Influential Celebrities: Environmentalists

By William Moore, Assistant Executive Editor

With their incredibly busy schedules and lifestyles that tend to consist of spending much of their time indoors, one would think that many of Hollywood’s most highly sought after stars would lose touch with things like environmental issues. Despite having to balance their own personal lives with managing their public personas, numerous high-profile celebrities find time to also use the platform that their fame affords them to promote eco-friendly initiatives. Perhaps the single best example of celebrities using their time in the spot-light to promote green causes is Leonardo DiCaprio. As many will readily recall, Leo received a lot of attention last February when he dedicated roughly half of his Oscar awards acceptance speech to the subject of environmentalism. As ABC reported, DiCaprio urged his audience to “support leaders around the world who do not speak for the big polluters, but who speak for all of humanity…Let us not take this planet for granted.”

Other examples of celebrities who dedicate their free time to making a difference are plentiful: Nikki Reed, famous for her role as Rosalie Hale in the Twilight Saga and for Betsy Ross in the TV show Sleepy Hollow, is a staunch animal rights activist. As InStyle reports, Reed has teamed up with environmentally friendly brand, Freedom of Animals to create a line of cruelty-free handbags. In addition, Reed frequently uses her Twitter account to tell her followers about environmental issues that matter to her, such as Recycle Across America, an initiative that aims to standardize the labeling on recyclable goods to make sustainable living easier.

One final example of a celebrity who works hard to make a difference includes Mark Ruffalo, of Avengers fame. As InStyle reports, Ruffalo has been an outspoken critic of natural gas fracking, a controversial process that uses water to extract natural gas from deep underground, but could potentially cause an increase in earthquakes and the release human carcinogens into the water table of the places where it is done. On his Twitter account, Ruffalo describes himself as “a climate change advocate with an eye on a better, brighter, cleaner, more hopeful future for all of us” and he backs these words up by frequently tweeting about environmental issues and speaking at events to benefit green initiatives.

Staying focused on helping the environment can be difficult. In our everyday lives, it is easy to forget that every action we take has an impact on the world around us. By providing positive role models for the rest of us to follow and showing that living sustainably is possible for even the busiest of people, these celebrities are doing their part to live green and encouraging all of us to do the same.

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, January 24th print edition.

Contact William at


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