Energy-Efficient Celebrities: Pitt, DiCaprio and More
Photo of Brad Pitt credit Just Jared.
From the Oscars to the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards, Hollywood gets a close-up this time of year. Many of the celebrities walking the red carpet lend their names to environmental causes – but which actors use their star power to highlight energy efficiency, specifically? Brad Pitt, Gisele Bündchen, and Sophia Bush, to name a few. This awards season, watch out for green superstars on the red carpet!
Golden Globe winner and 2012 Oscar nominee Brad Pitt is well-known for his humanitarian work with celebrity partner Angelina Jolie. Energy efficiency often plays a role in Pitt’s philanthropic activities. In fact, he helped with the energy-efficient reconstruction of houses destroyed in Hurricane Katrina through his Make It Right Foundation, which revitalized a damaged New Orleans neighborhood with storm-resistant homes that qualify for the ENERGY STAR label and LEED Platinum certification.
If that was not enough, Pitt and his brother contributed $600,000 for energy efficiency upgrades to the sports and events center at Drury University, their Missouri hometown college. The upgrades made it the first arena in the United States with LEED Gold certification.
Be sure to look for this energy-efficient superstar at the 2012 Academy Awards!
“One Tree Hill” star Sophia Bush – who has won three Teen Choice Awards – not only talks about issues like fuel-efficient cars and switching to energy-efficient light bulbs on the red carpet. She’s also the spokesperson for a new energy-saving game. Bush teamed up with ENERGY STAR and DoSomething.org to launch eMission, a Facebook game that rewards points to users for completing environmental missions both online and offline.
Learn about eMission: Players earn virtual gold coins through “missions” like changing light bulbs, powering down appliances and adjusting the thermostat – either through the game, or by posting photos of real-life actions. But the rewards go beyond virtual coins. DoSomething.org is offering $15,000 in scholarship to players who complete three offline missions. Deadline to apply is Feb. 10, 2012. So, instead of building virtual animal farms and killing zombies, get real rewards by saving energy.
In addition to being the brand ambassador of high-fashion products, Supermodel Gisele Bündchen is also a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). With a trip to Kenya in January 2012, Bündchen helped launch the UN’s Year of Sustainable Energy for All – which aims to fight energy poverty through increasing energy efficiency, among other means. During her trip, Bündchen raised awareness about the need for healthy, fuel-efficient cookstoves in Sub-Saharan Africa, where 70% of the population has no electricity.
Bündchen – who was voted The Best Green International Celebrity at the 2011 Green Awards in London – takes home her commitment to saving energy. Her new home with husband Tom Brady was built with sustainable materials and is equipped with energy-efficient lighting and appliances, as well as a rainwater recovery system. She also has an energy section on her blog!
Photo of Gisele Bündchen credit Gisele's Blog: Here The Fashion is to be Responsible.
Speaking of pretty women and stoves, Julia Roberts – who has won three Golden Globes, one Oscar and one SAG Award – joined Hillary Clinton and celebrity-chef Jose Andreas as goodwill ambassadors for Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. In this role, Roberts supports the organization’s mission of getting 100 million homes to adopt clean and efficient cookstoves by 2020. Moreover, Roberts’ own kitchen was recently renovated with energy-efficient appliances. Photo of Julia Roberts and Hillary Clinton credit U.S. Department of State.
Golden Globe and SAG Award winner Leonardo DiCaprio has brought limelight to many environmental issues by collaborating with World Wildlife Fund, Natural Resources Defense Fund, and through various film projects such as “The 11th Hour.” DiCaprio also joined the high-profile jury of 2012 Zayer Future Energy Prize. This international award of $1.5 million is given to innovators in energy sustainability.
Known as one of the first celebrities to drive a Prius, DiCaprio famously bought one of the fuel-efficient hybrid cars for then-girlfriend actress Blake Lively. And the word on the street is that DiCaprio has a top-of-the-line energy-efficient toilet in his home.
Tim Dekay hasn’t yet won an Emmy for fighting corporate crime in “White Collar” as FBI agent Peter Burke. But he’s definitely a winner for energy efficiency off-screen. In fact, Dekay is ensuring his new home is energy efficient by building it along LEED Platinum standards. The super-efficient house will even use recycled denim for the insulation.
Among the many green renovations made to his London home, “Pirates of the Caribbean” star Orlando Bloom upgraded to energy-efficient lighting. Bloom also showed up at a Global Green pre-Oscar party in a plug-in hybrid, and told the audience about the importance of energy-saving behaviors like unplugging phone charges. In addition, Bloom helped launch Global Cool, a campaign that works with celebrities to promote sustainable behavior without compromising on style. Check out how Global Cool’s Turn Up The Style Turn Down The Heat campaign uses fashion to target home energy.
Ed Begley Jr.
The City of Los Angeles
We couldn’t spotlight celebrities without honoring the city that houses many of them: Los Angeles. The City of Angels is star-studded in more ways than one. In addition to being the hub of the world’s biggest superstars, Los Angeles has had the highest number of ENERGY STAR-labeled buildings compared with any other city since 2008.
Many of the city's biggest stars appeared in the National Geographic video on the right, which features the benefits of energy-efficient lighting.
Did we miss other energy-efficient celebrities? Let us know by leaving us a comment or tweeting us your own nominations @ToSaveEnergy, and follow the latest gossip using hashtag #EnergyEfficientCelebs.
Alliance Communications Intern Sumayal Shrestha contributed greatly to this article.