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Holly-Do-Gooders: 51 Hollywood stars that revolve around the Earth

It’s the 51st anniversary of Earth Day, and we can finally dare to celebrate. Yes, we have a climate change crisis on our hands. Yet the White House just announced the U.S. will cut greenhouse gas emissions 50% by 2030. Solar, wind, and other renewable energy sources will power us forward.  

These 51 Hollywood celebrities who get it done for Mother Earth will power us forward, too. Through their creativity, ingenuity, and straight-up dedication, they’ve figured out how we can do this together. They show us the way. 

This list is Hollywood.com’s inaugural list of Holly-Do-Gooders, which shines the (solar-powered) spotlight on celebrities doing good for our people and planet.

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Earth to Hollywood and other stars: Thank you! Now let’s raise a glass of Cameron Diaz’s clean wine and dig in.

#1: Leonardo DiCaprio

The Wolf of Green Street is fierce. Leonardo DiCaprio is the UN Messenger of Peace on Climate Change. While we love him in The Titanic cast, his documentaries Before the Flood and The 11th Hour are riveting looks at climate change. He’s active in the World Wildlife Fund, Global Green USA, and the People’s Climate March

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For 20 years now and with great urgency, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (LDF) has been addressing threats of climate change and loss of biodiversity. LDF has formed collaborative partnerships to spur innovative, sweeping change. One such example: female-led initiatives (employing single mothers, sex workers, and abandoned mothers) that prevent trophy hunting in Africa. Leonardo DiCaprio saves Santa Monica cougars, Mexican desert tortoises, South Pacific coral reefs, and California Sequoia trees, to name just a few preservation projects. Sequoia trees, at 3,000 years old, are nearly the oldest living things on Earth.

#2: Greta Thunberg

“Our house is on fire,” Greta Thunberg said at the World Economic Forum. She told world leaders at the UN Climate Action Summit “you are failing us” and was named TIME Person of the Year—all in 2019. But in 2018 when she started, she sat alone outside of Swedish Parliament. Waving her “School Strike for Climate” sign, she pressured the government to meet the carbon emissions target agreed by world leaders in Paris in 2015. 

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Her protests went viral on social media; other strikes started around the world; now she inspires young and old alike, and across the political spectrum. It’s known as the “Greta Thunberg effect”: people familiar with the young climate activist may be more likely to act.

#3 Robert Redford

The Sundance Kid has been the bright light of environmental activism since the early 70s. Back then, Robert Redford helped with legislation including The Clean Air Act and The Energy Conservation and Production Act. He held global warming summits in Sundance, became a Natural Resources Defense Council Trustee, and established 5,000 acres of protected wilderness known as the Sundance Preserve where his policy and creative work continues. 

Storytelling is key to the modern environmental movement, he notes. The Redford Center at the Preserve produces documentary features and shorts, including Last Wild Bison; Appalachian Spring; Happening: A Clean Energy Revolution; Women’s Work: The Untold Story of America’s Female Farmers; I am Greta; and Where the Butterflies Go. Sure, fans flock to Sundance TV for the indie filmmaking we associate with Robert Redford. But to know his impact on the environment is to love this great man. “Climate change is a moral issue that should transcend politics,” he once said at a UN Meeting. Robert Redford has lived his life that way.

#4 Shailene Woodley

Divergent thinker Shailene Woodley is a doer. She’s a fierce environmentalist who works with GreenPeace on ocean initiatives to protect 30% of the world’s seas from micro-pollution by 2030. She teamed up with American Express, who promised to redesign its Green Card to be made from plastic found on beaches and to provide planet-friendly options for recycling the cards when they expire or are canceled.

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#5 Mark Ruffalo

Dark Waters warrior Mark Ruffalo joined with NYS citizens to press governor Andrew M. Cuomo to ban the practice known as “fracking,” where energy companies drill into rock to extract natural gas. Fracking is linked to air and water pollution. Andrew Cuomo did ban fracking in 2015, in response to activists like Mark Ruffalo, and earlier this year Andrew Cuomo made the ban permanent.

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In recent years, he has done a lot of activism work to fight climate change and advocate for the Green New Deal.

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#6: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez 

Since 2019, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — aka AOC — of New York’s 14th Congressional district has effectively utilized her political star power to turn up the heat on addressing the climate crisis. Along with Ed Markey, Senator from MA, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has introduced House Resolution 109, called the Green New Deal, which “outlines the framework for a comprehensive and ambitious plan to combat climate change by creating millions of high-wage jobs in new green industries, transitioning our energy system, and building new infrastructure.” 

AOC’s co-sponsored plan to combat climate change offers a road map for a healthier future, both environmentally and economically.  Her Twitter game is strong, too.

#7: Sting 

Every little thing he does is magic. Sting and his wife Trudie Styler founded the Rainforest Fund in 1988, long before many of us worried about the rainforests being destroyed—and before the Amazon could be confused with a certain retailer. Sting and Trudie Styler, along with their indigenous partners, have protected huge swaths of land in Brazil, Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia. Like a trailblazing scientist, Sting has a Colombian tree frog named after him––Dendropsophus stingi–– in gratitude for his “commitment and efforts.” When he’s performed at Earth Day concerts in the past, Sting often sings “Message in a Bottle” or “Time is up, the planet’s sick” (from “One Fine Day” on the album 57th & 9th).