7 Celebrity Environmentalists & Their Activism

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The mass public has never been as open to the idea of “going green” as it is in 2009. However, this may not have happened were it not for the passionate activism of some key public figures! These “green celebrities” have made it their business to spread the word about helping the environment and seven of them are profiled here.

Al Gore

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(Image via Coast Day)

It would be an injustice for anyone but this man to top a list of celebrity environmentalists. The former vice-president’s seminal film “An Inconvenient Truth” opened the floodgates of public awareness on environmental issues, paving the way for Gore to spearhead a number of ambitious ecological projects. Perhaps his most promising such project is “Repower America”, which aims to have America running on 100% clean power within 10 years.

Leonardo DiCaprio

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(Image via The Green Miles)

Baby-faced Leonardo DiCaprio has been an outspoken advocate for green policies in the last few years. In addition to flying mostly commercially and driving himself around in a Toyota Prius, DiCaprio lent his celebrity status to producing and narrating the eye-opening green documentary “The 11th Hour.

Robert Redford

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(Image via Canada.com)

Some celebrities are content to merely spout some green buzzwords, pressure people to buying hybrids and bask in the self-serving glow of being perceived as a celebrity who cares. Then there’s Robert Redford, who has personally campaigned to protect Utah wilderness, spent 30 years on the board of the Natural Resources Defense Council, and pushed several US mayors to make climate change a priority in their towns and cities. While others “talk the talk”, Redford has been earnestly “walking the walk” since long before it was popular to do so.

George Clooney

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(Image via CarGurus.com)

George Clooney’s primary contribution to green celebrity lore was founding OilChange, a campaign aimed at ending America’s dependence on foreign oil. Clooney also owns and operates an electric hybrid car called the Tango (pictured above.)

Pearl Jam

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(Image via Wired)

Grunge heavyweights Pearl Jam are quite possibly the first major touring act to assess its actions in terms of impact on the planet. As guitarist Stone Gossard (pictured above, center) explains in a 2006 interview (2:24 into the video), “we’re looking at our supply chains, where our CDs are manufactured, what kind of chemicals go into those, how far they have to fly…doing everything to counteract as much of the bad stuff we do as opposed to the good stuff.” Pearl Jam has also partnered with numerous organizations to help offset the carbon emissions of the estimated 1 million fans driving to and from the band’s concerts.

Ed Begley, Jr.

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(Image via Green Patriot)

The host of his own green-themed reality TV show “Living With Ed”, Ed Begley, Jr. is another green celebrity who practices what he preaches. In addition to advocating for green policies on a wide scale, Begley composts his garbage and relies exclusively on thermal and solar energy to power his house. Talk is cheap, but a celebrity who so radically lives what he advocates deserves our sincerest praise!

Ed Norton

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(Image via Daily Green)

Best known for his hard-hitting on-screen persona in hit films like “American History X”, Ed Norton is spending a lot of his spare time fighting for solar energy. But instead of merely talking about the benefits of solar, Norton has set up a program called BP Solar Neighbors. The idea is to get other celebrities involved, as each time a celeb buys a solar panel for his or her home, BP donates one to a family in need.

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