Electric Night in Hollywood: Volt and Oscar

Posted by at 22 February, at 21 : 06 PM Print


Note: this blog originally appeared on The Future is Electric

The Global Green 10th annual pre-Oscar party seemed to attract attendees who enjoy an alternative lifestyle that isn’t really that alternative. It’s normal.

I began the evening by sitting in the completely cute and electric Chevy Spark EV while sipping a delicious glass of organic CADE Estate Sauvignon Blanc and thinking, “I could totally do these things. Separately and responsibly, of course.”

After evading the Green Carpet paparazzi who thought I was someone else, I made my way into the lobby of the Avalon where this stunning Dutch woman pulled me into H&M Conscious* Lounge and began to ply me with a delicious cocktail. Once she had my undivided attention, Lotte van der Veer of the Global Green Ambassador Program told me the brand new global garment-recycling partnership with H&M and pointed at a box where we could recycle worn clothing. I apologized sheepishly for not bringing a donation and started to offer the tuxedo jacket off my back. Luckily, she informed me that beginning today, I could just drop my used clothing off at any H&M location. We then got sidetracked when LP’s guitarist Nick Maybury started talking with us.

Lotte introduced me to her fantastically dressed mother-in-law, Rosemary Regalbuto. To the joking groans of her husband Joe (who looked an awful lot like Frank Fontana on “Murphy Brown”), Rosemary told me all about her amazing work as President and CEO of Meals on Wheels West.

Walking into the main event, I spotted a unique pair of woven white and grey suspenders worn by Howard Williams, who recycled t-shirts to make them by hand. Piqued by his eco-fashion sense, I learned that he is actually a LEED-accredited architect who focuses on designing environmentally friendly houses and schools. In his spare time, he created a line of reclaimed and repurposed furniture called recLAimed, inspiring host committee member and “Partners” actress Sophia Bush to want to do the same. “It is so cool knowing that no one else possibly has the same furniture as you.”

After David Patterson of the Mark Slicker Salon commented on my green jeans, he and Mark told me about how they offer their patrons a complete line of eco-friendly and responsible hair products, letting people choose the environment as well as their hairstyle.

Even Senator Barbara Boxer focused on the importance of bottom-up ecology and empowering people to make more intelligent choices. It seemed to be the theme of everyone I spoke with. How the small changes you make in life could have monumental effects on the world we live in.

It’s this same ethos that fuels the evening’s sponsor’s latest model: GM’s Chevy Spark EV. At a lower buy-in than the Volt, it offers an electrified ride to a more modest audience. It’s these little things—the Spark EV, donating clothes, repurposing furniture—that are making green living accessible.

It was the same message conveyed by COO of Global Green Richard Wegman, who, over the perfectly cooked char by Chef Akasha Richmond, chatted with me excitedly about their “Citizen Entrepreneur” contest and the amount of good that could be achieved by giving a normal citizen, who wants to start an urban garden, a id=”mce_marker”,000 grant. Change begins by investing in communities.

Or, in the home. Host committee member and “Homeland” actor Navid Negahban told me about how his grandfather in Iran would separate each food item after a meal while cleaning up, as it minimized the wastefulness. Half a world away, Navid still followed the practice in his own life, because it makes more sense.

Other people focused a lot more on top-down ecology. I spoke with Christian Alexander of Parsons, an engineering and construction company focused on innovating sustainable solutions in all parts of public life, about how they work with governments to make real changes.

But my mind was really blown while talking with Shad Balch at Chevrolet about the reality of a hydrogen car, living in Hollywood, and why they have stopped producing the Hummer and how they are focusing more and more on electric cars. Talking numbers, he insisted the change was not spurned by financial motive, rather the moral imperative. He also told me that using the SAE Combo DC Fast Charger, the Chevy Spark EV could be fully charged in only 20 minutes.

The evening was made perfect by watching renowned green advocate (and arguably one of the greatest guitarists alive) Willie Nelson play a set with his two sons. The only thing I was left wondering at the end of the night was, what was the name of the instrument that Willie’s younger son was playing? 


Outside of California, the largest Chevy Volt dealer west of the Mississippi in 2012 was Burien Chevrolet.  This is according to General Motors’ regional reports, 12/31/2012.  The dealership has made the Volt a priority, and since it is just a mile west of Sea-Tac Airport, it is very easy to get to:  Burien Chevrolet is not far from where you are! 😉  See their current inventory.



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