Earth Day is this weekend (April 22!), which is the perfect time to recognize certain celebrities and the awareness and changes they are bringing to environmental issues. Here are some our favorites and the notable work they are doing for the good of Mother Earth. We hope they inspire your own activism on behalf of Mother Earth!
With an Oscar under his belt and numerous other worthy performances, you might say that Leo’s greatest accomplishments are those of his acting career. However, the work he has done to conserve the environment and ensure its long-term health is just as impressive (even more so in my opinion!) In 1998, Leo established his foundation dedicated to preserving and protecting the Earth’s threatened ecosystems. The foundation has four focus areas: protecting biodiversity, ocean conservation, wildland conservation, and climate change. In efforts to increase awareness of climate change issues and inspire change, he produced and starred in a documentary, Before the Flood, and streamed it across multiple channels and websites to reach a wider audience. It is clear to see why the UN named him Messenger of Peace for the Climate.
Woody Harrelson brings a spark of rebellion to his activism, choosing to demonstrate and speak out for what he believes in. Back in 1996, he and several others were arrested for scaling the Golden Gate Bridge to protest the deforestation of an ancient redwood grove. When creating his documentary Go Further, Harrelson traveled down the West Coast by bike and bio-fueled bus to spread the word about the importance of living more in harmony with the environment. York University in Toronto granted him an honorary degree in recognition of his work in spreading awareness of environmental causes. He speaks out against a system ruled by greed and consumerism and inspires others to shift their way of life.
A talented actor and water crusader, Mark Ruffalo believes that access to clean water is a fundamental human right, which is what motivated him to form the non-profit, Water Defense. The organization works to ensure safe water through testing and examining sites of contamination to then provide information that is used to find a solution. Another cause seemed to come right to his door when a hydrofracking project was planned near his home in upstate New York. Ruffalo has since been vocal about his opposition to the controversial extraction method. He has raised money for elected officials and lobbied legislators for support in efforts to ban fracking.
You need only say her first name and everyone will know who you’re talking about. Gisele is one of the most recognized supermodels of all time and is using her beauty and charm to change the world. Her inspiration comes from her upbringing in Brazil where she experienced the beauty of nature but also witnessed the destruction of forests. In ’08 she returned to her hometown to launch the Projecto Agua Limpa (Clean Water Project) with her Father. Gisele’s wide, global appeal makes her the perfect choice as Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) where she will work to raise awareness and inspire action to protect the environment. Her most recent project is the docu-series Years of Living Dangerously on National Geographic Channel where she was a correspondent. She describes of her collaboration with the project, “When we all unite our unique abilities in service of a common good, we can create a better world.”
Emma Watson is the young British actress bringing environmental responsibility to the fashion industry. She is an outspoken supporter of ethical, sustainable fashion, green beauty, and even chose to wear a gown made of recycled plastic bottles to last year’s Met Gala. She collaborated with New York brand ZADY to create a collection that is ethically sourced and produced using fair labor practices. To reach her social media-loving fanbase, Watson created an Instagram account, The Press Tour, which documents the outfits she wears while on tour and explains how they are made and sourced.
These celebrities and many more are using their fame positively and bringing awareness to greater global issues. Each unique talent plays an important part of what will save our planet, and we all need to do our part.