'Evan Almighty' Makes Environmental Push through Biblical Story

NBC Universal's first movie to "zero out" its carbon emissions is continuing its efforts raise awareness about green issues as it reaches out to an increasingly environment-conscious faith market with the modern day retelling of Noah's ark.

With the opening of Evan Almighty set for June 22, prospective members of the "Get on Board" campaign only have a few days left to donate at least one tree and have their names included on the DVD for the film.

According to the entertainment news source Variety, more than 15,000 trees, representing nearly 40 acres of forestland, have already been planted by The Conservation Fund using donations from the initiative, which promotes conservation, plants trees, reduces carbon emission, and raises awareness on global warming while promoting the film Evan Almighty. On the Get on Board website, visitors are encouraged to plant a virtual tree for a donation of $5 that will be used by The Conservation Fund to plant a real tree.

"Now is the time for us not just to think green but to act green," said Jeff Zucker, president and CEO of NBC Universal, in a statement last month.

In addition to the "Get On Board" campaign, which was launched two months ago by Universal Pictures and The Conservation Fund in conjunction with this summer's debut of Evan Almighty, the film itself is promoting the Green message. In the movie, recently-elected Congressman Evan Baxter (Steve Carell) receives a divine message from "God" (Morgan Freeman) to build a modern-day Noah's ark and save animals in preparation for an impending flood.

The movie's eco-friendly message comes amid increasingly prominent debates among religious and non-religious Americans concerning global warming. Earlier this month, leaders from mainline, evangelical, Catholic, and Jewish traditions shared their growing concern about environmental protection before a U.S. senate committee responsible for environmental policies.

Leaders had differed on the main cause of global warming and how the U.S. government should respond, but were united in their concern for creation care.

As part of the film's Christian outreach, Evan Almighty teamed up with the Gospel Music Channel to broadcast the concert for the film's premiere. The "Rock the Boat" Concert on June 11 featured four of Christian rock's top bands – Switchfoot, Relient K, Jeremy Camp, and DecembeRadio.

Moreover, the concert also benefited Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI), a nonprofit Christian housing ministry that builds houses for the needy. All the landscaping, lumber, windows and other reusable materials were donated to Habitat, according to the Get on Board website.

To match the movie's environmental message, Evan Almighty had a "green carpet" premiere with a "green" after-party where guests received a "recycled goody bag" including a halogen light bulb, flower seeds, and an Environmental Defense Fund baseball cap, according to the Chicago Tribune "Pop Machine" blog.

Cast and crews also participated in eco-friendly activities during production such as recycling building and other materials and riding bicycles to the set in Los Angeles, Virginia and Washington, D.C., to reduce carbon emission, according to the Variety.

Evan Almighty, sequel to the 2003 film Bruce Almighty starring Jim Carrey, will open in theaters on June 22.

Christian Post reporter Eric Young contributed to this report.

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