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The 50 Sexiest Environmentalists
Beautiful people doing beautiful things! The world's sexiest environmentalists have made meaningful contributions
to the most pressing environmental causes, doing everything from saving dolphins to saving mountains.
BY LEAH ZERBE
50. Salma Hayek
Known more for her efforts to raise awareness for domestic violence, the sexy Latina is also an avid supporter of environmental causes and green living. In fact, she traveled to the Arctic with other celebrities and politicians on a trip organized by the nonprofit Global Green to raise awareness about the plight of indigenous people who are suffering some of the most severe effects of climate change.
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49. Kelly Preston
This devoted mom served as the spokesperson for Healthy Child, Healthy World, a nonprofit devoted to educating parents about environmental health hazards and toxic household chemicals that could harm babies and children.
48. Lea Michele
By ditching red meat and cheese, this mostly vegan Glee star is literally keeping tons of greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere. Industrial red meat and dairy are some of the leading emitters of methane, a potent gas that accelerates climate change. If you eat one less burger a week for a year, it's like taking your car off the road for 320 miles; Michele, 25, reportedly has never eaten red meat, so imagine that eco-impact!
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47. Mark Ruffalo
In The Kids Are All Right, Ruffalo played an organic gardening, free-spirited eco- restaurateur. Those organic roots are part of Ruffalo's real life, too, where the avid fisherman and outdoorsman is taking on the natural gas industry. The controversial practice the industry uses, hydraulic fracturing, is threatening to poison his family's pristine New York watershed with thousands of pounds of potentially toxic chemicals.
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46. Rosario Dawson
A fervent protector of the environment, the actress's latest work with Water Defense involves saving the Delaware River—and the people in New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey who depend on it for drinking water—from fracking, a polluting and dangerous form of natural gas extraction that's as dirty as coal. Dawson also serves as the official spokeswoman of National Train Day (May 12), a campaign that promotes green transportation.
45. Meryl Streep
A classic beauty, Streep has been protecting the planet since 1988, when a newly discovered hole in the ozone layer over Australia where she was filming prompted her to get more involved. Teaming up with Natural Resources Defense Council, Streep advocated to tighten up pesticide laws and helped create Mothers & Others, a campaign-turned-nonprofit that aimed to clean up the chemically contaminated food system and promote organic food availability in supermarkets. Got a nice organic section in your favorite grocery store today? Meryl Streep helped make that happen.
44. Woody Harrelson
A vegan who lives in a solar-powered community in Hawaii, Harrelson credits Cheers costar and oceans activist Ted Danson with sparking his interest in the environment years ago. Today, he and his family use biodynamic farming methods to grow most of their own organic food.
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43. Ellen Page
The Oscar-nominated leading lady in Juno went behind the scenes to narrate Vanishing of the Bees, a documentary that shows how pesticides are causing colony collapse disorder in beehives. An ardent supporter of honeybees—our winged friends that pollinate billions of dollars' worth of food crops a year in the U.S.—Page, 25, spent a month at an eco-village in Oregon learning about sustainable living and partnered with a group working to get healthy, organic food in schools.
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42. Ed Norton
This lovable actor has been campaigning to save the planet, ever since he learned to love nature from his environmental lawyer father. Nowadays, he serves as a United Nations ambassador on biodiversity and heads up the Solar Neighbors Program, a nonprofit that supplies low-income families with solar power. In 2009, he even ran the New York City Marathon with a team of Maasai warriors to support the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust, which preserves this native African tribe's lifestyle and environment.
41. The Eco-Tulips Duo
If bees had hands, they'd be giving each other high fives to celebrate Keriann and Jeroen Koeman, the founders of Eco-Tulips, the only certified organic flower bulb company in America. The husband-and-wife team offers tulips and other flower bulbs free of the toxic pesticides that have been linked to colony collapse disorder in honeybees. They import the bulbs from organic farmers in Holland, Jeroen's home country, helping to lower pesticide exposure in the U.S. and abroad.
40. Pippa Middleton
The other half of England's most attractive sibling pair, Pippa Middleton is hot for clean energy. She recently started working at Cluff Geothermal, a renewable energy start-up based on one of the cleanest sources of energy there is. Her role there is to lobby the British government for new licenses.
39. Orlando Bloom
Those good looks don't just battle pirates—they battle climate change, too. In 2006, Bloom founded Global Cool, a nonprofit whose goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 10 billion tonnes by 2016, through educational initiatives that encourage energy efficiency and reducing overall energy use. His green home in London is even covered in solar panels. His wife, Australian supermodel Miranda Kerr, also launched a line of safer skincare products, Kora Organics.
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38. Ashley Judd
Kentucky native Ashley Judd hearts mountains, and for that reason, she's a vocal critic of mountaintop removal coal mining, the environmentally destructive practice that's taking root in her home state, West Virginia, and all across Appalachia. But her enviro-cred goes global, too. She sits on the board of Defenders of Wildlife, and recently, she's partnered with groups trying to staunch the flow of conflict minerals, which are used to make the electronic gadgets we're all so addicted to, but the sale of which is damaging to the environment and fuels wars in places like the Congo.
37. Sophia Bush
The One Tree Hill star has mastered the use of social media to motivate her fans to save the planet. She won the 2011 Do Something Twitter award for her efforts in spreading environmental news and creating a call to action after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. The blissful beauty also helped the Environmental Protection Agency launch eMission, a Facebook game in which gamers compete to lower greenhouse-gas emissions through everyday tasks.
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36. Rob Machado
This wild-haired hunk relies on Mother Nature for a job…he's a surfer! And he takes his responsibility for protecting the planet seriously. He created The Rob Machado Foundation, a nonprofit foundation created to support charities dedicated to environmental programs in Southern California. The foundation helped a school district cut back on plastic water bottle usage while creating greener school cafeterias and gardens.
Photo credit: Eric Cahan
35. Lenny Kravitz
This sexy crooner's still waters run deep: The Hunger Games star's cause of the moment is raising money for clean water, and he's working with UNICEF to raise money to bring that water to the world's poorest children and provide them with adequate sanitation so they don't suffer waterborne diseases like diarrhea and cholera.
34. Jenna Elfman
This tall, blonde beauty loves to party! Green-partying, that is. Elfman credits Healthy Child, Healthy World with helping her green her home during pregnancy number one. Now, she's spreading the word, too, throwing her own Healthy Child, Healthy World environmental health parties to teach people how everyday cleaners, personal care products, and household materials can lead to serious health problems in kids.
33. Zooey Deschanel
The New Girl star might not live the vegan lifestyle anymore, but she still wants to put earth-unfriendly factory farms out of business. She and nine other celebs sent McDonald's a scathing letter demanding that the megabusiness start sourcing 100 percent cage-free eggs. Pollution from industrial chicken farms is blamed on causing disease outbreaks that have killed millions of fish and even cognitive problems in people.
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32. Greg Long
Named 2011 Waterman of the Year for his efforts to make the world a better place, this Billabong-sponsored surfer helps protect the water he loves through the Surfrider and Save the Waves program. He doesn't put all of his eco-energy into water-based initiatives, either; Long also works to protect California state parks through his father's San Onofre Foundation.
31. Jared Leto
The actor and 30 Seconds to Mars frontman uses waste vegetable oil to power his band's bus, and was most recently spotted at the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability's big fundraiser. But his commitment to the planet runs even deeper. For his 40th birthday, his fans donated 71,000 trees through a project launched by Timberland and Trees for the Future, a reforestation and agricultural training project that trains Haitian farmers to raise and plant trees.
30. Rachel McAdams
Living green doesn't have to be all burlap and Berkenstocks. Girl-next-door actress Rachel McAdams was one of the first celebs out there to give eco-living a contemporary edge when she and friends launched GreenisSexy.org five years ago. Although the site is on the outs, it served an important purpose, making cooking organic food, using nontoxic products, and living more simply cool.
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29. Cate Blanchett
Blanchett is from Australia, ground zero for climate change. Extremes like permanent droughts and flooding rains are normal there now, and farmers and wineries struggle to survive. Blanchett is doing her part to mitigate the problem by living lightly in a mostly off-the-grid, solar-powered home. The actress stirred up controversy among conservatives last year when she starred in a free ad promoting a carbon tax in Australia that would help cut the world's addiction to polluting fossil fuels.
28. Tyra Banks
Looking good doesn't have to compromise the planet. As supermodel and America's Next Top Model creator, Banks consistently weaves sustainability into the fabric of her fashion show. She tapped eco-fashion designer Michael Cinco, who makes clothing out of recycled materials, to create looks for America's Next Top Model. Her everyday tips are also shared in a bestseller, The Green Book: The Everyday Guide to Saving the Planet.
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27. Adrian Grenier
The Entourage star captured Global Green USA's 2011 Sustainable Design Award for SHFT.com, a website he cocreated to use video, design, and art to help people make more sustainable choices. Grenier also speaks out about overfishing, ocean pollution, and climate change issues. His solar-panel-topped Brooklyn home is insulated with reused blue jeans.
26. Jillian Michaels
You might think this fitness phenom is all about cardio and crunches, but the truth is, Michaels serves as an incredible advocate for the earth, particularly when it comes to organic food and farming. She understands that clean food, not just calorie-counting, is vital for a healthy body and shares that information with her loyal fans.
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25. Cameron Diaz
Planet-lover and global warming activist, Diaz has done everything from taking classes from Al Gore on climate change education to hosting an MTV series that aimed to educate kids about their environmental impacts, as well as admitting to Jay Leno that, to save water, she doesn't always flush. She's even dated co-eco-hotties David de Rotschild and Leonardo DiCaprio.
24. Leonardo DiCaprio
One of the most loyal greenies in Hollywood, DiCaprio's foundation helps protect wildlife, improve ocean health, and promote clean energy solutions to deal with climate change. He also wrote and narrated 11th Hour, a documentary that addresses the health of the planet while recommending practical ways to fix it. According to reports, one of DiCaprio's earth-friendly tendencies has him in some hot water with supermodel girlfriend Erin Heatherton. Apparently he avoids showering to conserve H20 and thinks deodorant is unnatural. Based on the toxic chemicals used in most deodorants, we applaud Leo for his heroic green efforts.
23. George Clooney
He owns electric cars and even starred in a movie critical of the oil industry. After filming Syriana in 2005, Clooney helped jumpstart the Oil Change campaign that promoted cleaner alternatives to America's dependence on foreign oil.
22. Gloria Reuben
A special advisor to the Alliance for Climate Protection, Reuben is all about getting America off of its fossil-fuel addiction. Most recently, she's been focusing on stopping the Keystone XL pipeline that would cut through America's heartland and carry the most polluting form of oil, tar sands oil from Canada, to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico. As if that's not enough, Reuben is also a National Wildlife Federation board member.
21. Zeb Hogan
For Zeb Hogan, size matters. In fact, it's all he thinks about. This brawny PhD travels to some of the most critically endangered aquatic habitats in the world in search of the world's biggest fish, which are under threat from fishermen who can reap huge profits off their sale. In addition to researching and preserving habitats, he works with local fishermen to help them continue their livelihood without endangering these valuable species. All while saving the world's big fish, Dr. Hogan is a professor at the University of Nevada in Reno and hosts a TV show on the National Geographic Channel; he's also an Explorer in Residence at the National Geographic Society.
20. Justin Timberlake
He made teenagers swoon in his '90s boy-band phase, and the rest of us laugh at his Beyonce imitation on Saturday Night Live. He's also trying to remake the most pesticide-intensive sport on the planet: In 2009, Timberlake opened Mirimichi, the world's greenest golf course, located just outside his hometown of Millington, Tennessee, near Memphis. The course is the only one in the world to be certified by both Audubon International for it's bird-friendly habitat preservation and low pesticide use and the Golf Environment Organization for the pioneering resource management of its greens.
19. Julia Roberts
She played an environmental crusader in the film Erin Brockovich, but likes to keep things chemical free in real life, too. Roberts often talks about the importance of organic gardening and knowing where your food comes from, and she even has an organic garden at her home in Malibu.
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18. Brad Pitt
Founder of the Make It Right movement, this sexy eco-crusader is facilitating the green rebuilding of New Orleans' Lower 9th Ward after Hurricane Katrina left it under water more than six years ago. Today, the community is among the greenest neighborhoods in the country, thanks to LEED-certified energy-efficiency measures, solar-panel-topped roofs and community gardens.
17. Jake Gyllenhaal
A long-time supporter of groups that battle climate change, smashingly sexy actor Jake Gyllenhaal started playing dirty a few years ago. Joining famous chef and food activist Alice Waters, he now helps at-risk children learn to grow their own organic food through Waters nationally known Edible Schoolyard Project.
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16. Portia de Rossi
The Australian-born actress and wife of Ellen Degeneres has publicly said that being vegan is tougher than being gay because people are uncomfortable making dinner for a vegan. Eating low on the food chain is also a major service to Mother Earth, requiring less energy than industrialized animal farming. De Rossi and Degeneres also support Farm Sanctuary, an animal welfare nonprofit that rescues animals from cruel and polluting factory farming operations.
15. Summer Rayne Oakes
Considered the world's first eco-model, Oakes walks the talk. Holding degrees in environmental sciences and entomology from Cornell University, she is a published scientist turned green model, and the entrepreneur behind MODO's line of recycled sunglasses. The model-activist was even the inspiration behind Toyota's new generation hybrid, the Prius C!
14. Natalie Portman
Saving the planet isn't anything new to this brainy Academy Award-winning actress—a clip of an 11-year-old Portman singing about recycling aired during the 2010 Environmental Media Awards. The Harvard graduate has been a vegetarian since she was 8 years old, which helps curb pollution and climate change, and a few years ago, she even designed a line of vegan footwear, donating some of the profits to environmental conservation and animal rights groups.
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13. David de Rothschild
Apparently, being heir to one of the world's greatest fortunes wasn't enough. In addition to traveling the globe in an effort to educate people about the threat of climate change, this British eco-crusader recently completed an expedition to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a mass of floating plastic debris in the middle of the ocean. His vessel? The Plastiki, a boat made entirely from plastic bottles, created to raise awareness about the growing problem of marine pollution.
Photo credit: Luca Babini
12. Philippe Cousteau
The grandson of legendary conservationist and explorer Jacques Cousteau, Philippe followed in his ancestors' planet-protecting footsteps by co-founding EarthEcho, a group that empowers youth to protect this water-based planet. Cousteau also consults with resorts around the world, helping them adopt more sustainable operations.
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11. Hayden Panettiere
An advocate for the ocean and all of its inhabitants—including whales and dolphins—Panettiere took up free-diving so she could spend time underwater with the creatures she aims to protect. The actress also appeared in protest footage in
10. Jack Johnson
Johnson may enchant us with gentle beach-bum melodies, but he's a tenacious defender of the planet. His albums are recorded in a solar-powered studio and printed on 100 percent post-consumer waste recycled paper, leading the way in responsible packaging. His music crew travels in a biodiesel bus, and while on tour, his catering team spends about $18,000 per stop sourcing organic, sustainable food from local farmers. His charity, The Jackson Ohana Charity Foundation, donated 100 percent of the singer's 2008 and 2010 tour.
9. Alexandra Cousteau
The granddaughter of the famous explorer Jacques Cousteau, it should come as no surprise that Cousteau embraces water as a way to protect the earth. Founding member and president of Blue Legacy, a nonprofit that inspires people to take action on critical water issues, Cousteau also advocates for nontoxic living in the home as a way to protect not just bodies of water, but our own bodies, too.
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8. Adam Levine
Adam Levine may help others hit their vocal stride on NBC's The Voice, but he's also been a passionate spokesman for the environment throughout the years through Global Cool and other eco organizations. In his latest effort, the Maroon 5 frontman suggests "kicking your carbon habit" and living a simpler lifestyle in a video produced by The Alliance for Climate Education. Maroon 5 is a founding member of the Green Music Group, with Levine leading the way to green touring.
7. Will Witherspoon
Will Witherspoon is the NFL's best-fed player, and he has himself to thank for that. Originally purchased as a hobby farm and a place to relax, the pro linebacker's Missouri getaway quickly turned into Shire Gate Farm, a grass-fed, Animal Welfare Approved farm that includes hundreds of heritage breed White Park cattle, chickens, and sheep. Farm animals raised on pasture drastically improve soil health, naturally allowing the earth to sequester and store more of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide.
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6. Kate Middleton
Marrying into the greenest royal family in the world could have been intimidating, but Kate Middleton rose to the occasion, registering not for stuff, but rather for charitable gifts to conservation and environmental organizations. She and Prince William also sourced in-season wedding flower arrangements from a local eco-florist. Her engagement ring? Not new and made of blood diamonds, but a family heirloom…the same sapphire-and-diamond ring worn by Princess Diana.
5. Ryan Gosling
Ryan Gosling loves chicks. The Drive star previously promoted more humane slaughtering methods for fast-food poultry suppliers, and last December he and other Hollywood A-listers sent a scathing letter to McDonald's demanding that the company stops sourcing eggs from cruel (and polluting) factory farms. Hey, Gosling does mean "baby goose," fellow fowl of the chicken. Coincidence?
Gosling's also drawing attention to conflict minerals, mined materials from Congo that are not just used to power our tech gadgets, but are also fueling a deadly war.
4. Alicia Silverstone
While you might not agree with Silverstone's mom-to-baby-bird style of feeding, rest assured what this green goddess is regurgitating is organic. Author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Kind Diet, Silverstone opened up the national dialogue about vegan living, inspiring even the most hardcore meat-lovers to trade in steak for seitan. Her vegan cred isn't limited to food either. The actress designed a line of nontoxic, vegan cosmetic bags, brushes, and tools for EcoTools, which you can buy in drugstores across the country.
Photo credit: Carter Smith.
3. Matt Damon
A longtime advocate for clean water, it should be no surprise that Damon recently signed to write and star in Promised Land, a movie in production about a town about to be consumed by natural gas drilling and all the dangers that accompany it. It's his second movie with an eco-cause: He narrated the 2011 PBS documentary, Journey to Planet Earth, to help raise awareness about climate change. In 2009, Damon, 41, launched Water.org, an organization that helps developing countries gain access to clean drinking water.
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2. Jessica Alba
This mother-of-two is taking green parenting to a whole new level. Alba, 30, doesn't just seek out nontoxic everyday items for her daughters—she creates them, too! Founder of The Honest Company, the green entrepreneur's new business offers everything from plant-based diapers and wipes to organic healing baby balm and body oil. Alba's upcoming book full of green living tips, The Honest Life, is due out in 2013.
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1. Gretchen Bleiler
This Olympic snowboarder doesn't just spend time on snow-capped mountains; she crusades to save them. A key board member of Protect Our Winters, or POW, Bleiler engages the winter sports community and Congress to help combat climate change by advocating for regulations on greenhouse gas emissions. After all, if there's no snow, there's no snowboarding.
The strong-bodied athlete who bared it all last year for ESPN's Body Issue also travels to high schools and universities promoting her 21-Day Reusable Challenge to help young people break their disposable plastic habits.
As if that's not enough, she also launched Nice Reusables, a family business that makes innovative, nontoxic stainless steel water bottles.
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