On Earth Day and beyond, celebrities use their platforms to bring attention to environmental issues that usually don’t come to the fore.
This year Earth Day comes as a deadly pandemic has taken center stage and climate change has unleashed a cascade of calamities ranging from wildfires to a fierce hurricane season. Environmental experts use Thursday to draw attention to restoring the world’s ecosystems through natural processes, emerging green technologies and innovative thinking.
If you’re looking for ways to make a difference, these celebrity-backed environmental causes – some of them brand new initiatives, others helpful reminders from longtime activists – of stars like Jane Fonda, Bill Nye, Hayley Hasselhoff, Justin Bieber, and Prince William are useful places to start.
After:After critical year for COVID-19 and climate, Earth Day 2021 is Thursday
Bill Nye stars in ‘Earth Day! Musical comedy ‘
Cause: Bill Nye is teaming up with Justin Bieber and other big names in Hollywood to raise awareness on how to restore the planet? Facebook Watch presents “Earth Day! The Musical” (Thursday at noon EST) in what we can only hope looks like a current musical iteration of “Bill Nye The Science Guy” episodes. The star cast includes Ben Platt, Charli and Dixie D’Amelio, Desus Nice and The Kid Mero, Fortune Feimster, Gaten Matarazzo, Idina Menzel, Jack Harlow, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Justin Bieber, Maluma, Nick Kroll, Phoebe Robinson, Retta , Steve Aoki, Tori Kelly and Zac Efron.
What they said about it: “Please vote,” Nye told USA TODAY last October. “I have been crying and complaining about climate change for 40 years, and we haven’t done next to anything about it, but now we have an opportunity.”
How to participate: During this special, viewers can join the #RestoreOurEarthChallenge, where they will be invited to share photos, videos and social media posts on how they plan to take action on climate change on Thursday.
Environmental action:Bill Nye opens up about viral TikTok, discusses ‘Science Guy’ success
Jane Fonda Fire Drill Fridays
Cause: Ahead of the coronavirus pandemic, Fonda, along with Greenpeace and other allies of environmental activism, launched the Fire Drill Fridays initiative to demonstrate weekly in the nation’s capital, aiming to draw attention to the crisis climate. When COVID-19 made it difficult to rally in person, she turned to video chats and virtual gatherings, featuring prominent political, social and activist figures and other celebrities. Last week, Fonda hosted a special pre-Earth Day episode with young climate experts to discuss how to build a more sustainable future.
What they said about it: “Scientists are very clear: we need to halve our fossil fuel emissions by 2030. They say we have the technology to do it, we have the money to do it, we have everything we need. to do it, except enough people to do it. force the government to do it.
How to participate: Friday fire drills still take place almost every week on Facebook Live. The organization is also calling on others to get involved by calling on politicians at all levels to support bills and initiatives that experts say will tackle climate change and environmental racism.
‘I was sinking into despair’:Jane Fonda finds hope and purpose in climate change activism
Prince Harry emphasizes importance of national parks
Cause: Prince Harry has been outspoken about environmental issues, particularly in Africa, with which he said he felt a deep connection after his first visit in 1997 following the death of his mother, Princess Diana, the same year. He highlighted on Thursday the importance of supporting national parks and protected areas to preserve clean air and water, food security and more in a video for African Parks, of which he has been president since 2017. .
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What they said about it: “On this Earth Day, I reflect on generations of conservation champions, including my late grandfather, and I feel proud and motivated to continue to do my part in this legacy.”
How to participate: The organization urges others to visit national parks to support the parks, which in turn supports both their environmental efforts and the stability of local economies.
Prince William encourages innovation
Cause: Prince William, a long-time supporter of environmental causes, last year co-founded the Earthshot Prize, an award meant to “encourage change and help fix our planet over the next 10 years.” On Thursday, the prince, along with Cate Blanchett and Sir David Attenborough, signed an open letter calling on the world to tackle environmental issues with “the same spirit of innovation and possibility of the fight against COVID”.
What they said about it: “According to experts, this is really the point of no return,” William told Sky News last year. “We have 10 years to fundamentally repair our planet.”
How to participate: The Earthshot Prize offers prizes in five areas to innovative conservationists: protecting and restoring nature, purifying our air, reviving our oceans, building a waste-free world and repairing our climate. For the rest of us at home, the organization offers ideas such as working to eliminate food waste and single-use plastics, and encouraging community and business leaders to end practices that contribute to the pollution of soil, air and water.
After:Prince William and David Attenborough launch an environmental award, the Earthshot Award
Rosario Dawson wants you to ‘save the ground’
Cause: In 2019, Dawson narrated and produced the documentary film “The Need To Grow,” which highlights the importance of healthy soil, which experts then estimated to be only 60 years left on Earth. The actress also recently spoke at the Amazon Virtual Climate Forum, where she showed her support for those who “put their lives on the line to protect the environment, the land and indigenous rights.”
What they said about it: “We have to put pressure on business and government because radical change is needed,” Dawson told Elle last year.
How to participate: The official “Grow” website offers explanations and advice on how to start composting and starting school gardens, and recommends supporting local farmers’ markets where possible in order to reduce energy consumption and air pollution necessary to transport products across the country or abroad.
Joaquin Phoenix holds his speech at the Oscars 2020
Cause: The day after actor Phoenix won his first Oscar last year, he joined the nonprofit Farm Sanctuary to help free a calf and its mother from a slaughterhouse in Los Angeles. He found the two cows more than a year later in a video the organization released on Thursday, reflecting the negative impact of farming on the environment.
What they said about it: “I think we’ve become very disconnected from the natural world,” Phoenix said in his Oscar 2020 acceptance speech. “And a lot of us, what we’re guilty of is a self-centered worldview: the belief that we are the center of the universe. We go into the natural world and we plunder it for its resources. We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow and when she gives birth, her baby is stolen from her, even if her cries of anguish are undeniable. And then we take his milk which is intended for his calf and we put it in our coffee and our cereals. “
How to participate: Farm Sanctuary suggests adopting a plant-based lifestyle to reduce the “incredible strain on natural resources” that modern animal agriculture places on the earth.
Shailene Woodley fights pollution
Cause: Woodley has spoken openly about various environmental causes throughout his career in the public eye. In 2016, the actress was arrested as she left a protest at a construction site for the Dakota Access Pipeline, which she and others said would have dire implications for local ecology and climate change, including especially for the neighboring Amerindian populations. She also joined forces with Greenpeace a few years later to study the impact of plastic and pollution on marine life. Last month, she teamed up with eyewear brand Karün for a line of sustainable sunglasses.
What they said about it: “You cannot approach environmentalism without recognizing the intersectionality that exists between all forms of social and environmental injustice,” she wrote for Time in 2019. “If we all continue to find a little more ‘space in our hearts for kindness, we may simply be able to convince our world leaders to conserve 30% of our oceans by 2030 and, in turn, continue the evolution of the human race. “
How to participate: Some initiatives Woodley previously recommended include urging local stores to re-evaluate their unique plastic use, calling local representatives and local CEOs to ban products like the area’s plastic water bottles, and personally replacing your own. single-use plastic products by a stainless steel water bottle and reusable travel utensils.
Hayley Hasselhoff and Cara Delevingne “ turn the tide ”
Cause: In order to restore the oceans to fight climate change, the British charity Project Zero is calling on stars such as models Hasselhoff and Delevingne to “turn the tide”. The Ambassadors plan to spread the word on social media about how to better protect the ocean.
What they said about it: “At every stage of the plastics lifecycle, there are adverse climate impacts,” Delevingne wrote on Instagram last year in support of the Break Free From Pollution Act. “Plastic waste kills wildlife and damages our environment.”
How to participate: Project Zero invites others to “become protectors of the ocean by adopting their own ocean coordinate” – $ 10 and more in contributions will allow participants to “take care” of their own part of the ocean and share it on social media to encourage others to donate.
Contributing: Barbara Vandenburgh and Doyle Rice, USA TODAY