the keynote address, with special musical performance by David Crosby & Graham Nash.
EMA sponsors “An Evening in Brazil” to benefit the work of the Rainforest Foundation. Over one million dollars is raised to help the Indians of the Amazon Rainforest in their struggle to protect their homeland. EMA Founding Board members Ted and Susie Field host the event, with special performances by Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Billy Crystal and many others.
EMA sponsors a television industry briefing, emphasizing the need for the creative community to become more involved on behalf of the environment.
EMA is founded by Lyn & Norman Lear and Cindy & Alan Horn with a simple but powerful idea – that through television, film and music, the entertainment industry can reach millions of people with a message of concern about our environment and examples of concrete action individuals can take to make a difference.
The logline for the episode is quintessential Happy Days: “Richie goes to a local college and Fonzie takes him to the library to meet some girls.” For a sitcom in the 70s, this is standard stuff, but what happens after this episode airs on September 27, 1977 is far from standard. Millions of kids watching the show see the Fonz take out a library card — his first, mind you, which is a big deal by Happy Days standards. Younger viewers are duly impressed. In the days that follow, according to the series creator, Garry Marshall, requests for library cards zoom by more than 500% nationwide.
Dissolve to eleven years later. Dr. Jay Winsten, director of The Harvard Alcohol Project, comes to Hollywood with a new idea: the “designated driver.” Winsten meets with writers and producers of The Cosby Show, Cheers, LA Law and dozens of other prime time series. He asks them to incorporate story beats that will introduce this new concept to the drinking public. The TV community responds, and starting in November 1988, over 160 prime time episodes include subplots, scenes, or dialogue telling viewers it’s okay to party as long as someone stays sober for the drive home. One year later, a Gallup poll finds 67% of adults surveyed recognize the term “designated driver.” In 1991, Winsten’s new idea is a listing in Webster’s College Dictionary.
The following year, the Environmental Media Association applies Winsten’s technique for a campaign on recycling. EMA asks TV shows to depict recycling on camera to convey that this can be a simple, routine behavior in any American household. Home Improvement, Baywatch, Hearts Afire, Lois & Clark, and several other series follow through, and even increase efforts to recycle on their own sets. Coupled with national public service campaigns on TV, radio, and in print, this effort contributes to unprecedented growth in recycling nationwide. Old news? The notion that prime time series can deliver important messages and have a positive impact on society may be a familiar one. You’ve probably heard other examples from All in the Family, Murphy Brown, Ellen— you name it.
There’s even a measure of cynicism on the subject, especially when a logline includes those five dreaded words “a very special episode of…” But that’s not what we’re talking about. EMA has been working with prime time TV series since 1989. We provide accurate information when stories deal with environmental issues, and we encourage writers to address this subject whenever possible — but never at the expense of story, character, or the entertainment value of the episode. Our annual Environmental Media Awards recognize programs that convey environmental messages in the most entertaining and creative ways, because we understand a critical fact: if the audience isn’t entertained, they won’t stay around for any message. Series such as The Simpsons, Home Improvement, and The X-Files have won multiple EMA awards, proving over and over that the environment can play in prime time.
So, we have a fairly simple “ask”: as you break your stories this season, please consider environmental issues. If you’d like to know more, we’d be happy to provide additional information or connect you with experts who can. If any of these issues can be addressed in dialogue or subplots, through characters or even props, it will help U.S. expand environmental awareness among literally millions of viewers. As awareness is the step immediately before activism, it’s a crucial step, and you are uniquely positioned to help people take it. We hope you will.