Hollywood’s Most Glamorous Night Goes Green

This year, the highlight of the Oscars was the focus on sustainability and the vocalization of celebrities’ thoughts on politics and climate change.

From the fashion side of things - with stars re-wearing raved looks from previous events and sporting vintage pieces, all the way to the food that was served at the nominee luncheon before Sunday’s show - sustainability was at the forefront at the Academy Awards this year. 

Kaitlin Dever, who starred in the Netflix series Unbelievable and the hit movie Booksmart, was one of many stars who decided to go with a more sustainable choice for her outfit for this year’s event.

In partnership with Red Carpet Green Dress, an organization dedicated to sustainability within the fashion world, Academy Awards attendees have the opportunity to make a fashion statement that will have a bold impact on and off the red carpet. 

Red Carpet Green Dress was founded in 2009 and has given students and emerging designers the opportunity to make contributions to the fashion industry through internships, competitions, and events.

As sustainability is becoming more widespread and most brands are leaning toward decisions that are more environmentally-conscious, I have a feeling Red Carpet Green Dress is going to become very popular in the next few years.

Although no food is served on Oscars night, there is an annual nominee luncheon that was completely plant-based for the first time this year.

Following the Golden Globes’ decision to serve vegan food at their event, the Oscars decided to shift in the same direction. 

One of the highlights of the night was Joaquin Phoenix’s speech following his win in the Best Lead Actor category.

Phoenix has been vegan for most of his life and is a well-known advocate for animal rights.

As the winner in one of the biggest categories of the night, he took the opportunity to talk about something pertinent to all of us. 

While the Academy claims that its shows for nearly the past decade have been carbon-zero, they are taking steps to achieve carbon neutrality in the future.

As one of the biggest awards shows, the moves toward sustainability have a significant impact on popular culture and society as a whole.

I truly hope that viewers and other celebrities alike begin to take action on a more regular basis and help us move toward a more sustainable present, as opposed to a more sustainable future.

While making plans for the future is certainly a positive thing, nothing will be better for the state of our planet than to take immediate action, and the Oscars presented two pretty feasible ways of doing this:

Adopt a plant-based diet

While I know that the switch to a fully plant-based diet can seem incredibly overwhelming, it’s helpful to remember that every little bit helps.

The commitment aspect of being vegan can be the most difficult for some people, so I would recommend eating plant-based as often as possible and working with what you’ve got.

If you throw every non-vegan product in your kitchen away immediately, you would be creating unnecessary food waste.

I would recommend buying plant-based versions of kitchen staples once you run out of them and trying to incorporate as many vegan meals into your diet as possible.

Remember that perfection is not the end goal, but rather working to be more sustainable in the way that is best for you is the goal.

Try not to be too intimidated and feel as though you must go completely vegan all at once - while this may work for some people, it’s not practical for everyone.

Ultimately, the most important thing is to make decisions that are best for you and your own health needs, so do what works for you!

Make more sustainable fashion choices 

When it comes to fashion, there are a multitude of ways to make choices that are better for the planet, and most of them happen to be better for your wallet, too!

Thrifting is a good way to get started, and buying second hand keeps clothing out of landfills and keeps consumers from buying new things.

A whole movement has started because of thrifting, and many people have committed to buying #NoNewThings.

Goodfair, an online retailer, sells second-hand clothing in bundles that have a bit of everything you may need for each season.

From staples, such as flannels and jean jackets, to more casual items like crewnecks and T-shirts, they’ve got something for everyone.

When you place an order, you don’t choose what specific item you receive, but rather choose an item, such as a sweatshirt, and are surprised by what the sweatshirt itself is.

If this doesn’t sound like something for you, shopping at local thrift stores is another great option!

Another fun way to get new clothing is to hold clothing swaps with friends, classmates, or organizations on campus. Most people don’t wear every single article of clothing that they own, and switching things out with pieces that are new to you helps eliminate this problem!

As many people are becoming aware of the need for sustainability in all aspects of human life, things are beginning to change.

We all have the opportunity to make an impact on society and the planet, but it’s up to us to take it.

While something like vegan food being served at an award show or a sustainably made dress may seem trivial, it all matters in the end.

The push toward sustainability is one that happens in a domino effect, so one small change can end up making a world of difference.