Clean and Green
A book party celebrates Sloan Barnett's Green Goes with Everything
Teetering in 5-inch YSL Tribute double-platform black patent pumps and sheathed in a glamorous Oscar de la Renta cocktail dress (with an embroidered hem of green leaves) atop the cooly curvaceous staircase in the home of tech Titan Larry Ellison as she addressed the SRO crowd of family, friends, artists, green-istas, assorted enviros, brainiacs and, Sloan Barnett was the first to admit, "I'm not perfect."
"I don't live in a log cabin -- that's for sure. I don't bake my own bread and I'm wearing leather shoes that are way too tall," said the author and NBC11 EcoLogic reporter, who also contributes to NBC's Today Show. "But in writing this book, I learned that we are all capable of effecting change, small and large, in our lives and for our planet."
The tony yet festive gathering was co-hosted by author Melanie Ellison (El Larry was not in attendance as the OracleWorld Expo was still in full swing downtown), web mistress extraordinaire Arianna Huffington, Huffington Post Editor-at-large Willow Bay (who is married to Disney Company head honcho Robert Iger) and local green queen, Zem Joaquin (also a contributing editor to 7x7 Magazine).
Sloan spent a year-and-a-half in the writing and research of Green Goes With Everything, her first ever book.
"I realized I was delving into an area where science of the environment and ecology is kind of a gray area so I wanted to make sure my research was as well documented as possible," said the former reporter.
"160 footnotes, 2 toxicologists and 6 scientists later," I felt I'd completed my due diligence!" said Sloan, laughing. "People might not read all those footnotes but I stayed up late many nights with them and got a few gray hairs in the process."
Inspired by an unexplained onset of asthma in her young son, Spencer Barnett, Sloan and her husband, Shaklee CEO Roger Barnett set out to find answers on their own.
"Did you know that some nine million children in this country have asthma?" Sloan asked of the gathered crowd. "That's 1-in-10 children."
"And do you know why that is? According to six different epidemiological studies, it's the use of common cleaning products in our homes."
"We all worry about things like smog in L.A. but ninety-percent of pollution is indoors," said Sloan, with a joking aside. "Well, not here in Melanie's house."
Huffington praised Sloan's book by first teasing that now she knows why this former prosecutor in the Manhattan D.A.'s office used to be known as "The Avenger."
"But really," continued Arianna, "Sloan's book brings to light the fact that not only are our children susceptible to physical danger outside the home but environmental dangers inside our homes, our supposed sanctuary from the world."
The book, ringing with Sloan's signature chatty speaking voice, lays out choices and resources of "green" alternatives for every item in your household from toothpaste and nail color to window treatments.
Not surprisingly, her husband's company (which manufactures products such as nutritional supplements, biodegradable household cleaners and gives back to the community via the Million Trees Project inspired Nobel Peace Prize laureate Dr. Wangari Maathai and her Green Belt Movement) is copiously mentioned throughout.
"As I promised I would, I have recommended, unapologetically, Shaklee 'Get Clean Alternatives' to conventional household products," writes Sloan on page 72.
But Sloan and Roger are rightly proud of the fact (see Page 2) that this company he acquired (from former Shaklee CEO Gary Shansby) has walked the talk since the 1960s: "Shaklee was green when green was just a color and 'biodegradable' was a word only scientists used."
"Awareness is always the first step in healing, whether individual or planetary," said healthy-eating food guru Dr. Dean Ornish. "It's so important for people to step forward to meet this challenge that is changing our world."
Roger Barnett, dapper in a dashing green tie, was beaming over his wife's hard work and detailed research.
"Without being aware, we let in things into our sanctuary, our home, every day that are harmful to us," said Barnett. "This is a very important message to get out to people. But now that the book is finished, I'm also very excited that I'm going to get my wife back!"
Naturally, the book is dedicated to Sloan's husband and their children: "To Roger and my three best reasons to save the planet: Spencer, Violet and Lyle."
Though not in attendance, Sloan said her kids are excited about the book, too: "They are thrilled to see it in the bookstores and ... off Mommy's desk!"
Green is the color
Allison Speer and Vanessa Getty
CMPC Foundation Board chairwoman Gail Glasser, artist Ira Yeager and arts patron Lucy Jewett
Fabulous YSL heels
Frederika Zipp and Splendora founder Gina Pell
Industrial designer Yves Behar and gallerist Sabrina Buell
Kate Harbin, Leslie Thieriot, Dr. Seth Matarasso and Leslie Podell
Leslie Thieriot, Vandy Boudreau, Carol Bonnie and Victoire Brown
Lisa Goldman (left) with John and Lisa Pritzker and her husband, Doug Goldman
Lora O'Connor, Dr. Dean Ornish and his wife, Anne Ornish
Author and Dr. Louann Brizendine (left) with Noosheen Hashemi, Claire Mallett and Louann's husband, Dr. Sam Barondes
Melanie Ellison, Willow Bay, Arianna Huffington, Sloan Barnett and Zem Joaquin
Melissa Roesler, Amy Bonetti and James Joaquin
Nancy Gilbert (left) and her daughter, Beth Townsend with Shannon Bavaro
Patty Debenham and Joy Carrigan of the Environmental Defense Fund
Paul Pelosi and his daughter, Jacqueline Kenneally
Shaklee CEO Roger Barnett and his wife, author Sloan Barnett