While they seem to enjoy big life and fame, some celebrities also make a significant difference in the world. This list of celebrity environmentalists paints an entirely different picture of the men and women in the limelight.
We identify celebrities for posing with expensive cars, appearing on the overrated Red Carpet, or holding unending parties. But that’s not all for some. There are also celebrities that do great things for society.
Usually, their immense fame comes with a great deal of influence. And many use it for a good cause.
For instance, some are great advocates for human rights, gender equality, and proper governance. Also, a good number of them are fighting the ultimate fight – environmental preservation.
The truth is environmental degradation is on the rise due to human activities. And climate change is threatening our existence.
However, numerous celebrities have joined the fight to try and revert the situation. Together with other environmental leaders worldwide, these outspoken celebrities advocate for a greener tomorrow.
Today, we look at some celebrity environmentalists and what they do for the environment.
Top Celebrity Environmentalists
1. Jane Goodall
Image by Erik (HASH) Hersman – Jane Goodall, CC BY 2.0,
She is well-known for her courage and determination, which saw her travel from England to Tanzania in the 1960s. In fact, this environmentalist and ethologist became famous for that.
At around 24 years, Goodall ventured into the Chimpanzees’ world. She started advocating for animal welfare and environmental conservation.
The 88-year-old English primatologist and anthropologist has for over 60 years been studying chimpanzees. She’s considered one of the world’s top experts in that field.
Jane advocates for the ethical treatment of animals. In fact, she has intensely campaigned against the use of animals for farming, medical research, training, testing, and sports.
She is the founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and is also a member of the World Future Council. In her position, Jane has seen various sustainable development projects in Africa. She even became the UN Messenger of Peace in 2002.
Jane Goodall has bagged uncountable awards and recognition for environmental advocacy. Her conservation efforts and climate change initiatives even saw her receive the 2010 Bambi Award for the category, ‘Our Earth.
She also received the Templeton Prize. During the Templeton Prize of 1.3 million dollars celebrations, she said on the sidelines that climate change is at the point of no return. In other words, there is a growing climate crisis, and the changes are so rapid that we are quickly running out of chances to fix it.
Initially, she didn’t start as a celebrity. However, her work towards the environment and animal welfare placed her among the world’s famous environmental celebrities.
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2. Meryl Streep
Image by Dick Thomas Johnson, Licensed under CC BY 2.0,
Meryl Streep is one of the famous eco-friendly celebrities. She has, for the longest time, advocated for environmental preservation.
Her activism started in the ’80s. This was when she began pushing for environmental issues awareness by the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC).
One of her famous activism activities was creating the “Mothers & Others Campaign.” It was done after the publication of the infamous Alar report by the NRDC, and she did it for one reason only. It was meant to rally Americans behind the fight to introduce more stringent pesticide standards.
In her interview with Wendy Gordon, the American actress said that she became conscious of how our actions always produce a later outcome while feeding a baby. This way, she decided to try and start doing the right thing for better outcomes.
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3. Gisele Bundchen
Image by Arezzo Brasil – VERÃO AREZZO 2019, CC BY 3.0,
Bundchen is a Brazilian model, businesswoman, and activist. She has also been featured in the list of the world’s highest-paid supermodels.
The supermodel dedicates her time and efforts to ecological education and conservation. This saw her crowned the “Best Green International Celebrity” in 2011 after winning an online competition.
Her enthusiasm for the environment started way back in 2004. This was after seeing the challenges some tribes in India were facing due to deforestation and subsequent water pollution.
Since then, she has been a strong advocate of environmental preservation. And she does everything possible to create awareness of environmental issues.
Gisele also became the “United Nations Environment Program Goodwill Ambassador” in 2019. Since then, she has supported numerous environmental preservation campaigns and programs.
She is one of the renowned celebrity environmentalists who use their influence well. She uses it to create awareness of climate change’s impacts on our world.
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4. Leonardo DiCaprio
Image by Colin Chou, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0,
Famous for his role in the movie Titanic, DiCaprio has, over the years, proven to be more than just an actor. For starters, he co-wrote, produced, and narrated “The 11th Hour,” a global-warming documentary. And he continues to do more.
Through the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, the celebrity has done quite a lot. He is relentless in lobbying for various environmental sustainability issues, such as:
- The preservation of forests
- Renewable energy
- Healthy oceans
- Access to clean water for everyone, etc.
His love for nature continued after he was featured in “Before the Flood” in 2016. This is a climate change documentary, with Fisher Stevens as the director. It aired on National Geographic.
The documentary seeks to address the devastating impacts of climatic change on the world. It also questions our ability to reverse the worst calamity in human life.
To crown it all, the actor has been a member of various environmental boards like:
- The International Fund for Animal Welfare or World Wildlife Fund
- Natural Resources Defense Council
- The Global Green USA.
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5. Ben Affleck
Image by Gage Skidmore – Ben Affleck, CC BY-SA 2.0,
The famous American actor, producer, and philanthropist is a co-founder of the Eastern Congo Initiative. Together with Whitney Williams, they established the initiative in 2010.
The primary idea of ECI is to help various Congolese CBOs acquire grants for increased agricultural production. This, in the long run, helps to better the lives of small farmers in Eastern DRC. It offers both training and resources.
The actor also uses the initiative to increase public awareness of the environmental dangers we face. Lastly, the initiative helps him lobby for environmental policy changes in the US.
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6. Cate Blanchett
Image by Harald Krichel – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,
Cate Blanchett features among the most celebrated actresses of her time. And besides her talent, she also tops the most famous environmental activists‘ list.
Her love for environmental preservation became pretty evident after the “Greening the Wharf Project.” This was after, together with her husband, championed running the Wharf Theatre on Green energy as co-artistic directors.
The project saw the installation of 1,900 solar panels in the theatre. The panels became the source of over 70% of electricity here.
And that’s not all. Pairing this with a rainwater harvesting system will, in the long run, turn into a fully carbon-neutral system.
The actress also influenced the reuse and recycling of costumes and props in the theatre. All these actions show what’s close to her heart – sustainability and environmental preservation.
7. James Cameron
Image by Gage Skidmore – James Cameron, CC BY-SA 2.0,
Now, who doesn’t love this guy? And if you don’t even know him, you know his work. James Cameron is a filmmaker and producer.
His undeniable talent is evident in some of the greatest movies. If you remember “The Terminator,” “Titanic,” “True Lies,” or the “Judgment Day,” then you are much aware of his work.
Besides that, he’s also an environmentalist, running several sustainability businesses. His passion for environmental preservation and sustainability is so strong that he and his entire family are now vegetarians.
Cameron notes that “by changing what you eat, you will change the entire contract between the human species and the natural world.“
Together with his wife, Cameron strongly advocates for a vegan diet. He also lobbies for the increased production of plant-based food.
Cameron notes that less meat in our diets would alleviate climate change impacts. He is one of the few ethical celebrities that have walked their talk.
See Related: Best Products to Combat Climate Change
8. Maroon 5
Image by Eva Rinaldi – Maroon 5, CC BY-SA 2.0,
The Maroon 5 is a Grammy-winning band that also has the environment in its heart. The band, which won the 2006 Environmental Media Awards, has committed itself to green tours. Since 2008, the band has been involved in various sustainable activities, programs, and projects, including:
- The use of biodiesel-powered buses for its tours
- It donates part of its ticket sales to environmental preservation organizations like Global Cool
- Encouraging people to embrace recycling during its concerts
The band is also a strong supporter of various green organizations like;
- The Environmental Media Association
- Teen Impact
This, plus having performed on Live Earth, shows that the band is environmentally conscious. As such, it couldn’t miss a spot on our celebrity environmentalists list.
See Related: Endangered Species in California
9. Shailene Woodley
Image by Gage Skidmore – Shailene Woodley, CC BY-SA 2.0,
She is one of the famous celebrity environmentalists who have used their fame to make the world more habitable. For the longest time, Shailene has been a passionate environmental activist and always working towards climate change awareness.
In fact, she is a co-founder of the “All it Takes non-profit organization.” This youth leadership initiative helps create awareness among youths and urges them to practice compassion, responsibility, and empathy towards others and the environment.
As part of her activism, Woodley relentlessly protested against the underground petroleum pipeline, “the Dakota Access Pipeline.” This even got her arrested in October 2016 for criminal trespassing and got her one year of probation.
The Dakota protests and other activism activities got her recognized by the Environmental Media Association. And to crown it all, the celebrity is now an Oceans Ambassador for Greenpeace, a title she acquired in 2019.
Shailene Woodley is not just a celebrity but also one of this age’s fearless female environmental leaders. The world needs such celebrities if we are to revert the course of climate change and global warming.
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10. Brad Pitt
Image by Paul Bird – Brad Pitt, CC BY 2.0,
Besides being a multiple awards winner throughout his acting career, Brad Pitt also doubles as a passionate environmentalist. And to enable his goals of environmental preservation, the actor founded the Make It Right Foundation in 2006.
The foundation aimed to construct 150 affordable, environmentally friendly houses in New Orleans. The houses could also endure floods and strong winds.
This project saw the U.S. Green Building Council applaud Pitt for his zeal and determination. His efforts made “the largest and greenest single-family community in the world” dream come true.
The star made donations worth over $5 million towards the project. He made even more donations to many other environmental preservation programs.
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11. Edward Norton
Image by Steve Juvertson – Edward Norton, CC BY 2.0,
The movie star is widely known for his role in the “Incredible Hulk” movie. And he seems to flex his green muscles for an even greener purpose. With a father that is equally passionate about the environment, I would say it’s something that runs in the family.
As one of the famous celebrity environmentalists, Norton has made numerous strides toward sustainable living. For starters, he is the voice in the 2015 “Strange Days on Planet Earth” documentary. This is a four-part documentary that aired on National Geographic.
He also ardently advocates for renewable energy and even purchased a fully solar-powered home when he became a celebrity. Besides that, he changed his car to a hybrid model as a sign of his green energy and sustainable living efforts.
Back in 2003, in collaboration with BP Oil Company, Norton initiated a program to install rooftop solar panels on Los Angeles houses. The move was warmly embraced by many residents.
In 2010, he became “the United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for Biodiversity.” Still, he supports various programs, including the African Wildlife Foundation.
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12. Daryl Hannah
Image by World Travel & Tourism Council – Licensed under CC BY 2.0,
Born Daryl Christine Hannah on 3rd December 1960, the actress has been featured in numerous films. She appears in popular films like “Splash” and “Kill Bill.” And besides being great on the screen, Daryl adores nature and advocates for its preservation vehemently.
When it comes to environmental issues, she never backs down. In fact, she has collided with law officers for this, resulting in her at least three arrests.
The first arrest was in 2006 for the “23-day tree sit-in.” The second one came in 2009 for the protests against West Virginia’s mountaintop mining.
The second protest, in which James E. Hansen, one of NASA’s famous environmental scientists, was also arrested, saw them charged with obstruction and impeding traffic. In 2011, she was again in cuffs after a protest opposing the suggested Keystone oil pipeline near the white house.
When she’s not on the streets protesting, Daryl runs DH Love Life. It is a weekly Vlog on green living.
13. Jack Johnson
Image by Peter Chiapperino – Own work, Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0,
Jack Hody Jackson is a man of many talents. Famous for his soothing acoustic rock melodies, Jack doubles as a record producer, multi-instrumentalist, filmmaker, and actor and has even been a professional surfer.
But don’t think you’ve heard it all about this great American talent; he does even more. He is one of the most avid celebrity environmentalists who have made significant strides in fighting for an eco-friendly existence.
Some of his Environmental preservation works include:
- Founded the “All At Once Campaign,” – this social action network is meant to give interested people a chance to impact positive change in various local communities. It is about connecting, making positive environmental changes, and earning rewards. It also aims to achieve sustainable food systems for local communities and encourage a plastic-free environment.
- Johnson Ohana Charitable Campaign – through this non-profit foundation, he encourages positive and permanent environmental solutions by promoting art, music, the environment, and education-oriented organizations.
- He is a supporter of the Australian Marine Conservation Society.
- Performed in classrooms all to support environmental education through the Kokua Hawaii Foundation.
There are many celebrity environmentalists who have made significant steps in preserving our environment. And Jack is undoubtedly on that list.
14. Pamela Denise Anderson
Image by Toglenn – Toglenn, Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0,
Born in 1967, Pamela Anderson is a Canadian-American model, actress, and media personality. She has been a vegetarian since childhood for what she terms are ethical reasons.
Pamela advocates for the rights of animals and teaches about plant-based diet benefits. In fact, she was one of the renowned celebrity activists who was once at the center
of controversy for nudity in animal rights advocacy activities.
In one instance, she posed in a bikini with drawings on her body depicting the suffering of animals. This was meant to fight animal abuse but ended up being banned because it was sexist.
And in another instance, she stripped for an ad for PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) on valentines day of 2014. This was to urge dog lovers to cuddle their pets during winter.
She has been involved in animal rights advocacy across the continent. In 2015, Pamela wrote to Russian president Putin to save whales. Also, she represented the IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) in Russia in talks with Kremlin officials about animal conservation and welfare.
15. Mark Alan Ruffalo
Image by Gage Skidmore, Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0,
Mark Ruffalo is a renowned actor and environmental activist. He began his acting career in the early 90s and has bagged several awards and recognition for his roles.
Mark is not a great actor but also supports the efforts to raise awareness about environmental degradation. This passion began in 2008 after learning that gas companies were eyeing his Callicoon, NY, family land.
He did private investigations and became the first famous face of anti-fracking. This was a political movement to ban the extraction of natural gases practice.
Mark Ruffalo has gone to shows and supported other environmental organizations’ campaigns that teach about creating a safe environment for present and future generations. He produced and narrated the documentary “Dear President Obama: The Clean Energy Revolution Is Now.”
The documentary looks at former US President Obama’s environmental tenure. It depicts that there was a vast expansion of oil and natural gas drilling.
He also produced another legal thriller, “Dark Waters,” in his environmental activism efforts. The lawyer in the thriller shows the relentless pursuit of justice to expose pollution caused by Dupoint’s poisonous chemical.
During the 2019 pandemic, he was in an Irish Green Party webinar. He encouraged the members to accept the agreed-upon government program between Fianna Fail and Fine Gael. Also, he condemned the warfare between Israel and Palestine when speaking to a political British- American Journalist, Mehdi Hasan.