10 Celebrities that are Doing Great Work for the Environment

Sometimes, we have a complicated relationship with the celebrities we see. We simultaneously envy their wealth and fame while thinking to ourselves, what would we do with that much power and influence over so many people? What would we spend our money on, and how would we spend our time?

When we see celebrities that are doing great things for the environment, it is usually a welcomed change from hearing about the latest designer handbag or perfume that some other celebrity has put out. We think it is a good idea to take the time and give some thanks to those celebrities who are using their star-status for environmental awareness. Maybe you’ll find someone on this list who you didn’t know was such a steward for environmental issues. So give a look through our picks for ten celebrities who are doing great work for the environment, and enjoy some feel-good celebrity gossip.


1. James Cameron

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Why everyone loves him: For “Terminator,” “Titanic,” and “Avatar.” Need we say more? Oh, and he’s also one of only three people on Earth to have taken a deep sea submersible to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, the deepest point on earth.

Why we should love him even more: In a recent short video posted on “Earthlings” Facebook page, the Oscar winning director says, The point I’m trying to make is, we care about the oceans, our hearts are breaking for what’s happening in the oceans and we’ve got to do something about it. And I want to challenge everybody – if you’re an environmentalist, my challenge is you can’t be an environmentalist, you can’t be an ocean steward, without truly walking the walk, and you can’t walk the walk in the world of the future, the world ahead of us, the world of our children, not eating a plant-based diet.”


2. Ted Danson

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Why everyone loves him: Cheers! Along with his role as the handsome doctor John Becker, and most recently CSI’s D.B. Russel.

Why we should love him even more: Danson is a long-time advocate for oceans. He co-authored the straightforward and educational book, “Oceana: Our Endangered Oceans and What We Can Do to Save Them” and he also serves on the Board of Directors of Oceana in addition to appearing in numerous PSAs, and testifying for ocean conservation. He also has embraced a vegan diet to help out the environment!


3. Chefs for Seals

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Why everyone loves them: Everyone loves food! These chefs create delicious meals for guests in their restaurants, and they aren’t afraid to show their compassionate side.

Why we should love them even more: Thousands of chefs and individuals have joined together to stand up against Canada’s massive seal slaughter. These chefs have pledged not to buy Canadian seafood until Canadian fishermen end the seal hunt for good.

4. Jane Goodall

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Why everyone loves her: Goodall is the quintessential environmental activist turned celebrity. She was a pioneer in the study of chimpanzee behavior and began with nothing more than a notepad and pair of binoculars.

Why we should love her even more:  The Jane Goodall Foundation‘s programs in Africa include sustainable development projects that engage local people as true partners. These programs began around Gombe in 1994, but have since been replicated in other parts of the continent. Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots, which Goodall started with a group of Tanzania students in 1991, is today the Institute’s global environmental and humanitarian youth program for young people from preschool through university with nearly 150,000 members in more than 120 countries.

5. Jack Johnson

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Why everyone loves him: That soothing voice! Those surfing skills! Jack Johnson is also well-known for his smooth acoustic rock songs like, “Upside Down,” and “Better Together.”

Why we should love him even more: We’re going to have to put this in a list to make it all fit!

5. Daryl Hannah

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Why everyone loves her: For her role as the crazy villain in “Kill Bill” and her character Madison from the 1984 romantic comedy, “Splash.”

Why you should love her even more: She is the founder of the Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance (SBA), and sits on several environmental advocacy boards including the Environmental Media Association (EMA), Sylvia Earle Alliance, Mission Blue, and the Action Sports Environmental Coalition. She also runs this website which provides solutions for living a green lifestyle. What’s more, she’s participated in a number of environmental actions.  On Dec. 4, 2008, she joined Sea Shepherd’s crew aboard the MV Steve Irwin, as part of Operation Musashi, and she has even protested against the Keystone XL pipeline and wrote articles on the topic for The Guardian.

6. Leonardo DiCaprio

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Why everyone loves him: For his amazing roles in movies like “Inception,” “Titanic,” “Catch Me If You Cant,” and “The Great Gatsby,” just to name a few.

Why we should love him even more: The Leonardo Dicaprio Foundation, established in 1998, is protecting the Earth’s last wild places by working on pressing environmental and humanitarian issues through grant making, campaigning, and media projects. Dicaprio produced the documentary film, “The 11th Hour”, about the environmental state of the Earth, which included input from politicians, scientists, and environmental activists.

Dicaprio currently serves on the board of the World Wildlife Fund, the Natural Resources Defense Council, International Fund for Animal Welfare and Global Green USA. He’s currently taking a well deserved break from starring in films to recharge and dedicate time to environmental activism, reports the NY Daily News.

On the third anniversary of the historic Global Tiger Summit, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation has awarded a $3 million grant to World Wildlife Fund (WWF) for a bold initiative to help Nepal double its wild tiger numbers by 2022 – the next Chinese Year of the Tiger.

7. Brad Pitt

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Why everyone loves him: He’s one half of Brangelina and a mega movie star in such films as “Thelma & Loiuse” (who doesn’t remember that?), the “Ocean’s” series and “Fight Club,” among many others.

Why we should love him even more: Pitt founded, Make It Right, a nonprofit organization committed to financing and constructing 150 new houses in New Orleans’ Ninth Ward with an emphasis on sustainability and affordability. He’s met with politicians to discuss green housing policies, bringing the issue national attention. He narrated the 2005 PBS public television series “Rx for Survival: A Global Health Challenge,” which discussed current global health issues and also narrated Design: e2, a six-part 2006 PBS program on environmentally friendly architecture. With Angeline Jolie, Pitt founded the Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation, devoted to helping rural Cambodians living in poverty through community-development projects. The foundation’s programs involve health care, education, agriculture, micro-businesses, conservation, and rural planning.

8. Cate Blanchett

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Why everyone loves her: She made an amazing elf lady in “Lord of the Rings,” starred in “The Aviator,” and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.”

Why we should love her even more: As artistic director of the Sydney Theatre Company, Blanchett spurred the installation of solar panels on The Warf theater in 2010. She is also responsible for the theater’s installation of one of the world’s largest rainwater collection systems.  In 2011, she stood up for a carbon tax plan that would limit greenhouse gas emissions and appeared in a PSA about the issue. According to MSN, she lives in a “green” home entirely off the electrical grid.

9. Pearl Jam

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Why everyone loves them: Their grunge rock sound has outlasted many of the imitators, and they are widely considered one of the most popular rock and roll bands of the 90s. Need a sampling? Check out “Sirens.”

Why we should love them even more: As guitarist Stone Gossard (pictured above, center) explains in a 2006 interview (2:24 into the video), “We’re looking at our supply chains, where our CDs are manufactured, what kind of chemicals go into those, how far they have to fly … doing everything to counteract as much of the bad stuff we do as opposed to the good stuff.” Pearl Jam has also partnered with numerous organizations to help offset the carbon emissions of the estimated one million fans driving to and from the band’s concerts and provides information about other initiatives on their website. In 2011, Pearl Jam was named 2011 Planet Defenders by Rock The Earth for their environmental activism and their large-scale efforts to decrease their own carbon emissions.

10.  Julia Louis-Dreyfus

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Why everyone loves her: You know her best as Elaine from “Seinfeld.”

Why we should love her even more: She was an outspoken opponent of the Keystone XL Pipeline and appeared in a video which urged President Obama to reject the proposal.  She has donated millions for Heal the Bay, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Trust for Public Land. She also worked for the successful passage of Proposition O, which allocated $500 million for cleaning up Los Angeles’ water supply.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons