Things to Do

Adrian Grenier and Peter Glatzer Bring SHFT to Washington

The cofounders of the environmental awareness and lifestyle site joined Senator Chris Dodd for an evening with the Motion Picture Association of America.

Chris Dodd, Peter Glatzer, and Adrian Grenier at the MPAA. Photograph by Joy Asico/Impact Arts + Film Fund.

Adrian Grenier was starring in
Entourage, he told a Washington audience last night, he made valiant efforts to “green” the
HBO show’s set. “It lasted about a week,” Grenier said. “Don’t ever try and mess with
the crew’s doughnuts.”

SHFT (pronounced “shift”), which actor and filmmaker Grenier founded with producer

Peter Glatzer in 2009, is another attempt to promote environmental awareness and sustainable ways
of living without “the doom and gloom,” as Grenier puts it. The website combines a
number of different platforms—filmmaking, art, shopping, news—and gives the pair a
home for their various advocacy efforts, which include Mobile Kitchen Classroom, a
nonprofit that engages New York City high school students with preparing and cooking
healthy, sustainable meals.

Grenier and Glatzer joined Motion Picture Association of America chairman
Chris Dodd at an event hosted with Impact Arts + Film Fund at the MPAA last night to screen five
short films the pair have made, and to talk about SHFT’s continuing progress. The
timing of the event, given the disastrous impact of Hurricane Sandy in New York and
New Jersey, seemed auspicious. “Certainly, anyone who’s a denier of climate change
has to change their tune at this point,” says Glatzer. “A lot of the issues with the
planet are impossible to ignore, and we’re hopeful that this is going to be a wake-up

One of SHFT’s short films features hip-hop superstar
Pharrell Williams discussing his involvement with Bionic Yarn, a company that makes clothes from recycled
plastic bottles. “I didn’t want to dedicate my life to wearing Birkenstocks,” says
Williams in the film. “We want to give sustainability another face.”

For SHFT, that face includes persuading artists to offer their take, including a video
with alt-country singer
Brandi Carlile in which she discusses efforts to reduce her carbon footprint on tour, from using
nondisposable water bottles to organizing carpools to bring people to her shows. SHFT
has also collaborated with the W Hotel in Los Angeles to create a line of environmentally
conscious wallpaper. The company’s efforts are diverse and hard to categorize, but
at the end of the day, Grenier says, it comes down to offering people small changes
in their lives and stimulating them to think about living sustainably. “We want to
really give people viable options, because there are solutions out there,” he says.
“It’s not enough to just say, ‘This is a problem.’”

Dodd, formerly a senator for Connecticut and a candidate for the Democratic nomination
for President in 2006, thinks the pair’s efforts are laudable. “At the end of the
day, these are two very successful people in the entertainment field who are utilizing
their own talent and celebrity to make a difference,” he says. “They could easily
just sit back on their laurels and be celebrated in their own right, but they’re going
a step further to educate people, motivate people, and stimulate people. They have
an appropriate level of humility, but let me thank them for it.”

To find out more about SHFT, visit the organization’s website.

Senator Chris Dodd flanked by Adrian Grenier and Peter Glatzer of SHFT. Photograph by Joy Asico/Impart Arts + Film Fund.