May 31, 2012
Celebrities are constantly making headlines for movies, television shows, award-winning roles, fashion and even sometimes for the work they do with the environment. In honor of those celebs who lend a helping hand in conserving the planet, here are five eco-organizations founded by famous folk that strive to improve the environment.
Ian Somerhalder Foundation
Founded by “The Vampire Dairies” star Ian Somerhalder, the Ian Somerhalder Foundation’s mission is to “empower, educate and collaborate with people and projects to positively impact the planet and its creatures.” From speaking in front of Congress about species conservation to starting an ISF Book Club for people to share stories, characters and ideas, ISF is just getting started in helping the planet. Most recently, Somerhalder and his organization founded the ISF Animal Sanctuary, which is a safe haven not only for neglected, abused and outcasted animals, but a place for bullies to grow. Its goal is to show animals compassion, while using these loving creatures to transform bullies into compassionate people. If you know Somerhalder, not only is he an amazing actor, but he won’t stop until the planet and its creatures are 100 percent healthy and safe.
The global water crisis is still in need of help from people across the globe, and that’s where Water.org comes in. Did you know every 20 seconds a child dies from a water-related illness and that women spend 200 million hours per day collecting water? It’s absolutely astounding. Overall, Water.org’s vision is “the day when everyone in the world can take a safe drink of water.” So, which celeb started this beneficial organization? It was none other than Matt Damon. He co-founded it with Gary White, in order to find a resolution to the water crisis. They raise money, install wells and do whatever it takes to give people in developing countries clean, safe water.
Make It Right Foundation
Brad Pitt was right there to help New Orleans, after Hurricane Katrina tore the city apart. Through his Make It Right Foundation, Pitt helped (and continues to help) in the rebuilding of the city. Pitt has transformed the Lower 9th Ward of The Big Easy, and by using green materials. From using metal roofs that absorb less heat and reduce the need to cool a home to installing solar power to having energy efficient features, Pitt has created an eco-friendly neighborhood. The U.S. Green Building Council says Make It Right is “building the largest, greenest neighborhood of single family homes in America.” Pitt has even said, “What you’re seeing here is not just a neighborhood, but a new way to think about building on health, on homes that aren’t toxic, on homes that generate more energy than they consume.”
Kokua Hawaii Foundation
The Kokua Hawaii Foundation is all about environmental education. Founded by singer Jack Johnson, who is known for his smooth, mellow sound, and his wife to show their support of environmental education in the communities and schools of Hawaii. Kokua hopes to give students the chance to enhance their appreciation for the environment, and of course broaden their understanding of environmental issues. They’ve launched several in-school programs such as, AINA that focuses on “Actively Integrating Nutrition and Agriculture” in schools; the 3R’s – reduce, reuse, recycle; and let the students enjoy environmental field trips. Johnson is also known for holding concerts to benefit the planet. He seems to integrate his two passions of music and the environment whenever possible.
Harrison Ford isn’t just known for his roles in “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones,” but he is well-known when it comes to his eco-organization Conservation International. As Vice Chair of Board of Directors, Ford helps the organization towards its goal of maintaining a healthy and productive planet through a foundation of science, partnership and field demonstration. He was also instrumental in CI’s “Lost There, Felt Here” campaign to battle climate change and most recently filmed a public service announcement about global warming. Thanks to Ford’s name and passion, CI has helped improve the environment in every way possible.