Throughout the years, celebrities have been known to jump on bandwagons and attach themselves to humanitarian causes both wildly successful (“We Are the World”, versions one and two, have raised upwards of $60 million to fight famine in Africa), and bizarrely impractical (Hands Across America – a lot of people joined, only a fraction donated the requisite $10 to fight hunger and homelessness). However, one worthy cause that continues to attract public figures is something we can all get on board with, and that’s protecting the environment.
Here are some of the outspoken celebrities who have embraced the movement, as well as the eco-friendly messages they endorse.
1. Richard Branson – best known for dare-devil antics and a multi-billion dollar entertainment, travel, and technology empire (Virgin Records, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Virgin Mobile…the list goes on), he pledged in 2006 to funnel profits from his travel businesses into research on biofuel (an investment estimated at around $3 billion…wow).
2. Al Gore – in a single stroke (of luck or genius, we may never know) he informed the world about global warming in the implausibly successful 2006 documentary An Inconvenient Truth. No other slide show in history has reached such a large audience and it even won an Academy Award. And Gore proved once and for all he wasn’t just a windbag.
3. Jane Goodall – she is best known for her study of the social interactions of chimpanzees, but she also founded the Jane Goodall Institute to protect animals and their habitats, promote conservation and development programs in Africa, and advocate on behalf of the environment.
4. Leonardo DiCaprio – an environmentalist to the core, this guy puts his money where his mouth is. He drives a Prius and spurns private jets in favor of commercial airlines. He founded the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation in 1998 to “support efforts to secure a sustainable future for our planet and all of its inhabitants” and he recently donated $1 million to disaster relief in Haiti. He also made a documentary in 2007, entitled The 11th Hour, which addresses environmental issues and offers possible solutions.
5. Harrison Ford – after buying a ranch in Wyoming, he became interested in conservancy. He has since won the Global Environmental Conservancy Award (honoring his efforts on behalf of protecting biodiversity) and serves as a vice chair of Conservation International, a group which endeavors to promote sustainability, global biodiversity, and the well-being of humanity.
While many celebrities have taken up the mantle of environmental issues to varying degrees, these five have gone above and beyond whatever token effort was necessary to gain recognition, notoriety, or public approval. Their dedication and hard work shows that they are true patriots of the planet and they are setting a fine example for future generations, not only as people of prominence, but as humans.
Guest Post by: Chris Hershell of the Nursing Degree Website.