When you hear the word “celebrity,” you probably imagine the dazzling fashion on the red carpet, unflattering tabloid photos layered with gossip, and big-budget films written to sell more popcorn and soda. What the word “celebrity” probably doesn’t make you think about is the environment ― until now.
Celebrities have unequivocal influence over the minds and hearts of the public, and some well-loved stars are beginning to use their platform for the good of the planet. Through social media, movies, nonprofit work, and more, the following eight celebs are taking a stand against wasteful behavior to help build a sustainable future.
When she isn’t advocating for breastfeeding moms, Jessica Alba is a staunch supporter of the green movement. In 2011, Alba co-founded The Honest Company, which is devoted to providing American families with non-toxic, eco-friendly household products. Her venture has been wildly successful, demonstrating that it is possible for businesses to be sustainable, health-conscious, and profitable.
Once the beloved purser aboard “The Love Boat,” Fred Grandy has set his sails for a different career track: environmental advocate. After completing his tour on the Pacific Princess, Grandy became a U.S. representative for Iowa, and today, the one-time actor speaks on the influence Hollywood has on the government and American population at large. He argues that the media has the power to create lasting environmental change ― if only it would try.
Don Cheadle swings back and forth between indie darling and big-budget hero, but he remains utterly unwavering in his support for environmentalism. For more than six years, Cheadle has been a global ambassador for the U.N.’s Environment Programme, and as such he has motivated millions to move away from wasteful practices for the betterment of global food, water, and air.
Among the first A-listers to start the modern environmentalism trend, Cameron Diaz has been driving a Prius since they first became available in the 1990s. However, more recently, Diaz has been a major proponent of natural beauty, disparaging beauty products with harmful chemicals and embracing age as it comes. Because beauty products have historically contained some of the worst toxins, her campaign for whole-body wellness should dramatically improve lives of women and men around the world.
It turns out that Mark Ruffalo is greener in real life than he is as the Hulk. A founding member of two nonprofits, The Solutions Project (which aims to accelerate our transition to clean, renewable energy) and Water Defense (which strives to ensure everyone has access to clean water), Ruffalo is an avid environmentalist and human rights activist. The actor frequently speaks out against anti-environmental actions, like fracking, and hopes to make the future a “cleaner, brighter, and more hopeful” for everyone.
Easily one of America’s treasures, Robert Redford is not only an icon of the silver screen; he is also a paragon of compassion. Always a supporter of new and unheard voices ― as evidenced by his founding of the Sundance Film Festival, which rewards risk-takers in film ― Redford has been an environmentalist since the 1970s; most recently, he spoke to the U.N. on the issue of climate change, noting, “This is our only planet, our only life source. This may be our last chance.”
First Terminator, then Governator, and now ardent climate activist, Arnold Schwarzenegger has managed to gain positive influence over climate change deniers ― an amazing feat for any supporter of environmentalism. Essentially, Schwarzenegger argues that one’s beliefs in regards to climate change are irrelevant because fossil fuels are a finite resource. The sooner we move to cleaner, renewable energy sources, the better for everyone.
After finally winning his first Academy Award, Leonardo DiCaprio took precious time from his acceptance speech to address the dangers of climate change, calling it “the most urgent threat facing our entire species.” Indeed, DiCaprio has arguably done the most of any actor to combat our changing climate, from joining the People’s Climate March to pledging to separate himself from fossil fuels. Thanks to his considerable star power and forthright concern for the planet, DiCaprio has transformed environmentalism from a fringe anxiety to a primary fear.
Jessica Alba image by Fortune Live Media from Flickr.com
Robert Redford image by U.S. Embassy London from Flickr.com
Road Trip! How to Choose the Greenest Vehicle for Your Growing Family
When you have a growing family, it often feels like you’re in this weird bubble that exists outside of mainstream society. Whereas everyone else seemingly has stability, your family dynamic is continuously in flux. Having said that, is it even possible to buy an eco-friendly vehicle that’s also practical?
What to Look for in a Green, Family-Friendly Vehicle?
As a single person or young couple without kids, it’s pretty easy to buy a green vehicle. Almost every leading car brand has eco-friendly options these days and you can pick from any number of options. The only problem is that most of these models don’t work if you have kids.
Whether it’s a Prius or Smart car, most green vehicles are impractical for large families. You need to look for options that are spacious, reliable, and comfortable – both for passengers and the driver.
5 Good Options
As you do your research and look for different opportunities, it’s good to have an open mind. Here are some of the greenest options for growing families:
1. 2014 Chrysler Town and Country
Vans are not only popular for the room and comfort they offer growing families, but they’re also becoming known for their fuel efficiency. For example, the 2014 Chrysler Town and Country – which was one of CarMax’s most popular minivans of 2017 – has Flex Fuel compatibility and front wheel drive. With standard features like these, you can’t do much better at this price point.
2. 2017 Chrysler Pacifica
If you’re looking for a newer van and are willing to spend a bit more, you can go with Chrysler’s other model, the Pacifica. One of the coolest features of the 2017 model is the hybrid drivetrain. It allows you to go up to 30 miles on electric, before the vehicle automatically switches over to the V6 gasoline engine. For short trips and errands, there’s nothing more eco-friendly in the minivan category.
3. 2018 Volkswagen Atlas
Who says you have to buy a minivan when you have a family? Sure, the sliding doors are nice, but there are plenty of other options that are both green and spacious. The new Volkswagen Atlas is a great choice. It’s one of the most fuel-efficient third-row vehicles on the market. The four-cylinder model gets an estimated 26 mpg highway.
4. 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
While a minivan or SUV is ideal – and necessary if you have more than two kids – you can get away with a roomy sedan when you still have a small family. And while there are plenty of eco-friendly options in this category, the 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is arguably the biggest bang for your buck. It gets 38 mpg on the highway and is incredibly affordable.
5. 2017 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Diesel
If money isn’t an object and you’re able to spend any amount to get a good vehicle that’s both comfortable and eco-friendly, the 2017 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Diesel is your car. Not only does it get 28 mpg highway, but it can also be equipped with a third row of seats and a diesel engine. And did we mention that this car looks sleek?
Putting it All Together
You have a variety of options. Whether you want something new or used, would prefer an SUV or minivan, or want something cheap or luxurious, there are plenty of choices on the market. The key is to do your research, remain patient, and take your time. Don’t get too married to a particular transaction, or you’ll lose your leverage.
You’ll know when the right deal comes along, and you can make a smart choice that’s functional, cost-effective, and eco-friendly.
How Climate Change Altered this Engineer’s Life
Living the life of an engineer likely sounds pretty glamorous: you are educated and highly regarded, typically have high paying gigs, and with the breadth of knowledge and array of fields of specialty, your possibility for jobs is usually immense. But what if there was something else that needed your attention? Something bigger than just being an engineer, going to work every day and doing the same technical tasks typically associated with the profession?
For Kevin McCroary, that is exactly how it played out. A successful engineer, gainfully employed in a prosperous job, a simple trip to the Philippines made him see that there was a bigger issue at hand than using his engineer training in a traditional profession. This bigger issue was that of climate change. And working as a volunteer for underprivileged children in the Philippines, he saw first-hand the extensive pollution and poverty that existed here and that impacted the livelihood of these kids and their families.
Upon returning home, from his trip to the Philippines he had a new perspective of the impact we as individuals and as humanity have on the earth, and more than that Kevin wanted to know more. He started to do some research and study these human-environmental interactions, and shortly thereafter ended up in Greenland. There, he spoke to a man who had lost his home in a tsunami, and, who, through consistent weather tracking could indeed confirm that the current weather trends were “strange:” there was undeniably a general warming tendency happening in the arctic, causing an array of negative effects.
The combination of these observations, as well as his own research, led Kevin to conclude that something had to be done. With that in mind, he launched his project Legend Bracelet. The mission is simple: create a reminder of the legacy we are leaving behind. As individuals and as humanity, we are leaving behind an imprint on the earth, and the magnitude of it is something that needs to be brought to the forefront of public awareness. The idea is to have a bracelet that can serve as a daily reminder of the impact on the earth that each of us can have every day, regardless of how big or small. The bracelet has two capsules: the first is filled with sand or earth, and the second is empty. As the owner, you are to fill the empty one with your own earth, carrying it with you as a reminder and symbol of your connection and commitment to helping look after our environment.
We are all impacted by climate change, and we all have a responsibility to help. And it can start with something as simple as putting on a bracelet. Support Kevin on his Kickstarter campaign for Legend Bracelet, tell others about it, or take action in your own way and play your part in slowing down the effects of climate change. You may think “but I’m just one person!” You are indeed. But so is he. Every change starts with one.
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