EMA Earth Month Wrap-Up

EMA May Newsletter

Planting Change: EMA Heads to Lance Bass' Hometown for Our First #GreenMySchool Garden of 2016

What does food mean to you? To EMA Young Hollywood Committee Chair Lance Bass, food means family; it means home. This April, we traveled to Clinton, Mississippi, Lance's hometown, to get back to the roots of what food can mean to a community. It was all about being organic. Not just in the literal sense, but in creating a natural experience for the school children to get in touch with nature, the food they eat, and their hometown.

The day before the garden, Lance visited Eastside Elementary, his old school. Principal Cindy Hamil, who did an outstanding job making this garden happen, made sure he got a hero's welcome.

It was Cindy's efforts and leadership that helped us land the spot at the community center, the perfect place for our garden. EMA President Debbie Levin acknowledged the decision: “That way, not only do the kids have access all year, but they have access in the summer as well. So does rest of the community.”

Let the Gardening Begin

In partnership with Birds Eye Vegetables, we launched our first #GreenMySchool garden of 2016 in the bucolic setting of The 4C's backlot. Though Lance is a more than capable gardener, he couldn't do it alone. Enlisting the help of the enthusiastic students of Eastside Elementary and the expertise of Gabriel, gardener extraordinaire at Glory Boys Landscaping, we were ready to plant.

The students loved it! While EMA President Debbie Levin and Lance Bass introduced the program to our group, the children cheered when it was revealed our garden would be organically grown (compliments of Kellogg Garden Products). It gives us such joy and hope for the future to see kids excited about growing and eating veggies.

Every student got a chance to work with Gabriel to plant a vegetable in one of nine easy-to-tend raised beds. Lance took an informal poll during the planting and found out that “sixty percent [of the kids] had never touched a plant in their life.”

Luckily, we got everything planted moments before it started to rain, which made the run back to the bus that much more fun.

An Elementary School Reunion

Returning to your roots always comes with plenty of great memories. Sometimes they happen the moment you step off the plane, and other times you need your fifth grade teacher to bring a scrapbook to your school garden event! That's right, Lance's fifth-grade teacher, Jackie Massey, who is retiring after this semester, brought an album of pictures of Lance in elementary school. Leave it to a teacher to make everyone smile!

Why School Gardens?

To start, 9 out of 10 people don't eat the recommended amount of daily veggies in the U.S. Eating vegetables is SO important for kids as they grow both mentally and physically. How can school gardens help fix this? When kids see where their food comes from and take ownership of what they grow, they're more likely to WANT to eat veggies.

To many students, food comes from a cafeteria. This disconnection to food and its origins isn't uncommon; it was even a problem when Lance was in school. According to Lance, “We never learned how to plant things and watch them grow, or basically know what we were putting into our bodies.” If we can show students that food comes from seeds, soil, rain, hard work, and patience, they'll better understand why it's important to care about the planet and to be aware of what they consume.

According to HuffPo, "When children learn outdoors, research by the state of California shows their grades improve, they tend to be less tardy, and they’re more self-confident. When kids plant and harvest their own food, they are also more likely to eat it."

“Watching every one of these kids put a plant into the ground and pack that soil around, they just felt so proud of themselves and they felt ownership of that,” recalled Lance.

#GreenMySchool Breaks the Internet

We're so thrilled to see the internet and social media a buzz over our first school garden outside of Los Angeles. Our total press impressions from the trip, so far, are over 138 million with an additional one million impressions on social.

Our first #GreenMySchool garden of 2016 wouldn't have been possible without the generosity and help of Birds Eye Vegetables, Lance Bass and his family, The 4C's, Eastside Elementary, Principal Cindy Hamil, Kellogg Garden Products, Glory Boys Landscaping, and YOU our members. Thank you!

This is just the beginning! We plan on doing twenty more gardens across the country over the next five years in the home towns of other celebrity Board members. Stay tuned.

The Green Team Assembles in Dallas for Earth Day Texas and EMA's "Celebrities for Change Gala"

What comes to mind when you think of Earth Day? Trees? Recycling? How about Dallas, Texas? That's right; Dallas is home to the BIGGEST Earth Day festival in the country, and when we say biggest, we mean "everything is bigger in Texas" big! Over a thousand exhibit spaces, 266 special guests, an endless flow of attendees, and more speakers playing ambient whale sounds than you can count.

Sadly, our planet's problems are also BIG. From plastic pollution to deforestation, even the country's largest eco-festival can't do it alone. For this reason, Trammell S. Crow, the founder of Earth Day Texas, ordered the #Green4EMA signal be turned on in the Dallas night sky. Wasting no time, EMA's green superheroes came out of their secret hideouts - Ed Begley's hideout is LEED Platinum certified - and made the trip to Dallas to add some star power to Earth Day.

Okay, so it wasn't quite as dramatic as that, but when the Green Team is needed to help our world, we're there! 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 our new best friends Zoe Lister-Jones and Daryl Wein all made the trip down south. If the circumstances would have allowed, we know all of our Board Members would've been there in a heartbeat.

So what do you do when you get that many green stars in one spot? You throw a Gala, of course! In partnership with Earth Day Texas, EMA hosted the "Celebrities for Change Gala" on Earth Day. Inspired by our gracious hosts, we decided to do it up BIG! We brought our trademark green carpet so that attendees could get a taste of Hollywood and experience how fun it is to be green.

The Gala included a three-course meal, speeches, games, a movie panel, and A LOT of laughs. After thoughtful introductions from Trammell S. Crow and EMA President Debbie Levin, the tone of the night was set with some playful banter on who is the greenest Board Member, which came with a few confessions. The crowd loved interacting with the stars and sharing their green efforts and tips.

The night covered everything from pipelines to GMOs, driving the point home that we need to find common ground and work together to help save the planet. It sends a huge message to the rest of the world when Los Angeles and Dallas stand together on these issues. Ed summed it up eloquently when he talked about how his father was a conservative and a dedicated steward to the Planet. In his words, "Saving the planet is a bipartisan effort. I truly believe we can do this together." 

What a way to spend Earth Day! We want to share our most sincere gratitude to Trammell S. Crow, the entire team at Earth Day Texas, and all of our Board Members who made the trip. We're thinking about taking these Green Team excursions more often; we heard Hawaii could use our help.

Join Philippe and Ashlan Cousteau on a Cruise Through Scandinavia and Russia Aboard Silver Whisper


Buy Philippe Cousteau's New Children's Book "Follow the Moon Home"

Philippe Cousteau and renowned author Deborah Hopkinson team up to offer a story of the powerful difference young people can make in the world. Meet Viv, who has a new home and a new school by the sea, and follow her as she finds her way in a new place and helps bring together a whole community to save the sea turtles of the South Carolina coast. 

Support our School Garden Program with our Limited Edition #GreenMySchool Memberships!

In honor of the launch of our #GreenMySchool program, we've created two limited-edition membership packages: The #GreenMySchool Membership and Supporter #GreenMySchool Membership. These will help expand our program into many more cities.

Sounds great, right? It gets better. Our #GreenMySchool Membership packages come with a CJ Free bracelet! The bracelets are green, of course, and sterling silver with a 14k Rose Gold Bead.

SAVE THE DATE: The 2016 EMA Awards are Happening October 22nd!!

It's almost that time of year again! Help us celebrate eco-messaging at our 26th annual Environmental Media Awards happening October 22nd at Warner Bros. Studios. Revisit and reminisce over past EMA Awards on our website.

2016 EMA Awards Call for Entries

Great news! We've officially launched our entries page for the 2016 EMA Awards happening October 22nd.

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