And the Eco-Oscar Goes to...
This Sunday, Hollywood’s top talent will convene at the Academy Awards to see who will go home with the coveted golden Oscar. Just being nominated is an acknowledgement of merit in the movie industry, but some on this year’s list also stand out for another reason: their environmental consciousness. So without further ado, here are the recipients of Planet Aid’s green accolade, the Eco-Oscar.
Mad Max: Fury Road
Mad Max: Fury Road takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where ecological decay and resource scarcity have taken their toll on humanity. “There is an environmental story, but it's in the subtext,” said director George Miller. “The sad thing is that it doesn't really require much exposition for the audience to buy a degraded world, because we already see evidence of it happening all around us.”
As the film’s characters battle over water and fuel among a backdrop of barren scenery, it becomes abundantly clear that we should avoid realizing these hypothetical environmental disasters at all cost.
GREENEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
US actor Leonardo DiCaprio delivers a speech at the City hall in Paris during a summit on climat,as part of the World Climate Change Conference 2015 , on December 2015. / AFP / PATRICK KOVARIK Get premium, high resolution news photos at Getty Images
Having spent months filming in remote areas of Canada and Argentina’s frigid landscapes for The Revenant, DiCaprio surely had some time to connect with nature. But even since before production began, Leo has been one of the most prominent celebrity voices in environmental activism.
DiCaprio created his eponymous foundation back in 1998, which supports dozens of environmental projects all over the world. Just this year at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland he announced plans to donate $15 million to environmental causes. He also contributes to other big organizations in the field, sitting on the board of the World Wildlife Federation, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Global Green USA, and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).
His Hollywood status has allowed him to produce numerous media projects that support the cause. In 2007 he released the documentary The 11th Hour, which drew expertise from over 50 leaders in science and politics to assess the dire state of our environment and propose solutions to alter the course. He has since teamed up with Netflix to release more eco-films, including 2014’s Virunga about the poaching industry and last year’s Cowspiracy about the impact animal agriculture has on the environment.
Matt Damon, who played an astronaut and botanist that gets stranded on the red planet in The Martian, is also known to champion environmental causes. He co-founded Water.org, an international nonprofit that addresses the global water crisis, and was featured in Years Living Dangerously, a documentary series that examines the human impact of climate change.
GREENEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Cate Blanchett (L) inspects the buildings rooftop at an event to celebrate the 'switch-on' of the Sydney Theatre Company's rooftop solar panels at Sydney Theatre Company on November 26, 2010 in Sydney, Australia.
Blanchett has been earning acting honors and protecting the environment for years. In her native Australia, she was instrumental in furnishing the Sydney Theater Company’s Wharf Theater with solar panels and the world’s largest rainwater collection system. She also outfitted her home with over $1 million in eco-friendly renovations and spoke out publicly in support of Australia’s carbon tax (which was ultimately repealed in 2014).
GREENEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Mark Ruffalo participates in the People's Climate March on September 21, 2014 in New York City. The march, which calls for drastic political and economic changes to slow global warming, has been organized by a coalition of unions, activists, politicians and scientists.
Ruffalo has been an outspoken champion for the environment for years. He frequently writes op-eds and appears on camera to promote causes he supports, like the ban on fracking both in the U.S. and abroad. He created Water Defense, a nonprofit dedicated to upholding clean water as a fundamental human right, and is a founding member of The Solutions Project, which advocates for the use of 100 percent renewable energy in the United States.
GREENEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Actress Rachel McAdams attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards Nominee Luncheon in Beverly Hills, California. Get premium, high resolution news photos at Getty Images
McAdams takes lengthy measures to reduce her carbon footprint. She prefers biking over driving, but when forced to get behind the wheel in Los Angeles she rents a Prius. She is a user of Bullfrog Renewable Energy, a Canadian company that allows homeowners and businesses to “greenify” their energy usage by financially supporting clean, renewable sources. From 2007 to 2011 she ran an eco-friendly lifestyle website with two of her friends called greenissexy.org, which provided tips and insight on how to make a positive environmental impact. She also lent her support to the Food and Water First movement by co-producing a video touting the importance of protecting water sources and farmland in her native Ontario.
The Academy Awards will air on February 29. You can see the full list of nominees here.
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