Over the past few weeks our blogging team has been out and about at some amazing events. This week Alison, Kasia and I attended a climate change summit that brought together leaders from aquariums across North America (and some in Europe and Asia). Together, we're trying to figure out how best to instill in visitors a sense of urgency about changing our behavior -- as individuals and as institutions -- to address the threat that climate change poses to the survival of ocean life. (Not a moment too soon, as this week's news reports a rise in CO2 emissions in the United States.)
Last month, I was part of a Monterey Bay Aquarium team at the 18th Environmental Media Awards in Los Angeles, where Hollywood honored the shows that are leading the way in getting green messages out to audiences. You can see video highlights, or the entire awards ceremony, by following the links to MSN Green.
There was an A-list of stars as presenters and award recipients, including Rosario Dawson, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Lance Bass, Nicole Richie, Wendy Malick, Ed Begley Jr., Wilmer Valderrama, Hart Bochner and many others.
The highlights for me were the achievements of the businesses honored at the ceremonies -- companies that are doing astounding things to green their operations and set an example for others.
I had no clue that the Philadelphia Eagles football team plays its games on organically grown turf, powers its stadium with energy from wind and solar, helps fans find carbon offsets for their travel to games and creates PSAs featuring Eagles' players to promote green behavior. That's just the start. Check out the details in the complete awards video, starting at the 29:51 mark.
Another surprise was the jeweler, Tiffany & Co., which is fighting plans for a gold mine in Alaska that would pollute an important salmon river; makes sure that none of its precious metals are mined in ways that harm the environment; supports coral reef conservation; and will not buy blood diamonds from Africa or gemstones from the regime in Burma, with its abysmal human rights record.
Tiffany's CEO Michael J. Kowalski said every jeweler should be adhering to the same high standards and outlined a checklist for consumers -- akin to our Seafood Watch guide -- with questions people should ask before buying a piece of jewelry. You can learn about Tiffany's sustainability commitments starting at the 1:14:45 mark on the video.
All in all, it was an eye opening evening. My take-away message: If Tiffany & Co. and the Philadelphia Eagles can be leaders in green business practices, what's stopping the rest of us?