Imagine for a moment an opulent space with floor to ceiling windows overlooking a bustling Manhattan cityscape on the 44th floor of a LEED-Gold certified building. Now fill the room with an intimate stage, a scattering of thoughtfully decorated tables and 60 or so passionate individuals, all of whom have chosen to spend their lives helping to build a cleaner, greener planet. Is this vision a dream? Oh no, not at all! It’s the setting of The Daily Green’s Heart of Green Awards, which took place last night at the Hearst Tower in New York City.
The Heart of Green Awards was designed to honor those people and organizations that take green to the mainstream — quite simply, to the “heart” of the American people.
The event showcased a cornucopia of famous do-gooders, including Ted Danson, Jamie Oliver, Gloria Reuben and Josie Maran. Of course, the ceremony also paid tribute to everyday local heroes, like Dr. Phillip Landrigan, Audubon President and CEO John Flicker, innovator Fred Schaeffer and slow food rockstars Tracey Ryder and Carole Topalian. Each of these heavy hitters were honored for their steadfast commitment to sustainable practices, green activism and eco execution.
With Earth Day approaching, Ted Danson offered Ecorazzi readers a special green challenge.
“Do two things,” said Danson. “First, educate yourself about what fish you’re eating. We have so much mercury and heavy metal in some of our fish that it’s really a matter of public health. By staying educated, you’re doing the right thing for your health and for the oceans.
“Part two is to get involved with an organization that’s doing work internationally. You know, most things happening in the oceans are happening on an international policy level. People can visit Oceana.org and find out how to become an advocate. You can become an advocate even if your lifestyle is crazy, busy, your exhausted or you don’t have money. Things are moving so fast and we really need to approach this at a large international policy level — and every single person can help do that.”
Eco model and businesswoman Summer Rayne Oakes also shared some green advice, including a recent personal victory.
“I can’t stand plastic bottles anymore,” said Oakes. “So I’ve started distilling tea – I’ve found this amazing brand called Sage — bottling it and keeping it in my fridge. I’ve really noticed a precipitous decline in plastic bottles.”
And the eco advice kept coming! Josie Maran told us about her sustainable makeup line that uses biodegradable packaging, Fred Schaeffer wowed us with his Walkway Over the Hudson State Park project, and Gloria Reuben spoke passionately about the dangers of mountain top removal and coal production.
As the evening came to a close, one couldn’t help but feel proud of this thriving movement and optimistic about its bright future. We’ve come a long way, baby.
Check out some pictures from the event below!