8 Celebrity Environmentalists: Shailene Woodley, Leonardo DiCaprio and More
Getting into sustainability can be a fun and exciting time and it’s especially joyous when you just so happen to stumble upon someone else who is passionate about sustainability. It’s that whole OMG, you use a stainless steel straw, too? Did we just become best friends?! thing. It may seem corny to other people, but relationships forged on that kind of mutual passion are invaluable. They can make for some pretty strong friendships. Plus, there’s nothing like a friend who can hold you accountable: “Did you remember your reusable cup and utensils today?” You know how it goes.
Similarly, it can be just as cool to find out that one of your favorite celebrities also supports an environmental cause. Sure, famous people sometimes seem like they’re a million years away and not real, but learning that a celeb is into saving the planet can really make you feel closer to them. They're doing something proactive with their fame by using it as a platform to promote ethical and eco-conscious living.
As the sustainability movement gets bigger and bigger, we need big people with big power to keep speaking out and proclaiming their involvement. The more celebrities-turned-environmental activists there are to spread the word about sustainability, the more potential there is for their words to influence the right people.
And sure, we all know that Leonardo DiCaprio has dedicated his life (and his money) to educating people about the environment and climate change. But he is hardly the only celebrity speaking up in the name of our planet.
Interested to know which other famous people are down with saving the planet? Here's our A-list.
Brianna Monique Danielson - AKA Brie Bella - and Daniel Bryan
Brie Bella and her husband Daniel Bryan are professional wrestlers in the WWE and have dedicated their lives, social media and even their multiple reality television shows to educating WWE fans on their sustainable lifestyles.
While this husband and wife duo are committed to vegan lifestyles, they also call themselves “locavores,” which means their diets are primarily made up of locally-grown and -sourced foods. In 2019, Daniel Bryan flaunted a sustainably-made WWE championship belt, made out of hemp.
Of campaigning for a sustainable WWE championship belt alternative, Bryan said, “I said when I became the WWE Champion that I was going to change the world, but to change the world, we need new symbols!” Bryan also referred to the hemp-made belt as “the new symbol of excellence.”
The married couple also has their own garden in their yard where they source most of their food and their home is considered a sustainable home.
Emma Watson has been talking about sustainability since her Harry Potter days. Back in 2011, she launched the eco-friendly collection Pure Threads with Alberta Ferretti, which put an emphasis on clothes made from organic cotton, hemp, and wool.
“I am delighted that a luxury brand such as Alberta Ferretti decided to create organic clothing. I think this is an important step for the entire fashion industry, but also an important step to raising awareness about the importance of ecology,” Watson said at the time.
She didn’t stop there. Watson, who was in her early 20s at the time, committed to wearing a completely, environmentally ethical wardrobe while on her Beauty and the Beast tour and even had an Instagram account (@the_press_tour) made especially so she could document the whole ethical fashion journey.
In 2015, she signed up for the Green Carpet Challenge, vowing that every article of clothing worn on the red carpet would be sustainably and ethically made. As an icon in the fashion industry, it’s so empowering to see Watson doing something good for the environment in an industry that really embraced her.
Rooney Mara famously went vegan in 2011 and in addition to cutting out all animal products from her diet, she also vowed to avoid animal by-products in her wardrobe. She prefers to call herself an “ethical vegan,” and avoids animal-made materials like silk, wool, and of course, leather and fur. Then, she took her commitment a step further and actually made her own ethical clothing and accessories brand: HIRAETH.
“I wanted to make things that were vegan and ‘cruelty-free’ for animals and I didn’t want to then bring about cruelty to any other person,” she said. “Would it be much cheaper, then for us to make our clothes farther away? Yes, but this provided us a chance to be more hands-on and to know the people who are making our clothes and know that there is integrity and that people were making living wages off of it.”
In addition to eating plant-based and committing to sustainable, vegan fashion, Mara also keeps her wellness and skincare routine 100 percent vegan and cruelty-free, too.
Perhaps most known for her headline-making diet, in which she stated that she and her husband Tom Brady eat mostly plant-based, with vegetables accounting for 80 percent of their diets, Bündchen is also a Global Ambassador for the United Nations Environment Programme.
“My passion for the environment is rooted in my Brazilian upbringing,” Bündchen said. “I am blessed to have lived in a small village and grown up in a family that embraced the importance of nature and community co-existing in harmony. These childhood lessons are the basis for my journey that I would like to pass on to my children and their generation. They deserve the same chance we have had to enjoy and celebrate this beautiful planet.”
Aside from committing to a plant-based lifestyle, Bündchen founded the Projeto Agua Limpa (The Clean Water Project) initiative alongside her father back in 2008. The initiative seeks to implement sustainable agricultural practices, therefore promoting recovery of vegetation and the micro basins in the region of Brazil.
Perhaps the most famous environmentalist of all, the Titanic mega-star founded the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, which protects wildlife and threatened ecosystems. DiCaprio is a massive and passionate voice in the race against climate change and he even produced and starred in Before the Flood, a documentary aired by the National Geographic.
What’s even cooler -- Before the Flood actually volunteered to pay a voluntary carbon tax to offset carbon emissions the production of the film may or may not have made while filming.
From dedicated his Oscar-winning speech to the importance of understanding and derailing climate change to supporting projects that protect wildlife and threatened natural areas, DiCaprio has proven to be one of the most formidable sustainability advocates in Hollywood.
The Big Little Lies star has always made headlines for her hippie-reminiscent, tree-hugging ways — we’ll never forget when she recommended all women spread their legs outdoors so their vaginas could soak in the recommended amount of vitamin D.
But vitamin D isn’t all Woodley cares about. She has actually been arrested for her environmental efforts when, in 2016, she protested the Dakota Access Pipeline alongside Standing Rock and was charged with criminal trespassing and engaging in a riot.
While this may be Woodley’s most infamous environmental endeavor, she has also camped on the streets of New York City to demand the city divest from using dirty fuels and participated in a march in support of clean energy. And at the 20th Anniversary Global Green Environmental Awards, Woodley received the Entertainment Industry Environmental Leadership Ward for her environmental and social contributions.
Mark Ruffalo is right behind Leonardo DiCaprio in terms of outspokenness. Ruffalo specifically educates and speaks about water quality and the issue of hydro-fracking here in the U.S. According to Peace Council, hydrofracking is a term for “slick water hydraulic fracturing,” a process that uses more water than conventional drilling to mine for natural gas in dense shale. Through the process of hydraulic fracturing, rock is fractured by a pressurized liquid and high-pressure fracking fluid is injected into a wellbore, which makes cracks in deep-rock formations, causing natural gas, petroleum, and brine to flow.
“Acting has sort of become my day job now,” he told WWD in 2016. “It’s what I do to support all this other stuff.”
Ruffalo is the founder of a nonprofit called Water Defense, which aims to advocate for clean water through the use of technology and public engagement to keep waterways and drinking water sources free from contamination and industrial degradation.
HEALTHY HUMAN PRODUCTS MENTIONED
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