This seasons bevy of "Americas Next Top Model" beauties are trying something new. In addition to posing, strutting and cat fighting, theyre role modeling! Thanks to Tyra Banks (who can add "eco-proponent" to her ever-growing list of hyphenates), the wannabes are kickin it in a green Los Angeles manse and have ditched their earlier mode of transport (a stretch Hummer, gag!) for a tres cool bus, fueled by 100% diesel.
"America's Next Top Model" cast, the current cycle is titled "Models Go Green."
Although his top-model days are behind him, eco-warrior Ed Begley, Jr.s off-the-grid home in L.A.s San Fernando Valley (which is showcased on HGTVs "Living with Ed") has become the green norm rather than the exception. And the proof is in the pudding, as these days his focus is on visiting other stars in their eco-friendly abodes.
Ed Begley Jr. and wife Rachelle Carson on "Living With Ed"
Happily, there are plenty to choose from. Begley can trek up to Santa Barbara and drop in on Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Brad Hall, whove embarked on an adventure with a home thats reported to employ all of the most cutting-edge green technologies. Then he could pop in for a dip in Alanis Morissettes un-ironic pool, which is heated by energy generated from solar panels. And a trip to Dennis Weavers Colorado ranch would highlight the fact that the handsome actor/cowboy lives in a completely sustainable home on the range.
When the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) erected its new headquarters in Santa Monica, Calif., board member Robert Redford made sure it met the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards. In fact, the building became the first to receive a LEED Version 2 Platinum Green Building Rating -- the highest possible level of sustainable design. Redfords own Utah residence is solar-powered, while his pal Daryl Hannah lives completely off-grid on an organic farm in the Rocky Mountains.
Down Under, Cate Blanchetts Sydney home is solar-powered, plus she plans to provide solar panels for the theatre group for which she and hubby, Andrew Upton, are co-directors. At a recent press conference, Upton stated, "We are talking solar panels, [recycling] rainwater, the works. This would ideally generate enough power to do a whole season off-grid. This would be the first theatre company in the world to do that."
It took remodeling his Brooklyn, N.Y., home to kick Adrian Grenier from "Entourage" into high green-activism mode. He went full-on with solar panels, walls insulated with recycled denim and reclaimed oak floors.
If, during the shows hiatus, Grenier needs to get in touch with Mrs. Ari Gold (aka actress Perrey Reeves), hed better do it before she escapes to her off-the-grid "eco-estate" in Costa Rica, where she lives with no TV or phone service. (Cant you just hear Ari freaking out at the prospect?)
Maybe her new neighbor Mel Gibson, who recently purchased a $24 million 400-acre ranch in Costa Rica, will also plan to go solar. His ranch is more than 300 miles from capital city San Jose, and surrounded by rainforest and wildlife. Its likely Gibson, who starred in the 2006 "Who Killed the Electric Car" documentary and is an investor in Green Rubber Global, will make this ranch an eco-spectacle.
It comes as no surprise that skateboard entrepreneur Pierre Andre Senizergues, co-producer of Leonardo DiCaprios "11th Hour", lives in an eco-house, as his corporate headquarters boasts 616 solar panels and an environmental affairs manager. (Now thats the job of tomorrow! College kids, you listening?)
Perhaps the most appealing abode is Wired Magazines "LivingHome," a green model home in Los Angeles with solar heating and cooling (replete with a solar-powered weather station), windows and doors made from recyclable aluminum and glass, and low-water-use appliances. But being Wired, this eco-house is tricked out with the coolest green gadgets, from a Hewlett Packard TouchSmart wireless personal computer to a Panasonic BM-ET330 Iris Reader, which identifies all of the homes visitors. In the garage? A hydrogen-powered BMW Hydrogen 7. All this can be yours for a cool $4 million.
Well take two.
The "G" List
Green thumbs up to...Film director Tom Shadyac. Its old news that "Evan Almighty" was a green set, but what we didnt know until now is that its ever-cool director eschewed the so-over (and dare we say, hideous) movie jackets and instead gave the Virginia crew gift certificates for a bicycle of their choosing.
George Clooney (we cant write about him enough) and The Black Eyed Peas Will.i.am, who are two of 400 on the list for the $98,000 Tesla Roadster, a high-performance electric sports car.
Brown thumbs down to...
Bill Gates. We know Bill and Melinda give zillions to charity (well done!), but we cant help but wonder if they really need a 50,000-square foot home with another 16,000 in garage space -- including a plethora of electrical accouterments, such as an underwater sound system for their pool (no doubt to listen to Bono while doing laps).
Photo Credits: Courtesy of HGTV, wireimage.com, The CW Television Network
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