Whether they support one cause or three, these celebrities inspire us to live a greener life.
Ed Begley Jr.
Actor Ed Begley Jr., of “St. Elsewhere” fame, wrote the book, literally, on being green. His “Living Like Ed” is considered a must-read for the eco-conscious and even inspired a reality TV show to help more of us lead more eco-friendly lives, encouraging others to do everything from composting to shopping for electric cars. He even has a line of beauty products that are plant-based, sustainable and biodegradable.
Cameron Diaz first wowed audiences way back in 1994 in “The Mask.” Since then, the starlet has gone on to show that she is more than just a pretty face and has used her fame to draw attention to important environmental issues. Most recently, she starred in the documentary “Cameron Diaz Saves the World!,” which featured the actress traveling across the United States to ask local people about their eco concerns.
She’s played everything from mermaid to assassin, but Daryl Hannah’s greatest role might be that of environmental activist. An outspoken advocate, Hannah draws attention to major eco issues on her blog and stands behind them. She is a long-time vegetarian who lives off the grid with her husband in the Rocky Mountains.
Whether it’s offering recycling and composting at his concerts, or encouraging fans to consider more eco-friendly ways to travel to his shows, musician Jack Johnson stands by his message of protecting the Earth. Knowing that being green shouldn’t be limited to what happens at his concerts, Johnson formed the All At Once social action network to help like-minded fans to get involved and effect positive change on their communities.
As one of the original organizers of Farm Aid, along with Neil Young and John Mellencamp, in 1985, musician Willie Nelson was promoting local, sustainable farming long before it became the hip thing to do. To date, Farm Aid has raised more than $30 million to support family farms. Nelson is also a founding member of Green Music Group, a nonprofit that seeks to bring about environmental change in the music community.
She may have played an indestructible cheerleader, but it’s Hayden Panettiere’s actions off the screen that make her a true eco hero. The actress is an outspoken advocate for whales and other ocean mammals, and can even be seen briefly in “The Cove” participating in a protest against Japan’s dolphin hunting practices. She also launched a website where fans can buy her stuff to raise money to put an end to illegal whaling.
How does a Hollywood actress look glamorous without wearing leather, fur or feathers? By launching her own line of vegan shoes. That’s exactly what Natalie Portman did with fashion firm Te Casan. The “Black Swan” star, who also follows a vegan diet, designed the line to fulfill her need for eco-friendly chic fashion and to support the Nature Conservancy, a not-for-profit that promotes environmental protection. Portman’s concern isn’t just about what she wears. She also served as co-host for the Animal Planet documentary “Gorillas on the Brink.”
Angry and green is one way to describe the Incredible Hulk, but it also happens to be a fitting way to describe Mark Ruffalo, the actor behind “The Avengers” character. Now residing with his family in upstate New York, this Academy-Award-nominated actor has taken the issue of fracking to heart and was one of the notable names lending a voice in protest of the Keystone XL pipeline last November. To understand why Ruffalo is so against fracking, check out his interview with Mother Jones.
Alicia Silverstone may have played a ditz early in her career, but this actress is far from “clueless” when it comes to the environment. A long-time vegan, Silverstone is a big supporter of animal rights and even wrote a book called “The Kind Diet” about how giving up animal foods helped her lose weight. Her website, “The Kind Life,” is an extension of the book and offers food, fashion and beauty tips from an eco-friendly perspective. We’re not sure how we feel about Silverstone’s feeding method for her son, but her heart is in the right place.
If you are famous enough to go by one name, you should have no problem starting a foundation. And that was the case for musician Sting, who founded the Rainforest Foundation in the United Kingdom in 1989 with his wife, Trudie Styler. Since then, the organization has evolved to also include operations in the United States and Norway. Together, these organizations support projects in more than 20 countries.