Stars for Sustainability

Feature Article

November 2020  – Babett Mueller

Being famous for once, immersing yourself in the glittering world of Hollywood, smiling from the covers of glossy magazines and being admired by people all over the world … Who hasn’t wished for that? For some, the dream comes true. Newcomers don’t emerge only from the film and music industry; these days models and cooks can also achieve global fame.

Whoever they are, such people become idols and role models – and not only for young people. The really clever stars and starlets are aware of this, and use their celebrity to achieve an even bigger goal: they want to make a real difference. They use their popularity to advocate for environmental protection, to empower discriminated social groups and those who need help most.

Raise the curtain!

There is, for example, Leonardo DiCaprio. Many know and love him from classics like Titanic and The Beach. His Oscar victory for The Revenant in 2016 was well deserved and overdue not only in the eyes of his fans, but also among colleagues in the industry.

But DiCaprio has not only gained admiration and recognition in the film industry. He has been committed to the environment for decades. In 1998 he founded the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation with the aim of protecting wild animals and their habitats around the world.

The actor, director and producer is aware of his fame and popularity, and uses it to find support for his goals. Large-scale campaigns and public speeches serve as DiCaprio’s platforms to draw attention to his grievances. But he also offers solutions. The foundation’s aims include protecting nature reserves and the oceans, saving the climate and advocating for the rights of indigenous people.

With equity valued at around 260 million US dollars in 2019, DiCaprio has the resources to make a difference. And most importantly: he encourages others to get involved to save the planet, too. DiCaprio draws attention to his passion via social media – where he has already gathered over 50 million followers – and wherever else he can.

He has already received several awards for his commitment and is known and respected in the industry, and as a board member of several environmental organizations. With his film Before the Flood, he inspires viewers to take action to stop climate change.

Truly enchanting

Emma Watson is probably best known for her role as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films, but in real life she is no less determined than her colleague DiCaprio. The British Hollywood star has made new fans all around the world with her commitment to sustainability and diversity, and other actions that address the topics closest to her heart.

In 2011, Watson launched a sustainable clothing line. Later, during her promotional tour for the film Beauty and the Beast she drew attention to sustainable, fair-trade and second-hand fashion on Instagram – giving the slow fashion movement prominent support and a powerful push.

Watson also stands up for young women, gender equality and humanitarian aid. On trips to Bangladesh and Zambia, she uses her familiar face to highlight the living conditions of girls in rural Africa and to foster improvements. Hermione has become a woman who takes her role seriously in every respect. No doubt she’ll conjure up plenty more admirable projects in the future.

Environmental-conscious Singer

With his feel-good songs he makes people shine. But that is not enough: Hawaiian-born singer Jack Johnson is setting a good example too. And he is absolutely right – if everyone started with themselves, our planet would be a better place.

On two of his past tours he has donated one hundred percent of his profits to environmental organizations, and, increasingly, his stage performances are known for being sustainable events. Plastic avoidance, biodiesel for tour buses, organic catering and environmentally friendly merchandise articles reduce the carbon footprint of his concerts.

With his All At Once campaign, he supports non-profit initiatives focusing on local food and plastic reduction. As for his fifth album… it was recorded in a studio that uses solar energy.

Australian Role Model

Australia’s supermodel Miranda Kerr is another shining example. Her organic skin care line Kora consists of all-natural, certified ingredients and encourages women to discover and celebrate their true beauty. But Kerr has more to offer than just looks: her book Treasure Yourself, launched in 2010, was a national bestseller; its sequel, Empower Yourself (published in 2013) and a third, yet to be released volume, aim to give women the courage to love themselves and live their dreams.

Kerr is committed to issues surrounding women, children, health and the environment. Needless to say she sets a good example, too. Together with her husband and three children, she maintains a green lifestyle and regularly provides help where help is needed most. Recently she has donated towards fighting bushfires, as well as towards the reforestation of destroyed areas in her native country.

Sustainable Recipe

Who knows, perhaps Miranda Kerr was even inspired by star chef Jamie Oliver to grow her own vegetables and fruits in the garden. One of the Briton’s great concerns is that more people take the plunge and grow their own food – in the garden, on the balcony, on the windowsill. With his recipes he offers numerous ideas for a healthy and nourishing low-meat diet. One of his restaurants is using renewable energy – powered by wind turbines on the roof.

But children are especially important to Oliver. Particularly when it comes to their diets. With rising numbers of obese children in the western world, Oliver is even moving into the political arena and has already cooperated with five Prime Ministers to develop a solid strategy against childhood obesity.

This includes canteen meals in primary schools and a sugar tax. Because the way to a man’s heart is not only through his stomach. A respectful togetherness and the commitment of all of us are the star chef’s recipe for a better world.