The Green Lounge – Where Eco Meets Luxury
This past Sunday night at the posh Loews Hotel in Santa Monica, television’s Nicole Sherwin (Celebrity Soul) and Wellness2Day.com hosted the first-ever Green Lounge. Set in the back of the ocean-side hotel, the lounge was lit in Oz-like emerald green and centered around an indoor fire pit filled with sparkling crystals. In a word, it was magic. Indeed, it did feel like entering the Emerald City. And, in a way, that was what the lounge was offering to guests — a new, better, green way to live.
My first stop upon entering was the bar for the awesome, custom-made Ginger Cosmo. What makes it gingery? That would be the new ELIXIR G, a non-alcoholic cocktail mix that is the first to incorporate ginger. The elixir is used often at P.F. Chang’s and, in the coming year, will be available in half-bottles.
After a drink, I stopped by one of the accessory booths to salivate over fine, hand-made pashminas made of the softest goat hair. Zvezda is based in Santa Monica and markets to the high-end clientele of Los Angeles. Their average pashmina runs over $400, but considering its incredible softness, it might be worth the price — for those who can afford the price.
In truth, the event was very much catered toward the trendy, sometimes outlandish wants and needs of Angelinos who have hopped on the green train for appearance, rather than sustainability. For example, as soft and comfortable as the mattresses were — and few emphasized that more than Hästens, a Swedish mattress company that has seen its sales increase since opening a store in Beverly Hills — clearly, they’re not for most people. The mattresses run from $5,000 to $70,000, according to the Hästen’s website.
In that way, the event may have unintentionally stressed the problems of the green movement. After all, there is a reason Target and Wal-Mart do so well — they market items that are inexpensive and accessible to everyone.
This is not to say that the event focused solely on big-ticket items. Quite the opposite, in fact. Terra Plana, a sustainable shoe company, creates their product from recycled materials and then rates them on an Eco Matrix, which scores the product’s environmental life cycle. The shoes are not overly expensive and, because they use stitches instead of glue, seem to have a long lifespan.
Some of my favorite products were the cakes and brownies from Tia’s Bakery. The husband-and-wife owned company makes their cakes gluten-free. These treats are so scrumptious that you would never know they’re made from healthy ingredients like black beans and coconut flour. Yet, with Tia’s Bakery, “you know what all the ingredients are.” You can find Tia’s Bakery’s individual cakes at Whole Foods stores. They’ll also make larger cakes to order through www.TiasBakery.com.
Other products included candles with wax that doubles as body lotion and aromatic tubes that can calm headaches or bring a woman into better hormonal balance. The tubes look like lip-gloss and fit easily into any girl’s purse.
The evening’s highlight was a symposium on healthy living with, among others, Alicia Silverstone, author of The Kind Diet, a vegan-based cookbook on healthy eating. The symposium offered a deep discussion of what living a healthy and green lifestyle can mean for a person, as well as offering ways to better one’s life. The carbon-neutral event ended with a book signing by Silverstone and networking among the green elite.
Look for future Green Lounge events to be scheduled in the U.S. and abroad in the months to come.