7 Oct
Evnironmental museum in a mall...ironic?


Your favorite smog-fighting, 501c3 non-profit is back, and this time they’re not sweating balls in Coachella desert heat. They’re in an air-conditioned mall…in Hollywood. The space was donated by the Hollywood & Highland Center. Thanks capitalist pigs!

“It’s the first ever environmental theme park,” says Eric Ritz, founder/director of Global Inheritance, the organization behind Environmentaland. “I say that in kind of a facetious way because (the environmental movement) nowadays is so, sort of, big and in your face.”

Global Inheritance held movie screenings for progressive, environmentalist films over the summer in this building. Many more events like “The Bigger Picture” series will be held at Environmentaland over the next few weeks. Collaborations with Live Earth and others are in the works as well, notes Ritz. They plan on eventually expanding the Environmentaland exhibit to distant lands beyond tinseltown.

“This is our first step in that direction,” promises Ritz. “But the idea is to have it be a mobile museum or theme park that we can bring to a new city every year.”

If you went to the Coachella Festival in April (how could you miss it?), you might have caught a glimpse of Global Inheritance’s “TRASHed” exhibit, featuring paint-laden recycling bins. The organization also brought along seven decorated golf carts, each one powered by a different alternative energy source.

Hit the Jump to continue reading about Environmentaland — the greenest place on Earth!

“It’s much more Kosher to be environmentally friendly…now,” Ritz points out. “But we started the organization before this whole green movement, or whatever you want to call it, got really popular. So we’ve kept to our guns, in regards to common sense, and are doing it in a way that people can understand and relate to.”

During the end of July and early August, Global Inheritance set up stationary bikes connected to generators and offered rides to Los Angeles X Games fans that wanted to recharge their phones. Those same bikes sit in a row near the entrance to Environmentaland, one with an encased light bulb display attached. Three different types of bulbs were affixed—typical household incandescent light bulbs, fluorescents and LED bulbs.

“It shows you the difference in how much power is needed to power each (light bulb),” Ritz explains.

Environmentaland features a lot of the exhibits Global Inheritance has held in its eight-year existence, and the central theme of environmental conservation certainly remains. “We feel like we spent all this money on these activations and we had a lot of stuff in storage,” says Ritz. “Why not allow people to come in and interact with the different exhibits we’ve created over the last eight years? People are, in every area, able to accumulate points and buy things at the end of the tour. We have organic food tasting challenges, several paper airplane tosses, and things of that nature, to get people excited and interested.”

Some of the top prizes include Coachella VIP tickets, Fuel TV skateboards, snowboards and Netflix memberships.

“So we almost want to be a little preposterous to get the point across, given the fact that we are located in a mall,” explains Ritz. “The focus is really trying to get people engaged and feel empowered and just have fun. The oxymoron of an environmental theme park—it makes people think about it for a second and wonder what it’s about. Those kinds of things are important to get people to focus.”

After all, the point of Environmentaland, and of Global Inheritance in general, is to attract people from all walks of life for a common goal.

“The real idea is to get peoples’ toes in the water with ideas, with us as an organization,” says Ritz. “If we try to play too elitist, we feel like we’re going to turn off a lot of people.”

Ritz pointed to a desert-themed miniature golf course, symbolic of water conservation. “What if for some reason someone were to turn off the sprinklers for good, you know, and everything looked like Palm Springs,” said Ritz. “What we’re here to do is give people a different spin on how to look at a lot of these issues.”

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