|Caring for Mother Earth, Glamorously|
|Written by Jim W. Harper - BT Contributor|
What the environmental movement needs is a little pizzazz
Glamorous people of Miami, unite to save the planet!
The green movement needs a makeover. Its signature color is fading like a dead Kermit the Frog settling into rigor mortis. People are so distracted by the economy of Miss Piggy (Wall Street) and her wardrobe (Washington) that they can’t see the giant frog of death in front of their faces. It isn’t easy being green when your life force has gone gray.
The traditional centers of power in the U.S. are so 2011, and so very, very anti-green, and that is why the new and improved environmental movement must begin here. Who better than the fashionistas of South Florida to force out the frumpy and bring on the fabulousness for Mother Earth? Let’s replace “green” with “teal.” Let’s replace litter with glitter.
This is the dawning of the Age of Anthropocene. This new scientific term, heading to a dictionary near you, signifies the “age of man.” We have been so successful on this planet that we own it and affect everything on it. Now we need to step up and take responsibility for keeping our home healthy. Why not do it in style?
Style gets attention. Did you know that Kim Kardashian’s next wedding gown will be made out of organic fig leaves? That statement, while absurd and false, will get more attention on Google than anything else written in this article. Let’s throw in Charlie Sheen saying the environment is “losing” and maybe this column can start trending.
Miami, as the gateway to the Americas, should also become a gateway to the extreme, sparkling beauty of Caribbean coral reefs and Amazon rainforests. Instead of just a green city, we should become The Emerald City.
For example, Miami does Halloween in great style, and this Halloween I was very inspired by a couple of eco-monsters who had fashioned their outfits from palm fronds and other found materials. These biodegradable costumes looked both scary and fashion-forward, and they stole the show from the drag queens on Lincoln Road, who are stuck in last century’s polyester. Could granola become the new Halloween candy?
The world’s contemporary art scene has landed here, and the next Andy Warhol will likely be discovered in Miami. Art Basel has its fair share of eco-artists who recycle objects, such as using vintage matchbook covers as tiny canvases. But some of the event’s green satellite fairs -- 2009’s Green Art Fair and 2010’s “Art Basil” farmers market come to mind -- seem to have fizzled. More basil in Basel would be welcome for the next edition of Miami’s most fabulous week.
The highest green note for 2011’s Art Basel was the first EcoArtFashion Week. Local artist and environmentalist Luis Valenzuela, who formerly organized the Green Art Fair, put together a series of catwalks and parties of wearable art. He says that the fashion industry has embraced environmentalism.
Valenzuela’s sustainable clothing is on display nightly at the Adrienne Arsht Center, as he designed its uniforms and manufactured them locally of recycled plastic. He has also designed gowns for Miss Earth U.S.A. (There’s a pageant for Miss Earth? Now we’re talking!)
While we’re dropping names, Donna Karan, along with Mr. Valenzuela, lent her status last year to Sustainotopia, an emerging green festival in Miami scheduled to take place this year from April 19 to 25. Maybe they can get longtime Miami Beach resident and green activist Matt Damon to appear.
Matt Damon is considered one of the greenest celebrities on earth. He even supports World Toilet Day! Get him together with Gloria Estefan and we have the makings of “We Save the World,” the follow-up to “We Are the World.” (Also featuring Green Day!)
Back to reality… The beauty of coral reefs will soon engulf Miami International Airport. The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation awarded $150,000 to the Miami Science Museum and local aquarium artists Coral Morphologic to create a new multimedia installation.
I’ve actually developed something called the South Beach Garbage Diet to help people reduce their level of waste, but I’m not sure the real diet doctor would appreciate the reference. Have his lawyer call me.
Why does the environmental movement need more glamour? It doesn’t, but people do. Much of cutting-edge environmental awareness is driven by science, and the scientists are too busy keeping up their end of the bargain to waste their time appearing on talk shows. So we need filmmakers, clothing designers, and musicians to step up their levels of awareness and infuse their work with it.
Style and celebrity will not save the planet, but they have the power to attract. The environmental movement needs to tap that renewable energy source, because the world’s top celebrities will continue to get attention, and they can, in turn, reflect the spotlight onto someone who actually deserves it: Mother Earth.
Volume 11, Issue 3, May 2013
Now that the Design District has gone high-end, some of Miami’s more innovative galleries are migrating south
Sales, special events, and more from the people who make Biscayne Times possible