Monday night at the American Museum of Natural History on the Upper West Side, the National Resources Defense Council held their annual gala, and Inhabitat was on hand. Hosted by Saturday Night Live’s Seth Meyers, the black tie affair featured a sumptuous three-course local vegetarian meal, as well as a bevy of important NRDC produced films, and a ceremony honoring Arianna Huffington and Wendy and Eric Schmidt. From the beautifully upcycled decorations to the sustainably-grown food, great care was taken to green the fundraiser, which helps support the NRDC’s programs and bring awareness to the importance of its mission.
Gala attendees sipped cocktails while cavorting around the famed dinosaur skeletons in the museum’s lobby. Inside the museum’s Milstein Hall of Ocean Life, patrons were treated to lavishly decorated tables, set amongst the dioramas of seals and dolphins and beneath the life size giant blue whale.
Many steps were taken to green the event. The cruelty-free centerpieces for each table featured a tableau of terrariums and magnifying glasses, which will be donated to NYC Public Schools. The goodies in the terrariums were also reused; aloe plants will be replanted, feather decorations were cruelty free, and insects made from wire and keyboard keys will be turned over to WeRecycle after the event. The tablecloths, printed with newspaper articles from NRDC, where printed onto recyclable fabrics, while the giant newspaper stage backdrop was printed with non-solvent inks onto 60 percent recycled fabric. Both of these textiles will be upcycled into tote bags sewn in New York City and used for a future event.
The meal, which included a radicchio salad, artichoke and ricotta ravioli, and warm chocolate cake, was all made from local, seasonal, organically grown, and sustainably harvested foods, following the 100 Mile Diet philosophy. The successful evening was a mesh of incredible local foods, informative and innovative video, great jokes, and, most impressively, proof that a glamorous, large-scale event can easily be greened.