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Hollywood rolls out the green carpet

The entertainment industry is doing more to make productions and events ecofriendly.

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America’s dream factory is out to put its reputation for waste in the can.

With a huge carbon footprint, and possibly more influence than any other industry, big TV networks and movie studios are partnering with major environmental organizations to go green. A growing list of behaviors once cutting-edge such as recycling, composting, and using wind, solar, and alternative fuels have become commonplace in Hollywood.

Not just season shows but high-profile awards events – such as the coming Golden Globes on Jan. 11 and the Oscars in February – are increasingly incorporating green ideas. These include red carpets made of old plastic bottles, chalkboards for signage, electric generators powered by soy waste biodiesel fuel, and party tents lit by solar panels. Gift bags at award shows now often include items such as low-energy light bulbs.

Such practices seemed faddish just a few years ago, but gained currency with the 2006 release of Al Gore’s Oscar-winning film on global warming, “An Inconvenient Truth.”

By using more renewable energy, the 2008 Oscars avoided an estimated 630 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

“A year ago these practices were fad driven and everyone was just talking, ‘How do we do it, how do we go green?’ ” says Charisse McAuliffe, founder and CEO of Gen Green, a Colorado-based company which helps promote environmentally conscious lifestyles.

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