The environment continues to be a hot button topic coming into this new year. The year 2018 saw the continual rise of both climate change deniers and companies like Apple moving towards sustainable electricity. Last year also opened everyone’s eyes to the Earth’s plastic waste problem. The US recycles only 9% of its plastic trash. Less than a fifth of all plastic worldwide is recycled.
The world’s growing plastic issue and reliance on fossil fuels are why solar power companies and environmental advocates are needed. Apart from politicians and protesters, celebrities have one of the loudest voices in the ongoing environmental debate. Take a look at these stars who wear their eco-badges proudly.
This multi-awarded actor is a green hero both on and off-screen. Aside from his role as the rage-filled Hulk in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he’s also channeling his anger towards the causes of climate change. Ruffalo is an environmental activist who founded “Water Defense,” an anti-hydraulic fracturing movement based in New York.
Hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” is a process wherein water is forced to break into underground rocks to make way for oil and gas extraction. It has the potential to contaminate groundwater and pollute the surrounding air with dangerous amounts of methane.
Ruffalo’s love for the environment started when he was a kid. The spark came from seeing a power plant in his hometown corrupting its surroundings, and the rest was history.
Harvard Psychology graduate and multi-awarded actress, Natalie Portman, is a feminist, vegan, and environmentalist extraordinaire. That’s a mouthful, but she deserves the title. Her documentary, “Eating Animals,” exposed how modern farming hurts human health, local farmers, and the environment in general. Portman was recently recognized by the Environmental Media Association for her vocal stance as a vegan and environmentalist.
The Entourage main man has been quiet in his career as an actor. This is because he’s been busy as Goodwill Ambassador of the UN’s Environment program. He focuses on reducing plastic use around the globe.
Apart from his UN duties, he is also the founder of Lonely Whale, a foundation that’s also focused on decreasing plastic waste to protect the ocean. They’re known for their “Stop Sucking” campaign that cracked down on the dangers that single-use plastic straws bring to the oceans. Lonely Whale has also partnered with big corporations like Dell for their program called “NextWave.” NextWave focuses on retrieving discarded plastic and reusing them.
Ending this list is the granddaddy of celebrity environmentalists, Robert Redford. The founder of the Sundance Film Festival has been an environmental advocate since the early 1970s. He received the Duke Environmental Award in 2003. He was also awarded “Conservationist of the Year” by the National Wildlife Federation in 2013. These recognitions all point to his efforts to spread environmentalism through the movies he created and curated. Such films include A River Runs Through It (1992) and the Milagro Beanfield War (1988).
It’s great to see celebrities use their platform to spread environmental awareness. As impactful as they are to the conservation conversation, these stars can’t change the world on their own. If anything, they’ve shown that anyone who cares for the environment has the power to save it as well.