On January 27th, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences announced its commitment to reducing its carbon footprint, stating that "The Academy is an organization of storytellers from around the world, and we owe our global membership a commitment to supporting the planet."

Katrina Lee

The Food

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The Oscar Nominees Luncheon served a completely plant-based menu, and while there is no food served at the Oscars itself, all food available in the lobby before the ceremony was vegan. The Governors Ball (aka the official after party) was only 70 percent vegan (still a step in the right direction!), including dishes like avocado tostadas, wild mushroom potstickers, taro root tacos and heirloom carrot "tartare". The Academy claims to have an "ultimate goal of becoming carbon neutral," meaning they aim to have "a balance between emitting carbon and absorbing carbon from the atmosphere." And the sustainability award goes to...The Academy.

Who Did It First

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The Oscars was not the only award show to go vegan. The Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild and Critics' Choice Awards beat The Academy to it. Who will hop on the sustainability bandwagon next?

Food Wasn't the Only Thing to Get a Sustainable Makeover

Hollywood stars were encouraged to rewear or recycle old gowns and suits on the red carpet this year. Saorise Ronan flaunted a dress that was repurposed from a gown she wore at the BAFTAs the week prior. Elizabeth Banks and Arianna Huffington sported dresses they wore at previous Oscars parties. Looks like vintage just got even trendier. Best Actor nominee Joaquin Phoenix strut the same suit he has worn to every award ceremony this season. If they can do it we can do it, right? Maybe wearing the same outfit twice isn't so bad after all!

Jane Fonda presented the Best Picture award in a gown she also wore to the Cannes Film Festival in 2014 and a red coat that she announced was the last article of clothing she will ever buy: "When I talk to people about, 'We don't really need to keep shopping...We don't need more stuff,' then I have to walk the walk too," said Fonda.  

Kaitlyn Dever and Léa Seydoux represented Suzy Amis Cameron's Red Carpet Green Dress initiative, wearing ethically-sourced Louis Vuitton gowns -- custom-made, of course. 

Joaquin Phoenix's Speech

Katrina Lee

If you didn't get a chance to hear Joaquin Phoenix's speech upon accepting the Oscar for lead actor, here's what you missed:

"I think the greatest gift that [the love of film and this form of expression has] given me...is the opportunity to use our voice for the voiceless...whether we're talking about gender inequality or racism or queer rights or indigenous rights or animal rights, we're talking about the fight against injustice. We're talking about the fight against the belief that one nation, one people, one race, one gender, or one species has the right to dominate, control and use and exploit another with impunity.

I think that we've become very disconnected from the natural world, and many of us, what we're guilty of, is an egocentric worldview, the belief that we're the center of the universe. We go into the natural world and we plunder it for its resources. We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow, and when she gives birth, we steal her baby, even though her cries of anguish are unmistakable. And then we take her milk, that's intended for her calf, and we put it in our coffee and our cereal.

And I think we fear the idea of personal change because we think that we have to sacrifice something, to give something up. But human beings, at our best, are so inventive and creative and ingenious, and I think that when we use love and compassion as our guiding principles, we can create, develop and implement systems of change that are beneficial to all sentient beings and to the environment...

When he was 17, my brother wrote this lyric...'run to the rescue with love, and peace will follow.' Thank you."

Phoenix's speech addressed more than just his acting career; it addressed the need for social change. His words united his audience in the crowd and in living rooms around the world, calling for compassion to be extended towards ourselves and our neighbors, as well as to the natural world. The red carpet is starting to look a little greener.