Celebrities often use their star power to raise awareness about gender equality, humanitarian crises, or diversity, and other social issues in the entertainment industry. Their statements often make headlines around the world, especially with the power of social media today.
But some celebrities don’t just talk about the issues impacting our planet, they go out of their way to create meaningful change. One such particular issue that’s seeing a lot of celebrity activity recently? Climate change.
From rap idols like Drake to Oscar-winning actors such as Leonardo DiCaprio, these celebrities are investing in innovative environmental startups and committing millions of dollars in funding to environmental conservation programs.
What’s more, in addition to donating money, some of these celebrities are even going so far as to become advisors to environmental nonprofits, adding pressure on policymakers to take action on climate change.
Here’s a look at 5 environmental celebrities who are doing their part to save our planet’s future.
You may well know Drake for his chart-topping tunes and extravagant lifestyle, but how much do you know about his green credentials?
Just in the past year, the Toronto-based rapper has made 2 major investments in ethical environmental companies. The first, with our very own sustainable fintech startup Aspiration, came about after Drake began looking for a partner to help him make the transition to a carbon-neutral lifestyle.
Through this collaboration, Drake will use our climate-positive services to monitor and cut down on his carbon footprint. And with the help of his team, Aspiration will identify the emissions from his activities, travel, and so on, and work to select reforestation projects to offset his emissions.
Both of our teams hope that through this collaboration, more people will become aware of just how easy it can be to live a carbon-neutral lifestyle simply by selecting and using the right eco-friendly financial products.
But it’s not just carbon offsets that Drake’s after. Earlier this year, Drake invested in Daring, a company producing 100% plant-based chicken, in their Series B investment round that raised $40 million.
The rapper, who went vegetarian in 2018, stated that his support for the company reflects his love for their products, which are made from soy, water, sunflower oil, salt, and natural flavoring.
Daring said in a statement that the new investment capital would be used to expand its retail and foodservice operations.
It’s hard not to notice teenage supermodel Kaia Gerber these days – she’s on just about every other magazine cover. The daughter of supermodel Cindy Crawford and businessman Rande Gerber, Kaia has modeled for Chanel, Saint Laurent, and Marc Jacobs since her early teens.
In 2016, she made her debut magazine appearance on the cover of Vogue Paris with her mom. Then, just 2 years later in 2018, she won the prestigious Model of the Year award in London.
Today, Kaia has more than 6 million followers on Instagram and a growing public profile as a social influencer. Just before the presidential election in 2020, she organized an online discussion with Natalie and Naomi Biden, the granddaughters of President Joe Biden, about the global issues impacting members of Generation Z.
The trio chatted about the importance of fighting climate change and getting policymakers to take action on mental health issues and student loans.
Kaia is also one of the top investors in the fashion magazine, W, alongside fellow model Karlie Kloss and Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton.
Possibly the best-known actor-environmentalist of our time, Leonardo DiCaprio has advocated for climate change solutions since the tender age of 24. After the debut of his blockbuster drama Titanic in 1998, DiCaprio created The Leonardo Dicaprio Foundation to protect the planet’s last remaining wild habitats and to fund initiatives that help prevent environmental destruction.
Through the foundation, DiCaprio has committed millions of dollars to decrease the world’s dependence on fossil fuels, in addition to releasing several environmental documentaries. “Sea of Shadows”, a film about the totoaba fish trafficking industry, won the prestigious Sundance Audience Award, and “Before the Flood”, took a close look at the current impacts of climate change on both humans and animals alike.
As if that wasn’t enough, DiCaprio is also an active board member of several ecological organizations, from the World Wildlife Fund to the Natural Resources Defense Council, and regularly attends global conservation conferences.
Plus, he’s not afraid to use his Hollywood standing to raise the alarm about climate change. At his 2016 Oscars acceptance speech, he told the audience that climate change “is the most urgent threat facing our entire species, and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating.”
There’s no doubt that DiCaprio has followed up on his own words with action. He serves as an advisor on The Solutions Project, an organization that advocates for widespread adoption of renewable energy, and Blu-on Energy, an energy-efficiency startup.
Just this year, DiCaprio pledged $43m towards conservation efforts on the Galapagos Islands, partnering with the environmental organization, Re:wild.
Like Drake, DiCaprio is also an investor in Aspiration. He says:
“To bring about long-term solutions for our planet, we need alternatives that empower everyday consumers to take action against climate change. Aspiration helps people protect our planet…I’m proud to be a part of Aspiration and their work to help save the planet.”
He might be everyone’s favorite elf but the 44-year old actor has more than magic up his sleeve. A UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 2009, Orlando Bloom works with the world’s most vulnerable climate refugees and migrants when he’s not focusing on his acting career.
The Lord of the Rings actor briefs policymakers on how environmental crises are forcing people to flee from their homes. At meetings and conferences, he urges world leaders to put in place climate prevention and mitigation measures to stem the destruction that is being caused by climate change.
In early 2021, Bloom, along with other Hollywood A-listers such as Joaquin Phoenix and Jane Fonda, called on President Biden to refrain from making any agreements with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro that could cause further deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest.
In addition to his responsibilities at the UN, Bloom is also an ambassador for Global Green, the American arm of Green Cross International, an organization created by former premier of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, to develop sustainable environmental solutions.
Bloom’s environmental activism extends deep into his personal life. To make his London home carbon neutral, he installed solar panels, used recycled building materials, and installed energy-efficient light bulbs.
Robert Downey Jr.
In early 2021, at the World Economic Forum’s Digital Davos event, actor and philanthropist Robert Downey Jr. launched a venture fund to restore the planet’s health.
Named ‘The Footprint Coalition’, the fund is led by Downey Jr. and a group of investors, donors, and storytellers who aim to scale up various climate-positive technologies using venture capital.
So far, the group has invested in a diverse portfolio of companies, including Ÿnsect, an insect-based pet, and human food company, and Cloud Paper, a manufacturer of bamboo toilet paper. The Footprint Coalition also became an investor in Aspiration in early 2021.
Downey Jr. and his team believe that the right utilization of AI and climate-positive technologies can solve many of the world’s environmental problems in the next 10 years. That’s why their investments are focused on sustainability-focused companies that deliver innovative products with profit as an incentive.
The Footprint Coalition’s rolling capital fund is managed through AngelList, giving many individual investors who meet the minimum investment requirements (currently believed to be set at $5,000 in investment per quarter) to participate in the development of new decarbonizing technologies.
The Coalition also has a nonprofit initiative that provides grants for scientific research efforts in environmental technology.
An eco-friendly credit card that’s supported by celebrities
The Aspiration Zero is a carbon-zero credit card that helps you fight climate change one swipe at a time. For each purchase that you make, Aspiration plants a tree on your behalf through one of our reforestation partners.
We also give you the option to plant extra trees using our Plant Your Change program that rounds each transaction you make to the nearest whole number. The resulting spare change is then transformed into trees.
And unlike other green credit cards, the Aspiration Zero tracks the carbon footprint of every purchase that you make. Your total carbon emissions appear in the accompanying Aspiration app.
In months that you make enough purchases to reach carbon zero, Aspiration rewards you with 1% cashback on all of your purchases.
Get on the waitlist today and start fighting climate change with your money.