Christie’s New York recently hosted its third annual glitzy green auction Bid to Save the Earth with fundraising centered on water conservation and advocacy. This year’s focus on H2O follows Christie’s inaugural auction’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and its 2011 emphasis on sustainable and ethical fashion design. A stellar array of luminaries in entertainment, fashion and philanthropy came out to raise $600,000 for river, lake and ocean projects administered by the environmental nonprofits Central Park Conservancy (CPC), Conservation International (CI), Oceana and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). An online auction component powered by CharityBuzz raised further funds.
Focusing on water bodies in the heart of cities and manufacturing, NRDC’s Clean by Design initiative targets water pollution and waste in the apparel industry while CPC’s Soil, Water & Ecology Lab monitors and maintains the health of the water in New York City’s Central Park. Both Oceana and CI are tackling the degradation of ocean ecosystems and marine wildlife preservation, including CI’s support of shark conservation legislation and Oceana’s establishment of an Ocean Health Index.
Canadian model Coco Rocha strikes a pose on the green carpet
Here are some of the staggering statistics about water foregrounded at the Bid to Save the Earth auction:
* The ocean is earth’s largest habitat. 72% of earth is covered by water.
* 2.5 billion people lack access to proper sanitation.
* An American’s 5 minute shower uses more water than a person in a developing country uses in 1 day.
* The human body shares a similar percentage of water and ratio to salt as the ocean.
* 50 percent of the oxygen we breathe comes from the earth’s oceans.
* Only .007 percent of water is available for consumption.
* 70 million sharks are killed per year, mainly for their fins.
* Over one billion people depend on ocean fish for daily protein.
Ongoing donations of $10 by texting GREEN to 80888 offer another way to support these 4 NGOs in a Bid To Save the Earth.
As 2012 Earth Day approaches on April 22, the Bid to Save the Earth initiative serves as a reminder to create our own bids to pledge and support a vibrant blue and green planet.
Alicia Lubowski-Jahn holds a Ph.D. in art history from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. She began to build an expertise in landscape art through her doctoral dissertation, “The Picture of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt and the Tropical American Landscape,” which explores how the scientist’s ecological view of nature found visual expression and aesthetic analogy in the landscape genre. She has worked for various museums, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art and The Frick Collection. In addition to her ongoing curatorial work in art history, she covers contemporary eco-art and sustainable design for online media.