They arrive in eco-limos to awards shows. They live in solar-paneled homes, some even completely off the grid. They time their showers, they buy organic. And when it comes to philanthropic green crusades, many give because they can, give 'til it hurts, give from the heart.
Celebs at a Global Green event
Who are these Hollywood eco-warriors and what exactly are they slaying? Read on to find out about some celebrity-supported eco organizations, charities and movements.
Members of the band Green Day
Natural Resources Defense Council: The mother of all green organizations, Worth magazine named the NRDC one of America's 100 best charities, and the New York Times called it, "One of the nation's most powerful environmental groups."
What They Do: Boasting 1.2 million members and online activists, the NRDC employs environmental lawyers, scientists and lobbyists to champion issues from defending wildlife to protecting clean air and water. The three-decade-old nonprofit is making a difference: They have forced legal action on polluting oil companies, won commitments from companies such as Kinko's, Starbucks and Home Depot to phase out their use of old-growth wood products, and prevented the Bush administration's attempts to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling.
Star Wattage: Robert Redford, Leonardo DiCaprio and James Taylor are board members, along with other Tinsletown machers. The rock group Green Day joined forces with NRDC to bring its eco-message to their fans.
Selma Hayek and Jake Gyllenhaal visiting an indigenous Inuit community on a mission to reveal how global warming is causing snowmelt.
Global Green USA: Founded by former Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev as a means to solve the world's environmental challenges.
What They Do: Global Green USA is the national environmental affiliate working to stop global warming by creating green buildings and cities (they were behind Brad Pitt's recent jaunt to the Katrina-ravaged New Orleans green building site, The Holy Cross Project), eliminating weapons that threaten lives and the environment (nuke the nukes!), and providing clean, safe drinking water to the 2.4 billion people worldwide who lack it.
Star Wattage: Global Green relies heavily on celebrity support from aforementioned Pitt, Charlize Theron, Morgan Freeman, Natalie Portman, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Susan Sarandon and Salma Hayek. Hayek, along with actor Jake Gyllenhaal, generated international buzz when they visited an indigenous Inuit community to reveal the imminent threat of how global warming is causing snowmelt.
Edward Norton is the spokesperson for the BP Solar Neighbors Program
BP Solar Neighbors Program: A partnership between BP solar system (manufacturers of solar energy for homes and buildings), the Enterprise Foundation and the Environmental Media Foundation.What They Do: Each time an invited celebrity purchases a BP solar system for his or her home, BP donates a similar system to a low-income Los Angeles family home.
Star Wattage: Edward Norton (who is a spokesperson), Larry Hagman, Don Cheadle and Alicia Silverstone.
Sienna Miller visiting India as part of the Global Cool campaign to raise awareness of carbon emissions.
Global Cool: A UK-based charity that sponsors live events and promotions, offers carbon education and has an enormous Web presence.
What They Do: Led by CEO Julian Knight, a former fighter pilot and big-city money trader, Global Cool's goal is to get 1 billion people to reduce their CO2 emissions over the next 10 years. Global Cool focuses on the power of the individual: "The bad news is that we are the problem," says Knight. "The good news is that we have the solutions to slow down climate change and make a difference today."
Star Wattage: Josh Hartnett, Sienna Miller, Prince Charles and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Environmental Media Association: A nonprofit foundation that assists the television, film, music and entertainment community to help influence environmental awareness.
What They Do: This group invented the green carpet, encouraging celebs to take hybrid or alternate-fuel vehicles to award shows and events. Each year, the EMA Awards honors the stars who help get the message out, such as 2003 Missions in Music winner Alanis Morrisette for campaigning against Alaska oil drilling. The Green Seal Awards recognizes productions and corporate offices with environmentally friendly practices. The group also reaches out to young Hollywood ("Gen E" for Generation Environment), encouraging them to wear organic clothing, drive hybrids and live energy efficiently.
Star Wattage: Includes board members Blythe Danner, Ed Begley, Jr., Pierce Brosnan, Laura Dern, Daryl Hannah, Wendie Malick, Jeffrey Tambor and Amy Smart; Gen E peeps: Mary-Kate Olsen, Mischa Barton, Nicole Richie and Joshua Jackson. Plus, Edward Norton, Cameron Diaz, Gwyneth Paltrow, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Maroon 5 lend a hand for EMA's public service announcements.
Other groups worth a mention (and there are oh, so many!): Heal the Bay, helping Southern California beaches (with assistance from celeb-activist Ted Danson), The Nature Conservancy (Tom Hanks), the Sustainable Biofuels Alliance (Willie Nelson, Daryl Hannah), Earth Biofuels (Willie, Julia Roberts), Forest Ethics (Adrian Grenier), and StopGlobalWarming.org (Jon Bon Jovi, Christie Brinkley).
To explore the validity and progress of eco-giving groups, check out Charity Navigator, an independent evaluator that measures the financial health of America's largest charities, or Kevin Bacon's SixDegrees.org, where you can learn about -- and donate to -- stars' favorite charities).
The "G" List
Green thumbs up to...
Leonard Maltin, who, in the spirit of "every little bit helps," tells TGC: "I write and host a weekly show for ReelzChannel called Secret's Out,' and I do my voiceover sessions on an ISDN line from home. Every week they e-mail me a script of 1520 pages, I print them out and read them. About a month ago it occurred to me that I could turn the pages over and print on the reverse side for the following week's scripts."
William Morris Talent Agency Chairman Jim Wiatt, for making it mandatory for employees to perform a day of community service last week, volunteering for groups like Habitat for Humanity.
Brown thumbs down to...
Queen of Excess Donatella Versace, who admits in a recent New Yorker profile that, among other things, when she likes a product, she buys it in triplicate. The "slinky hedonist" (as the magazine calls her) will also bring her own furniture on vacation (as she did when put off by a friend's American Indian-themed villa in St. Tropez). Wonder if the Versace couches and china travel well on her private jet?
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