Riding the Green Limousine through Eco-Hollywood

G Magazine

In Hollywood, green is the new black and everyone wants to ride the biodiesel bandwagon. But are movie stars the real deal?


Credit: Nigel Buchanan

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Once upon a time, movie stars taking the red carpet were asked about their latest lover, favourite fashion designers or who made their shoes.

These days, when actors, directors and musicians field enquiries about their footprint, reporters don’t want to hear about their Manolos; they want to know about solar power, the destruction of rainforests or what kind of snappy new hybrid is zipping them around Hollywood.

The public still get their environmental information from traditional sources such as activist groups, official reports and even (gasp!) real-life scientists. But increasingly, they are listening to a new team of advisors: celebrities.

Being eco is so hot right now that you can sign up for environmental alerts from Daryl Hannah and Woody Harrelson’s blogs, and global warming updates from Leonardo DiCaprio’s website.

While these three movie names have long-standing environmental cred, the mainstreaming of green has seen Daryl, Woody and Leo joined by swags of their peers. George Clooney, Morgan Freeman, Cate Blanchett and Brad Pitt are just a few stars now regularly waving the eco flag, just as new celebrity ‘eco-warriors’ emerge on a weekly basis. In Hollywood, green is the new black, and no one wants to be left off the biodiesel bandwagon.

It’s a trend that begs consideration. Should we be taking environmental advice from some of the most prolific frequent flyers on the planet? We may like their latest movie, but does that qualify them to talk to us about global warming?

Celebrity Bandwagon

According to Michael d'Estries, co-founder of Ecorazzi.com, a blog documenting the environmental antics of Hollywood stars, we shouldn’t write off celebrities’ efforts as a matter of course.

“Eighteen months ago, when environmental issues weren’t so much at the forefront of people’s minds, there was potential for some celebrities to talk on an issue without much depth behind it. But now the public’s awareness of the issues has changed, and either celebrities are getting good advice from publicists to do their homework, or they are talking on things that really mean something to them - and talking knowledgeably in many cases.”

Ecorazzi’s approach is to celebrate the positive while avoiding the greenwash - this means congratulating a celebrity who declares they are switching to a hybrid, but calling them out when they’re sighted driving their SUV months later.

It seems the public are actively interested in the green activities of actors, singers and other A-list stars: Ecorazzi.com attracts up to 10,000 visits a day.

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