There are lots of famous people who support environmental causes. But do they all really walk the walk? In honour of Earth Day 2022, we wanted to put the spotlight on four prominent public figures, all with different types of celebrity status, who are truly putting their money, time, energy, etc., where their mouth is.
First up, representing Hollywood, is Mark Ruffalo. We know there are so many celebrities we could have chosen (Leonardo DiCaprio, Shailene Woodley, Ben Affleck, Pierce Brosnan…the list goes on) but we chose Ruffalo because of his long history as a green advocate. After receiving the annual Millennial Award from Global Green USA in 2011 for his environmental efforts—an award Ruffalo didn’t believe he deserved—he focused his attention on fracking, which is a carbon-based resource extraction process that is widely known to be a major issue for the planet. Knowing he couldn’t just oppose the practice without offering viable, sustainable solutions, he launched The Solutions Project with other prominent individuals in science, business and entertainment. The goal of The Solutions Project is to accelerate the transition to 100% renewable energy in the United States by 2050.
Serena Williams is our pick from the world of sports. This tennis phenom is known for being an advocate for a plant-forward diet, but in addition, she also owns a vegan, pollution-free clothing line called S by Serena. The sustainable brand is surprisingly affordable—expensive price tags often accompany environmentally friendly clothing—as well as being body positive and inclusive of all shapes and sizes. Williams is also dedicated to investing in ecologically sound start-ups that want to find solutions for the over-consumption of meat.
Pearl Jam are our musicians of choice because they were green before it was cool. Most of the band members have taken a personal interest in environmental causes (Eddie Vetter, a die-hard surfer, is a huge proponent of water conservation efforts, for example) but as a band, they have long worked to offset the impacts of their tours on the planet. For close to 20 years now, they have calculated the metric tonnes of C02 emitted by their time on the road and donated a portion of tour profits to environmental projects (sounds familiar?). They have also supported the ongoing efforts of various organizations to advance clean, renewable energy. Pearl Jam hopes to one day achieve zero percent net emissions for their tours.
Last but certainly not least, we want to give credit to celebrity chef Massimo Bottura. The renowned Italian chef and restauranteur is a huge advocate for the global reduction of food waste, as well as for sustainable food systems that can feed those who need it most. Bottura, who honours the world’s biodiversity with everything from his ingredient sourcing to his cooking practices, runs a not-for-profit with his wife, Laura Gilmore, to create community hubs in underused spaces to help feed people who are socially or financially vulnerable; these meal programs use leftover food that would have otherwise been binned to create beautiful meals for the underserved.