By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi
Let’s face it–women are a bit less looks-focused than men are when it comes to determining what’s sexy. We love men who make us laugh, who are intelligent, powerful, ambitious…and caring.
We’ve covered some of the hottest eco-advocates out there already, like Leo DiCaprio and Adrian Grenier, and they are simply too generous with their time on environmental issues not to be included here again too. But there are plenty more.
Here’s our list of the top 15 Eco Friendly Celebrity Hunks who have stolen our hearts.
1. Brad Pitt
The environmentally engaged celebrity superstar strongly wants to pass on the importance of sustainability to his six children, so a few years ago he built an eco-friendly theme park for his six children in the hopes of teaching them eco-values through play. His Make It Right Foundation, a green building organisation he launched, creates eco-architecture projects such as the Bancroft School Apartments, a former school building that now contains 50 LEED Platinum certified rental units under a solar roof with 400 panels. The architecture-obsessed star was also heavily involved in rebuilding New Orleans after hurricane Katrina; he’s narrated a eco-design TV series and has also supported his friend Edward Norton’s Solar Neighbours Program.
2. Robert Redford
“The Sting” actor has always been an adamant environmental activist, promoting solar energy, convincing mayors to tackle climate change and heavily campaigning for the Utah wilderness. The Sundance Kid served 30 years on the board of the Natural Resources Defense Council, and along with the Sundance Film Festival he founded to promote indie filmmaking, he launched a weekly three-hour slot of eco-programming on his Sundance TV channel.
3. Will Ferrell
Will is an active member of the National Resources Defense Council, which works to protect wildlife and wild places and ensure a healthy environment for all life on Earth. For the comedic actor, love of the environment is no laughing matter: he was the first celebrity to drive the BMW Hydrogen 7, a 760Li luxury liner modified to run on hydrogen in addition to its normal gasoline diet, and to opt for an eco-friendly home. And let’s not forget that his eco-comedy on TBS, “Earth to America!” has been an outrageous success.
The ridiculously handsome Vampire Diaries star is as kind to the Earth as he is good looking. He launched the Ian Somerhalder Foundation over a decade ago with the aim of protecting animals and the planet–two causes which he firmly believes are tightly interconnected.
The Lost star also encourages young people to get involved in the Foundation. “Our youth have phenomenal ideas and solutions but some lack the life experience to make it happen. This is where they need the support and wisdom of longer-lived humans: adults. I’ve witnessed first hand what happens when a young girl’s ideas are supported by adults, and it’s remarkable,” he says.
To see our interview with Ian and to learn more about his Foundation, please click here.
5. Jack Johnson
Hawaiian born and raised, mellow crooner Jack Johnson grew up near the sea and is a strong supporter of ocean conservation. On his last two tours, Johnson has donated 100 percent–yes, one hundred percent!– of his profits to charities that support the environment, arts education, and music education. Profits from his 2008 tour were used to create the Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation, which currently matches donations made to organisations partnered with the All At Once organisation.
Johnson’s fifth album “To the Sea” was recorded and produced in solar powered studios, and all his buses on tour are fuelled by biodiesel.
6. Usain Bolt
The fastest man on Earth is racing to save threatened species. The Zeitz Foundation has made the Olympic champion its ambassador for culture, hoping his charisma and star power will draw attention to a cause dear to bolt: managing ecosystems sustainably. A lover of wildlife, he has adopted a rescued cheetah and called him “Lightening Bolt”–I’m sure he must give Usain some stiff running competition!
7. Edward Norton
The Hollywood star is one of the most eco-committed celebrities around. He’s used his star power to help launch the Solar Neighbor’s Program, which gets solar panels onto low-income homes in Los Angeles. “The Fight Club” icon also hosted an award-winning, four-part National Geographic TV special about the unnerving effects of global environmental problems. Norton embraces a variety of environmental pursuits: he is a board member on a handful of non-profits, including the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust, which gives him direct insight into sustainable tourism and eco-system preservation. He is also CEO of Baswood Inc.: a green wastewater treatment alternative he and his partners are currently selling and building around the U.S. and abroad to U.N. Goodwill Ambassador for Biodiversity.
8. Matt Damon
The talented Mr. Damon besides being a loving family man has been a good shepherd for the earth, narrating the documentary “Running the Sahara” and the “Journey to Planet Earth” series on PBS. Matt has also participated in the related awareness campaign about the water crisis in Africa, which has lead him to co-founded Water.org, a US-based nonprofit organisation committed to providing safe drinking water and sanitation to people in developing countries, that has partnered with CamelBak to launch a limited edition eco-friendly water bottles.
9. Orlando Bloom
The British actor has been mentioned on our pages before, but we think it’s worth repeating his good, green deeds here too.
Not only has Bloom served as a UNICEF ambassador in Nepal, where he works on purifying water for communities, but the Lord of the Rings star has also fitted his London home out to be completely eco-friendly: he’s installed solar panels, incorporated recycled materials, and uses energy efficient lightbulbs to do his part to save energy and resources.
He’s also an environmental activist, and has marched in the United States to protest a lack of action against climate change. The heart-throb has a young son, Flynn, and believes that if we don’t take action now, the future of the next generation will be bleak indeed.
10. Pierce Brosnan
In 2007, “The Thomas Crown Affair” star was named Best-dressed Environmentalist by the Sustainable Style Foundation and serves on the board of the Environmental Media Association. This James Bond actor definitely doesn’t go undercover when it comes to his activism on the planet: he has long fought for dolphin-safe tuna rules and protested the U.S. Navy’s widespread use of sonar, which can harm dolphins, whales and other cetaceans.
11. Leonardo DiCaprio
Probably the ‘greenest’ star in the entire world, there are many issues that are particularly important to DiCaprio. These include wildlife and habitat preservation, healthy oceans, water access, climate change and disaster relief, to name but a few. In 1998, he created the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, which has since done incredible work by giving grants to and creating media projects and raising awareness and millions of dollars for a wide variety of environmental, animal and humanitarian causes.
12. Woody Harrelson
A longtime vegan and environmental activist, Harrelson mainly takes action through business. He owns a ‘treeless’ paper company, vegan restaurant, and has invested in hemp-based fuels and materials. His own house is completely off the grid, and he’s not afraid to speak up for the planet: “I spent a lot of time wanting to become rich and famous, then when I got there, I found it was hollow. What is important to me is my connection with family and friends, and to nature, and to stand up for what I believe in,” he said.
13. Peter Dinklage
He steals almost every scene in the hit TV series he stars in, and now Game of Thrones Peter Dinklage is using his star power to draw attention to a cause he holds dear: animal rights.
A vegetarian for almost 20 years, Dinklage is the newest spokesperson for Farm Sanctuary’s annual Walk for Farm Animals. The animal loving actor said he got involved because “animals used for food are treated like unfeeling machinery.” He’s also pressuring US cosmetic companies to stop testing on animals, which he has called ‘barbaric’.
Forget the stereotype of the ‘blinged-out’ rapper: the ‘Take Care’ singer is certainly trying to ‘take care’ of the planet. In the spring of 2010, Drake embarked on his first-ever tour as a headliner in association with Reverb’s Campus Consciousness Tour, which began with Guster in 2006. The CCT works to link artists with environmental student groups at schools across the country to raise awareness through literature and activities in tents on the concert grounds, like eco-friendly screen printing from Studio 3, an organic textile company.
14. Pharrell Williams
The multitalented, multitasking musician/designer/producer/entrepreneur/ became Creative Director of Bionic Yarn in 2009. The ‘yarn’ is based on plastic pollution salvaged from the oceans and recycled into textiles, and the concept is part of the Vortex Project, an initiative by Parley for the Oceans in collaboration with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society to help rid the oceans of plastic and put it to good use.
Since its founding in 2013, a variety of environmentalists, scientists, artists, entrepreneurs, creative companies and NGOs have joined Vortex, cleaning the oceans of millions of tonnes of waste and recycling it. That makes us very ‘Happy’ indeed!
15. Adrian Grenier
Grenier is involved in many eco-friendly causes. He is a supporter of Oceana and Charity Water, and co-hosted the first annual Charity Water Ball in 2006 with Jessica Stam, and collected a real-life ‘entourage’ of friends, actors and experts to come together on his environmentally focused TV show, Alter Eco, which promotes eco-friendly lifestyles and causes.
The blue-eyed boy also teamed up with film producer Peter Glatzer in2009 to create the multi-media platform, SHFT , whose aim to to allow the public to approach sustainable living in a more accessible format. The website features video, design and fashion inspiration to encourage all-round, better green lifestyles, giving us yet another reason to watch this hunk on TV whenever we can.
All images: Wikicommons, unless otherwise stated.