May 20, 2011 • By

Seeing green in L.A.

I had a chance to attend the first-ever Green Awards presented by Green Giant, last Friday in Los Angeles. It was created by the Green Giant brand team to recognize consumers who are making a giant difference in their homes and communities and making our world a better, more sustainable place.

It was a great event, as you can see for yourself in this video.

The number of nominee submissions for The Green Awards came in at more than 200. After meeting some of the finalists and grand prize winners, I was amazed by the cool and potentially life-changing ideas I heard. They have great passion for those ideas and a vision for expanding them to other communities.

The fact that Green Giant is stepping out of the normal marketing box to find these individuals and reward them for their work is tremendous.

One of the category winners I met was Caden Hare, a young man in California who has very big ideas for wastewater treatment in a program that he’s a part of called “Fuel from Aquatic Biomass.” That project will clean water, create energy, save money and help grow food.

You can hear more about that project in this audio interview with Caden.

With all the bad news that seems to dominate the airwaves these days, I love hearing about ideas like Caden’s. There’s a reason for all of us to be optimists.

A representative from the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), Brooke Weizmann, joined us at the event. Brooke visited with me to explain why GMA is involved in sustainability.

Eventually, The Green Awards will soon look for branded partners to help expand the program and fund additional and larger scholarships.

GMA is an active partner with General Mills in the environmental sustainability space and will be collaborating with us in areas like sustainable waste management.

Editor’s note: Visit The Green Awards website to see more videos with the four grand prize winners and all the video submissions in the award categories. The photo at the top of this post features – from left to right – Carter Oosterhouse (HGTV), the four grand prize winners Caden Hare, Will Allen, Cate Arnold, and Bea Johnson, and actress Amy Smart.