P.Diddy leaves his yacht in St. Tropez
For eco-minded celebrities, making summer travel plans can prove to be an exercise fraught with dilemmas: Is it worth burning mucho carbon emissions flying commercial to party aboard P. Diddy's St. Tropez yacht? Or can one really turn down a ride on John Travolta's private jet to Turks and Caicos?
Sienna Miller and Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan (1999's "Greatest Star of the Millennium" according to a BBC online poll) during a Global Cool and Indian Film Academy photo shoot
Courtesy of www.globalcool.org
Sienna Miller opted for summer tripping with a cause. The "Factory Girl" star and P. Diddy "friend" put her partying aside to become an ambassador for Global Cool, a climate-change campaign. She announced her new post during a recent weeklong jaunt to a country that likely experiences the world's worst carbon-dioxide and global-warming impact: India.
This was no glamour trip, as Miller witnessed thousands of people living in sewage-infested squalor in the Bandra Kurla slum. "It was unbelievable to see poverty on that scale," the 25-year-old actress told a British newspaper. "Should the water levels rise due to global warming," the actress writes in her bebo.com blog, "the entire slum population of the city, an estimated 10 million, will be left with nowhere to live." (For more of Sienna's blog, click here.)
Sienna and her sister Savannah Miller at the Twenty8Twelve Spring/Summer 2008 launch party
Miller's green-interests are a family affair: She grew up with artsy parents who recycled before it came in vogue, and recently she launched a carbon-neutral clothing line (Twenty8Twelve) with her designer sister, Savannah, who is married to an eco-builder. "I've always lived a green life to some degree," she says. "I don't drive a car, I eat organic whenever possible." At home, Miller uses low-energy lightbulbs, chooses showers over baths and unplugs or turns appliances off at bedtime. As for work travel, Miller says, "it's unavoidable, but I offset every flight I take."
Speaking of flying, celebs may want to board Sir Richard Branson's new low-cost carrier, Virgin America. Its profits will go to Virgin Fuel, Branson's company aimed at developing alternatives to fossil fuels and lessening aviation's CO2 emissions.
For Hollywood parents opting to stay closer to home, like Julia Roberts and Brooke Shields, Disneyland Anaheim has reopened its 1950s submarine ride with a green twist. Now called Finding Nemo (based on the 2003 animated film), the attraction still uses the eight original subs, but instead of diesel fuel, magnetic coils now power them. More eco-friendly touches include the fake coral reefs, which were "painted" with recycled glass sprayed on with an organic epoxy. Elsewhere in The Happiest Place on Earth, trains run on biodiesel, efforts are made to reduce paper waste and a reusable-mug program has been installed.
The Gardens and Watering Can Theatre at Springs Preserve in Las Vegas
And here's a thought for Paris, Britney and Lindsay's next Sin City road trip: Springs Preserve in Las Vegas, 180 acres of green museums, gardens, galleries and concert venues. Brit and kids can walk on carpets made from recycled soda bottles, and Paris can catch her reflection in one of the biofiltration ponds that reclaim on-site wastewater.
Leonardo Dicaprio and Al Gore at Live Earth
Sometimes awareness emerges in the most unexpected places. It took the bulldozing of a pristine beach on Thailand's Phi Phi Leh Island during the filming of "The Beach" (released in 2000) for Leonardo DiCaprio's green light to switch on. He has since become one of this generation's most influential eco-activists.
For celebs and civilians alike, eco-conscious travel is our duty to consider. In 2001, socially conscious Dame Anita Roddick, founder of the uber-green The Body Shop, invested in responsibletravel.com, a directory of thousands of eco-holidays, tour operators and accommodations. The need was obviously there, considering the company's claim that 67% of mainstream tourists want to avoid damaging the environment and culture of local resorts. Yeah, that's the ticket.
Of course, there is always another eco-vacation alternative, one that actor-activist Ed Begley Jr. does most willingly: Stay home.Note: The "G" List will be back next week as a special extended section featuring celebrities doing their part to help (green thumbs up) or hurt (brown thumbs down) the environment.
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