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The EMA Green Seal: Making Hollywood Green, One Set at a Time

Between the glitz and the glamour, the awards shows and parties, there's no denying that Hollywood is a land of excess and material. Stars are constantly touted for their ever-changing wardrobes and trend-setting ways, but has anyone ever stopped to think about the environmental impact all of that has on our planet?

Thankfully, since 1989, the Environmental Media Association—a non-profit organization devoted to using the power and profile of the entertainment industry to spread ecological, sustainable awareness throughout the world—has and therefore established the EMA Green Seal Award. A program that honors and recognizes notable environmental efforts in the world of production, the award seeks to highlight those making significant changes throughout the industry while simultaneously inspiring others to do the same.

Based on a 145-point scale, a minimum of 40 points is required to receive the basic Seal recognition, but the higher the points the better the recognition. Participants are instructed to "self-assess" their ratings and circumstances as set visits are not mandatory, but if a production does opt for one, the recognition is likely to go through the roof. Anything from the amount of plastic water bottles on site to the availability of recycling bins can affect a production's rating and should be taken into consideration. Films, TV shows and events are all up for the award, with some notable recipients being 21 Jump Street, the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and 30 Rock.

Providing a great example of what it takes to be a responsible member of society, the EMA also encourages celebrities to get out into the community and help directly. One such way they are doing this is through the EMA School Gardens program which first launched in 2009. Through this initiative, celebrities trade in their traditional setting of red carpets and dressing rooms for educational campuses across various communities where they help cultivate school gardens for students. The gardens allow students an opportunity to learn outside of the classroom and can teach them vital skills and lessons that can only be gained in a hands-on atmosphere.

The efforts of the EMA and their Green Seal Program prove that there's more to Hollywood than the superficial glitz and glamour.

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Samantha Gray is a freelance writer based in Houston, Texas, where she also volunteers as a tutor for a literacy organization. She contributes to BachelorsDegreeOnline.com and also covers topics such as sustainability, health and wellness. Questions and comments may be sent to [email protected].