By Irene Lacher Posted November 17, 2008, 3:12 PM EST
Like the cause it trumpets, the Environmental Media Awards ceremony seems to grow in size and stature with each passing year. And between Thursday's 18th annual awards presentation, produced by Scott Mauro Entertainment, and the after-party attended by 1,000 guests, a dozen restaurant stations, and 14 sponsor product booths, this is an event with a lot of moving parts.
The team charged with the tricky task of pulling it together at Ebell of Los Angeles this year consisted of the Environmental Media Association's president, Debbie Levin, and its director of public relations and special events, Lisa Barnet, as well as Danielle Condon of Benarroch Productions. As guests emerged from the Wilshire Ebell Theatre, where entertainment-industry folk and corporate supporters were honored for spreading the environmental message, they were directed to the sprawling adjacent complex, where they found a crisply organized array of stations offering green products as well as organic edibles and potables.
The decentralized setup—which kept lines to a minimum despite the large crowd—stems from the event's unusual format for distributing gift bags: Rather than hand guests a bag on their way out, revelers entering the party received title sponsor Toyota's canvas messenger bag, which they filled with Liz Earle Naturally Active Skincare, Earthbound Farm's dried mangos, a porcelain box emblazoned with the EMA logo from corporate honoree Tiffany & Company, and other Earth-friendly items.
Greco Decor and Benarroch Productions divided up the decorating duties, with Greco building circular bars (one covered in a plastic hedge) and outfitting Tiffany's blue-and-white V.I.P. lounge, which included glass coffee tables with driftwood bases. Benarroch topped tables with raw silk cloths in fuchsia, gold, and green, and small coconuts used as holders for green berries or succulents in pots covered in birch bark. Lexus also brought in its own mahogany rattan furniture for the side patio and sponsored a snow-scene art installation using ice blocks and bare trees on the adjacent lawn.
To practice what the association preaches, organizers further greened the event with biodiesel and solar-powered generators, china plates instead of disposables, and a step-and-repeat and green carpet made from recycled materials.