The fame and influence that celebrities have provided them with a platform to reach a wide audience and raise awareness about environmental issues. Celebrities can use their visibility to educate the public, promote sustainable practices, and support environmental organizations and initiatives.
Many people believe that the government doesn’t do enough for the environment. As a result, celebrities and people with power use their financial resources to fund environmental projects, support research, or launch their own initiatives.
In this article, we will look at how some of the ecological awareness works by celebrities have made a big difference in the world.
Matt Damon: Clean Water
Water is one of the most precious natural resources on earth, but the amount of water pollution that happens is shocking. Only 0.5% of the earth’s freshwater is available for use, which makes clean water efforts one of the most important goals for humanity.
In our industrial society, water is prone to several sources of contamination. We have already experienced several water disasters that caused widespread pollution.
The Camp Lejeune disaster is one example where, for several decades, United States military personnel were exposed to water that was contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
The effects of the water contamination were so bad that today, the Camp Lejeune lawsuit payout per person ranged anywhere from $10,000 to $500,000.
TorHoerman Law recently shared a study published in the journal JAMA Neurology that found marines and others exposed to contaminated water had a 70% higher risk of developing Parkinson’s Disease.
If the water contamination had been avoided, close to one million people would not have faced the severe side effects of cancers and pregnancy-related issues.
Matt Damon, like many celebrities, took up the mantle of working towards making clean water a reality for the world. In 2006, Damon started the H2O Africa Foundation. He then joined hands with Gary White, a water sanitation expert, to create Water.org.
In an interview with the World Economic Forum’s podcast “Radio Davos,” Damon mentioned that the impact of access to water was incalculable. He went on to talk about how millions of children die from diseases like diarrhea that would be avoidable if clean water was made more accessible.
With the efforts of Water.org, more than 52 million people spanning 17 countries have been given access to safe water and sanitation.
Leonardo Dicaprio: Climate Change
Climate change awareness is another significant concern that many celebrities have been advocating for. However, some celebs like DiCaprio have taken a special interest in this area.
Climate change poses numerous threats to our planet and society. It leads to rising global temperatures, contributing to extreme weather events such as heatwaves, hurricanes, floods, and droughts.
These events can cause extensive damage to ecosystems, infrastructure, and human lives. The melting of glaciers and polar ice caps due to climate change leads to rising sea levels. As you can imagine, this threatens low-lying islands and coastal cities, displacing populations and causing economic disruptions.
Unlike many actors who only started being passionate about the environment once they were established in the industry, DiCaprio started early.
At the young age of 24, DiCaprio established the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (LDF) in 1998, which supports projects and organizations focused on environmental conservation, climate change mitigation, and indigenous rights. The foundation has provided funding and grants to numerous initiatives around the world.
DiCaprio has also produced and narrated several documentaries that raise awareness about climate change and environmental issues. These include “Before the Flood” (2016), which explores the impacts of climate change and offers potential solutions, and “The 11th Hour” (2007), which examines the state of the environment and advocates for sustainable practices.
Emma Watson: Sustainable Fashion
Sustainable fashion refers to a holistic approach to clothing production and consumption that minimizes the negative impacts on the environment and promotes social responsibility. It emphasizes ethical sourcing, environmentally friendly materials, fair labor practices, and reducing waste throughout the entire fashion supply chain.
Touted by Vogue as “Hollywood’s queen of ethical dressing,” Watson has actively worked toward raising awareness and promoting environmentally friendly practices in the fashion industry.
In 2015, Watson launched an app titled “Good On You.” The app provides information about the ethical and environmental ratings of fashion brands, helping consumers make informed choices about their purchases. It encourages users to support brands that align with their values and promotes transparency in the fashion industry.
Watson has also collaborated with sustainable fashion brands to create eco-friendly and ethical collections. For example, she worked with People Tree, a fair trade fashion brand, to design and promote a range of organic clothing.
The invaluable work carried out by celebrities in the realm of environmentalism has made a significant impact on raising awareness, driving action, and inspiring positive change. Their influence and platform have propelled environmental issues to the forefront of public consciousness.
However, it goes without saying that much more needs to be done to address many of the pressing environmental challenges we face.
While celebrities have played a vital role in the advocacy movement, lasting change requires collective efforts from all sectors of society. The work of celebrities is best viewed as a catalyst. A stepping stone toward a more environmentally conscious world, where environmentalism becomes a normal part of our daily lives.