Green is in - especially in trendy West Los Angeles.
It's been years now since the Blue-state, ultra-liberal, Hollywood power brokers in TMZ.com-photog-infested neighborhoods such as Brentwood, North Santa Monica and Pacific Palisades started dumping their Mercedes S65 AMG sedans and Range Rovers for Toyota Prius and Lexus Hybrids. Solar companies are installing system after system on top of $4,000,000-plus homes as if there is no recession or housing slump. Lines at the local Farmers Market on Sunday are three deep with every hip Angelino wearing their 7 For Mankind jeans and quirky yet cool Oliver Peoples glasses while anxiously waiting to load their reusable tote bags with organic and local veggies.
Now West Los Angeles is getting their home theater and electronics systems more up to the green standard.
This weekend at the Paul Revere Middle School (the same middle school that was the parking lot two weeks ago for the PGA Tour stop at Riviera Country Club), there was a lineup of well heeled, tech savvy and Botox injected Soccer Moms and Techno Dads recycling their not-so-green "old technology." Old (think: non-iPhone) cell phones were being reconditioned and given to returning U.S. servicemen and women. CTR televisions were being stripped of toxic parts and recycled. Audio components were being slated for resale or the recycle bin - not just headed to the trash bin.
Through excellent (volunteer) outreach, my wife and I took our constantly beeping (even after we bought a new battery which didn't solve the problem) APC battery backup for our phone system down to the event. We also dragged a few outdated disc players, old and large format batteries as well as a small television to the middle school event. Embarrassing to admit: this stuff normally goes into the trash. Today, I feel a little less guilty for making a small effort and thankful for those who gave their time to make the event happen.
Custom AV dealers who service the militantly green Hollywood crowd are learning that green home theater means green in their pockets. Custom installation firms are charging modest labor and handling fees to have old television sets and electronics recycled as new HD systems are installed. Hollywood screening rooms are being dampened with the acoustic properties of recycled jeans and other green materials. Clients want it and installers are finding a new profit center for this newly formed win-win consumer electronics arrangement.
Outside of Hollywood, Best Buy has a policy to recycle many electronics products. They don't mention what they won't take but its safe to assume that if you lug it into a store you will be able to recycle it.
Green sells even when money is tight. Green also motivates mainstream consumers to think twice about where and what gets buried in a trash dump, especially when doing the right thing is easy. Considering how many people took part in this program in West Los Angeles, there is clearly the opportunity for a national trend. Now if TMZ.com would just publish a picture of Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen dropping off an old TV or a few dead Blackberries - we'd have some more national coverage for the movement.