Esther Kang

Manhattan Beach’s Grades of Green to honor local celebrity activists

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Jon Landau

Jon Landau

“Titanic” and “Avatar” producer Jon Landau will be among the honorees at a Manhattan Beach-based environmental nonprofit’s fourth annual benefit on June 6, set to be a “zero-waste” evening at the Manhattan Beach Studios’ Media Campus.

Alongside the Academy Award-winning producer, Grades of Green will recognize Suzy Amis Cameron, a former actress and model who founded a sustainable fashion initiative called Red Carpet Green Dress, and Earth Friendly Products, a Garden Grove-based company which has become the world’s largest manufacturer of sustainable cleaning products. Hosting Verte 2014 is John Ireland, ESPN710 host and the radio voice for the Los Angeles Lakers.

“All three (honorees) are terrific role models for the children we strive to inspire and empower – showing young people that you can simultaneously live your dreams and love the planet,” Grades of Green co-founder Kimberly Lewand Martin said.

MBS Media Campus, previously Marvel Studios’ headquarters, is home to the production of the three forthcoming Avatar sequels. It’s where the team is shooting the blue-skinned Na’vi characters using virtual production.

Suzy Amis Cameron

Suzy Amis Cameron

Since director James Cameron (who is married to honoree Suzy Amis Cameron) and Landau moved Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment into the 22-acre campus in 2011, they’ve made a few changes. For instance, they installed 1-megawatt solar panels on 10 stage roofs to power the entire production. They felt that they had a responsibility to “walk the walk where (they) could,” Landau said.

“It goes beyond just the solar,” he said, noting that from reusable canteens to electric vehicle charging stations, environmentally conscious practices are built into day-to-day living on campus. “It’s a whole philosophy for how you approach everything you do.”

This is the first time the annual celebration is taking over the MBS Media Campus. Verte 2014 will feature a selection of “eco cuisine,” including appetizers from chef David LeFevre of MB Post and Fishing with Dynamite and other local restaurants.

Landau said he believes Grades of Green, which provides environmental education to 150,000 K-12 students enrolled across 36 states and five countries, is effective in its mission by instilling earth-loving values at a young age.

“One of the things I love about Grades of Green is that it starts with the kids,” he said. “When you start having an impact on the kids, it’s amazing how they can influence their parents.”

To purchase tickets or learn more about Verte 2014, visit Verte2014.