Who are the greenest celebrities?
—Eddie Kelley, Albuquerque, NM
While there are no precise standards by which to judge how “green” any given celebrity may be, a number of entertainment luminaries come to mind for their outspoken support of environmental causes and their commitment to greener lifestyles. For instance, television actor Ted Danson started the American Oceans Campaign in 1987 to advocate for stronger coastal and marine ecosystem protections (the organization merged with Oceana in 2002). His views on marine conservation have spurred thousands of volunteers nationwide to take part in letter-writing campaigns as well as coastal clean-ups and other related events.
Not to be outdone, fellow Cheers barkeep Woody Harrelson drives a biodiesel-powered bus around the nation campaigning for clean energy and organic agriculture. The Ron Mann documentary “Go Further,” which ran in select theatres last fall and features rockers Dave Matthews, Natalie Merchant and Rob Weir, documents one of Harrelson’s wild rides down the Pacific coast to raise environmental awareness.
Meanwhile, Cameron Diaz—who drives a hybrid Toyota Prius—is hosting “Trippin”,” a new MTV show about eco-tourism. During the first season, Diaz travels with singer Justin Timberlake, comedian Jimmy Fallon and rapper Talib to locales as diverse as Costa Rica, Tanzania and Yellowstone National Park to enjoy, showcase and encourage the safeguarding of these breathtaking natural environments.
Actor Ed Begley, Jr. was an early adopter of energy-efficient car technologies. These days, he makes a point of showing up at Hollywood events on his bicycle, and lives in a self-sufficient house powered by solar energy. He serves on the board of the Environmental Media Association (EMA), a non-profit that consults with producers and actors about placing pro-environmental messages in TV shows and movies.
Daryl Hannah walks her talk by solar-powering both her Colorado and Malibu homes, maintaining and eating from her organic gardens, and running her vehicles on biodiesel pumped from her own home processing facility. She recently won EMA’s Greenlight Award for her environmental commitments.
Leading man Harrison Ford has served on Conservation International’s Board of Directors for 10 years and has actively participated in the work of the organization. Harvard Medical School recently honored Ford with its 2002 Global Environmental Citizen Award.
And Leo DiCaprio has been working since the mid-1990s on environmental issues. His foundation has funded projects by the Natural Resources Defense Council, the International Fund For Animal Welfare, the Dian Fossey Foundation, Reef Check, Oceana, Santa Monica’s Heal The Bay, and others. DiCaprio’s foundation places particular emphasis on the issues of global warming, alternative and renewable energy sources, and the preservation of biodiversity.
CONTACTS: “Go Further,” www.sphinxproductions.com/pages/film_gofurther.html; MTV’s Trippin”, www.mtv.com/onair/dyn/trippin/series.jhtml ; Ed Begley, Jr., www.edbegley.com; Environmental Media Association, www.ema-online.org; Leonardo DiCaprio, www.leonardodicaprio.org .