When you talk to people who are not as involved in conservation or environmental issues, they can often make you feel like an outcast – as if it is wrong or abnormal to care about the earth. There are derogatory words such as tree hugger, greenie and granola that are used to bring down those who play a part in the environmental movement. If you ever start feeling like you are not “normal” because you care about the only planet we have to live on, here are a few awesome celebrities who also care and are fighting with you to create a healthier earth and promote sustainable ways of living.
The “Titanic” (1997) movie star, among millions of other great movies, is a huge advocate towards developing sustainable practices, creating public awareness about the environment and saving Nepal tigers. He created the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, which gave a $3 million grant to World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in order to increase tiger populations by 2022. DiCaprio also partnered with the Christie Foundation in order to create “The 11th Hour,” a documentary about endangered species, global warming and other various environmental issues. He is consistently tweeting about environmental issues and tries to encourage public involvement.
Ian Somerhalder or Damon Salvatore as he’s known on “The Vampire Diaries,” created his own foundation, IS Foundation, in order to educate the public about the environment and how we can build a sustainable future. Oftentimes when people care about the environment, they care about the species that inhabit it as well. Somerhalder’s soft spot for animals also extends to domesticated animals. He also works on the development of “no-kill shelters” and promotes sterilization programs for homeless cats and dogs. He is currently working on creating an animal sanctuary for mistreated, neglected animals.
The beautiful actress who has been part of “There’s Something About Mary” (1998), “Shrek” (2001), “Gangs of New York” (2002), among many others, helps people understand environmental issues and tries to encourage the public to speak out and take action. She is currently working on a documentary, “Cameron Diaz Saves the World!,” where she goes around asking people about their awareness of issues pertaining to their own neighborhood and the nearby companies that are emitting pollution that is affecting their health. She also asks the public about their water sources and air quality, and asks them how they feel about the environment only to learn that they care, but they just feel powerless.
The actress who is most famous for starred as Cher in “Clueless” (1995), in addition to being a film and television producer and author, is not so clueless when it comes to environmental issues. She is a huge animals rights and environmental activist and has her own website, TheKindLife.com. It is an extension from her book, “The Kind Diet,” that informs the public about how to live a sustainable, happy life without hurting animals in the process. Silverstone not only makes the public aware of issues, but she finds eco-friendly alternatives for them including recipes, beauty tips, fashion and ways how to help the earth. She also wrote the book “The Kind Mama” that provides valuable information to mothers that she gathered from her own experiences, nutritionalists, holistic health counselors, midwives, obstetricians, etc. that everyone can easily follow.
Actress of the latest films “Jane Got a Gu”n (2012), “No Strings Attached” (2010) and “Black Swan” (2009), has been practicing veganism since she was very young after learning more about the process of meat and the ingredients in various products. Although she was the only person in her family to practice, her parents still supported her eating habits. While pregnant, she did change to a vegetarian diet to suit her body’s cravings and to help ensure her baby received all proper nutrition. In addition to living an animal-friendly lifestyle, she also helped produce “Gorillas on the Brink” (2007), a documentary about the threats of gorillas’ habitats, and is involved in Global Green USA, a non-profit that fights global warming by producing green, affordable houses.
Aside from this short list, there are many other Hollywood stars that are working towards building a more sustainable earth and bringing awareness to the public, including Ted Danson, Brad Pitt, Woody Harrelson, Hayden Panettiere, Ed Norton, Jessica Alba, Drew Barrymore, Matt Damon, singer from Black Eyed Peas, Will.i.am and model Gisele Bundchen. Consider these individuals the next time someone makes you feel like an outcast for caring for the earth. People often develop the attitude, “I am only one person; I cannot change the world alone”, and while this may be true, it only takes one person to start something too. As Cameron Diaz’s documentary explains, “people do care, they just feel powerless.” Help be the voice of the people, the planet and the species on this earth who are having a hard time speaking up.
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Stephanie Siemek is a freelance writer whose work can be found on Examiner.com.