April 8th 2015
Leonardo Di Caprio’s recent Oscar win received as much attention for the actor’s acceptance speech, as it did for the magnitude of the achievement itself. Di Caprio used his acceptance speech to highlight the grave threat which climate change brings to our world, calling for a collective response from everyone to overcome it. This was nothing new or unexpected from the accomplished actor, who has become well known for his philanthropic work for the environment and as a staunch promoter of environmental research.
While Di Caprio is perhaps the best known big screen guru with an environmental conscience, there are many other Hollywood residents actively helping to save our environment. Their work ranges from eco-innovation, lobbying politicians and supporting campaigns, or just highlighting the destruction of our natural world.
We at Green News have listed 8 actors/actresses, whose caring work for the environment should not go unnoticed.
The actress who played Veronica Guerin in the 2003 biographical crime film has been an environmental activist on many levels. As ambassador for the Australian Conservation Foundation, Blanchett has lobbied politicians while also encouraging awareness of climate issues. She is also patron of the development charity Solar Aid. The Aussie star has not been afraid to confront big businesses on the matter, evident by a pro-eco speech she gave at the World Business Summit in Copenhagen in 2009. Blanchett also appeared on a 2011 TV advert calling for Australians to support a carbon tax, much to the annoyance of conservative politicians.
Academy Award and Golden Globe winner Matt Damon is co-founder of water.org, a non-profit aid organisation which helps provide access to safe water in underprivileged parts of the world. Damon narrates ‘Journey to Planet Earth’, a TV series which critically explores the relationship between people and planet earth. Damon also wrote and starred in the 2012 film ‘promised land’, where the plot line questioned the practice of hydraulic fracking.
With his father being an environmental lawyer and activist, it was always likely that the fight club star would go down the green route at some point. Norton is the UN’s Goodwill Ambassador for Biodiversity. The Boston native is also president of the US board of Maasai Wilderness Conservation trust, as well as serving on many other Environmental boards. Norton helped establish ‘Crowdrise’ in 2010, a website that uses crowdsourcing to raise charitable donations.
Multi-movie star Brad Pitt won many admirers in 2007, when he found the ‘Make It Right’ foundation to help rebuild houses in hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans. The foundation’s goal is to build environmentally friendly structures through sustainable architecture and design. The importance of the project to Mr.Pitt was highlighted when he decided to relocate his home to New Orleans.
She made her name on the big screen, but Cameron Diaz’ environmental pursuit began on the TV screen. The Charlie’s Angels actress was the brains behind an MTV reality TV show called ‘Trippin’, which aired in 2005. The 10 episode series focused on Diaz and other famous celebrities, as they went around the world exploring issues pertaining to wildlife and the environment. Diaz went on to produce a documentary in 2009, where she interviewed random people about their knowledge of the environment and their plans for sustaining it. Diaz supported Al Gore’s ‘live earth’ campaign, and is also known to follow an eco-friendly lifestyle.
Irish native Pierce Brosnan has a long and illustrated history as an environmental activist. From the years 1997-2000, Brosnan and his wife Keely- who is also a committed environmentalist – worked with environmental organisations to stop the proposed building of a salt factory at Laguna San Ignacio. The couple also opposed the Cabrillo Port Liquefied Natural Gas facility, which was planned to be situated off the coast of Malibu. Brosnan is a member of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s Board of Advisors. The James Bond star’s passion for the environment was epitomised by his decision to boycott the French premiere for GoldenEye, to show support for Greenpeace’s protest against the French nuclear testing program.
The White Men Can’t Jump star has been involved in a variety of environmental activities. He starred in a 2011 advert by NextGen, where he questioned the claims of climate change deniers. Harrelson also launched the website ‘Voice Yourself’, where the aim is to inspire individuals to pursue a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. Harrelson contributed to the eco-friendly Triton Hotel in San Francisco, by designing an eco-suite for the hotel.
Harrison Ford is a proven environmental champion. He is the vice-chairman of Conservation International, which he was first introduced to in 1991. Ford acts as a watchdog for the environmental group ‘Riverkeeper’, an organisation who try to identify and prosecute polluters of the Husdon river. In 2013, Ford was filming an environmental documentary in Indonesia. He was threatened with deportation from the country, after he interviewed the Indonesian forestry minister Zulkifli Hasan about issues pertaining to illegal logging and climate change. Presidential advisor Andi Arief accused Ford of ”harassing state institutions”.