The flurry of the leaked Tom Cruise Scientology video got us thinking about celeb-types who do more than pontificate and actually try and effect a change. While Cruise lectured about "helping people" in his (much-parodied) acronym-laden diatribe, many in Hollywood have side-stepped the soapbox and really are making a difference ... and we're not just talking about fender-bender rescues or taking credit for cleaning up New York City's post-9/11 polluted air.
While you won't find Suri's private-jet-setting parents on any eco-couple power list, there are plenty of high-wattage pairs who've earned their ranking -- and a mention here.
Spotted at the recent Waterkeeper Alliance gala in Alberta, Canada, adored activists Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon are living proof that Dr. Ruth was right when she said strongly convicted and passionate people can make lasting bedmates.
Speaking of, ahem, "lasting" bedmates, it seems that it's not just Sting's tantric sex talents that have kept Trudie Styler satisfied all these years. The visionary duo started The Rainforest Foundation way back in 1989 before being eco-friendly was cool. They wanted to fight global destruction and help preserve the rights of indigenous people. To date, the org has protected 115,000 square kilometers of rainforest and land (equal to the size of the U.K., France and Ireland).
When an eco-issue surfaced close to home (well, one residence anyway), part-time Californians Mr. and Mrs. Sumner joined the rally against the proposed liquid natural-gas facility off the coast of Malibu. Last year, the Environmental Media Association (EMA) honored Styler, also a UNICEF ambassador, while hubby Sting continues to work with Eco 4 the World's enviro-education program.
Gwyneth Paltrow grew up with an eco-activist-mom Blythe Danner, an EMA member, and also married one. Chris Martin, Coldplay's lead singer, paved the way for green touring in the music biz: His band recycles on tour, travels on biodiesel buses and trucks, and carbon-offsets unavoidable waste.
Rock's reigning supernova, Bono, really deserves that Nobel Peace prize (he's been nominated three times!) for his indefatigable charity efforts. The U2 lead singer just attended the Davos Conversation in Switzerland, an economic forum where he moderated -- alongside Nobel Laureate Al Gore -- a session titled "A Unified Earth Theory: Combining Solutions to Extreme Poverty and The Climate Crisis." Among a zillion other things, the humanitarian and his wife, Ali Hewson, are partners on EDUN, an organic clothing company.
Harrison Ford, whose long-awaited "Indiana Jones" movie hits theaters this May, has quietly supported eco-works for years: He's vice chairman of Conservation International and won a 2002 Global Environment Citizen Award. Longtime girlfriend Calista Flockhart not only supports her bf's efforts, but she also champions another cause: Peace Over Violence, a group fighting female genital mutilation and rape worldwide.
Then there are Hollywood's evergreen green couples -- the longtime eco-warriors. Ted Danson helped launch Oceana, the largest nongovernmental ocean-protection group, and is actively supported by wife Mary Steenburgen. Tom Hanks, a member of Global Green and The Nature Conservancy, found an eco-partner in Rita Wilson, who belongs to the National Resources Defense Council.
Pierce Brosnan and Keely Shaye Smith bonded over the environment: The couple met while on a green mission in Mexico. Brosnan's eco-activism ignited when his first wife was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. "I heard about the Pacific yew tree [found in the rainforest and believed to have cancer-fighting properties] and how this potential treatment was being burned to the ground and lost forever to clear the rainforests for cattle," Brosnan said in an interview.
New mom Nicole Richie (another EMA member) is letting her eco-values rub off on babydad musician Joel Madden: They regifted and recycled all their baby-shower gifts to charity.
Likewise, Jay-Z, founder of the UN's Water for Life, an organization devoted to giving people worldwide access to clean drinking H2O, inspires partner Beyonce's work for Second Harvest, a food-bank network, and Nelson Mandela's 46664 global AIDS awareness group.
And, assuming Maria Shriver supports her hubby's environmentalism, we elect them green politico pair. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's initiatives encourage solar power, and he signed groundbreaking legislation to reduce the state's emissions, saying, "We simply must do everything we can in our power to slow down global warming before it is too late.... The science is clear. The global warming debate is over."
The Terminator even converted his signature Humvee collection to biodiesel and hydrogen. If he keeps these green efforts up, Californians will be begging him to say, "I'll be back!"
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