Celebrities Doing Good For Sustainability

Written by: Dr. Auriane Koster, Sustainability Manager with Pierce Energy Planning

It is time for a confession. While I appreciate documentaries and sustainable living, I...love…reality TV. I recognize that reality TV, and following the world of celebrities, may not always represent reality. And that the lavish lifestyle represented on television may seem the antithesis of sustainability. However, there are some celebrities that are actually promoting sustainability. In today’s blog, I’d like to shed light on some celebrities that you can appreciate for their work on the environment and sustainable living.

Leonardo DiCaprio has been on the forefront of spreading the word on climate change for many years. The Guardian wrote an interesting article in 2016 about how he became such a champion of solving climate change. The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation supports projects around the world that build climate resiliency, protect vulnerable wildlife, and restore balance to threatened ecosystems and communities. DiCaprio has also produced a number of documentary films about climate change and sustainability. Before the Flood features Leonardo DiCaprio on a journey as a United Nations Messenger of Peace, traveling to five continents and the Arctic to witness climate change firsthand. He has also produced the films The 11th Hour and Cowspiracy. DiCaprio recently became an investor and board member for Love the Wild, a sustainable seafood company.

Jessica Alba founded The Honest Company to be a wellness brand with values rooted in consciousness, community, transparency, and design. The company sells consumer and baby products that are sustainable and free of harsh chemicals. She is also on the board of directors for Baby2Baby, which provides low-income children with diapers, clothing, and all the basic necessities that every child deserves. In the Years of Living Dangerously series, Alba learns about Climate Corps, a group of graduate students who are helping businesses be more sustainable.

The Emmas of the film world seem to be investing time in more than just hit movies. In 2017 Emma Thompson won Best Actress at The Sustainability Oscars. She was one of 40 high-powered individuals and organizations that signed the Clyde River Solidarity Statement. In the film To the Ends of the Earth, Thompson guides us through a journey that chronicles the rise of extreme energy, detailing the economic costs of more intensive energy production, and the people and wildlife caught in the crossfire.

Emma Watson has been on a mission to spread the word about sustainable fashion. In 2015 she joined the Green Carpet Challenge, promising that every outfit she wore on the red carpet would be sustainable. While touring for Beauty and the Beast, she created a new Instagram account, @the_press_tour, to promote her chic and sustainable fashion.

My favorite sustainable celebrity, who is honestly more famous for his voice, is Sir David Attenborough. As the narrator of the most amazing documentaries, Planet Earth and Planet Earth II, he also joined scientists, politicians, businesses, and academics to sign an Apollo-style research program to make renewable energy cheaper than fossil fuels. He is also a well-known supporter of the charity Population Matters, which focuses on ending population growth and bringing our population to a level the Earth can sustain.

Looking for some more sustainable actors? The Trend Spotter lists these celebrities as their top eight. Looking for some interesting tweets? Then follow these 13 eco-friendly actors. The Huffington Post created a list in 2012 of green celebrities. Even Teen Vogue has created a list of their top 11 celebrities. These 17 celebrities are actively working to protect the environment, and these ten celebrities are focused on making our food systems more healthy and sustainable.

Who is your favorite celebrity? Were they included in any of the links or lists? And you don’t have to be a celebrity to fight for a cause. Donations, time, petitions, and vocalizations all can serve as your way to tell the world what you are interested in and passionate about. Now if only there was a Real Housewives of the Sustainable Hills!