Things That Matter

10 Celebrities Who Are Fighting to Save the Planet

You might love celebrities for the shows or movies they’ve been on, the music they’ve created or their looks but did you know some of them are on the front lines of climate change action? If you didn’t then here’s a list of CAPLESS HEROES in the Hispanic and Latino community that are all about ways to fix the planet and creating a better future for the rest of us.

1. Kat Von D

Credit: Shoes. Digital Image. LIVEKINDLY. September 19, 2017.

Kat is a badass animal rights activist that’s always spreading the message of ethical treatment of animals and veganism. Aside from her vegan beauty brand, she’s been working on launching lines of vegan leather jackets, vegan shoes and makeup brushes free of animal hair.

1. Kat Von D

Credit: Instagram @thekatvond

This Goth Queen donates some of her lipstick profits to animal rights organizations like Farm Sanctuary and Project Chimp, to which she has donated over $250,000. On top of that, she creates Instagram giveaways to continue raising money to support other animal charities.

2. Gisele Bundchen

Credit: Ambassador. Digital Image. Vix. January 7, 2016.

Gisele became an Ambassador for the United Nations Environment Program in 2009. Last year she became the 1st recipient for the Eco Laurente award due to her work on the preservation of the Brazilian Amazon Biome. Back in her hometown, she also created the Clean Water Project with the help of her family.

2. Gisele Bundchen

Credit: Instagram @gisele

Gisele has also made lifestyle changes in the past years. She became a vegetarian, started growing her own green and making her own preserves, like jams. Alongside her husband, she helped design her mansion with as many sustainable and recycled materials as possible. She even loves to wear eco-friendly fashion brands like Stella McCartney.

3. Salma Hayek

 
Credit: Arctic. Digital Image. Gyllenbabble. October 3, 2011.

Salma is a board member of Global Green USA, as part of her work she has traveled to the Arctic to raise global awareness of the consequences of climate change in the area. She has also co-hosted A Bid to Save the World, an auction that helps raise millions of dollars each year for several international conservation agencies.

3. Salma Hayek

Credit: Digital Image. Just Jared. June 1, 2013.

She’s not only concerned for the environment, she has also worked to provide clean drinking water to over 2 billion people, help UNICEF raise money for Syrian children refugees, and co-found Chime for Change alongside Queen B and Gucci, a charity that raises fund to fight against gender inequality with a focus on education and health.

4. Selena Gomez

Credit: Dream Out Loud. Digital Image. Just Jared. April 27, 2017.

Back in 2009, Selena partnered with Kmart to launch an affordable eco-friendly clothing line called “Dream Out Loud“.

4. Selena Gomez

Credit: Ambassador. Digital Image. Vix. January 7, 2016.

Selena has also been a UNICEF Ambassador since 2009 and she has helped raise money for childhood malnutrition in Africa and works with the Tap Project to promote the use of clean water.

5. Rosario Dawson

Credit: Studio 189 Runway. Digital Image. World Red Eye. December 5, 2016.

Rosario decided to co-found Studio 189, a West African based brand that uses fashion to implement social change and sustainable practices. Their main focus is to empower artisans by creating jobs, supporting education and skill training and create an international market for fashion-forward African made pieces.

5. Rosario Dawson

Credit: Instagram @theneedtogrow

She’s not only an entrepreneur but a producer and narrator of The Need to Grow, an eco-conscious documentary about the planet’s dying farmable soil. Rosario also used her social media platforms to advocate and inform her audience about climate change and social injustice.

6. Penelope Cruz

Credit:  Stop. Digital Image. Vogue Italia. November 25, 2015.

The American Crime Story actress is a strong supporter of Global Green USA, a non-profit organization that fights against climate change. As part of her work to support the organization, she started the Red Carpet/Green Car campaign that switched from limos to alternative fuel cars to transport celebs to red carpet events.

6. Penelope Cruz

Credit:  PETA. Digital Image. DailyMail. February 2, 2012.

She’s an advocate of animal rights, she worked with PETA on the “I’d Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur“ campaign and has even gone above and beyond to make sure animals are treated ethically during the filming of a movie. She’s also an active supporter of UNICEF and other causes like violence against women and research on leukemia in children.

7. Adrian Granier

Credit: Tech Tackeback. Digital Image. Zimbio. November 14, 2015.

Back in 2015, The Devil Wears Prada star partnered with Uber, Dell, and Goodwill to start a tech recycling program in NYC where Uber picks up the waste, leaves it at any Goodwill location and then the parts are reused by Dell in newer models or recycled.

7. Adrian Granier

Credit: SHFT. Digital Image. Alto Nivel. July 31, 2015.

Adrian also created SHFT, a platform that teaches how to live a more sustainable lifestyle. The site also has an online store that offers a wide variety of products that go from bamboo speakers to solar powered pendant lamps to eco-friendly beer grooming products.

8. Jessica Alba

Credit: The Honest Company. Digital Image. Target Corporate. August 25, 2015

Jessica is the founder of The Honest Company, an eco-friendly online store that sells a wide range of products that go from plant-based laundry detergents to sustainable diapers. The company is also working to increase the percentage of recycled and renewable materials used in the packaging of their products.

8. Jessica Alba

Credit: Instagram @jessicaalba

Meanwhile, she’s constantly pushing her brand to keep giving back to the community by participating in different non-profits, like Baby2Baby, Wayferer Foundation, and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. As a result, the company has donated 13.5M sustainable diapers + over 2M eco-friendly personal care and cleaning products, since 2012.

9. Cameron Diaz

Credit: Atacama. Digital Image. Sandboard Magazine.

She was one of the first celebrities to go green back in the early 2000s. She hosted MTV’s Trippin and traveled around the world to teach about wildlife conservation and renewable energy. In 2009 she filmed Cameron Diaz Saves the World, a documentary in which she tries to start a conversation about the environment.

9. Cameron Diaz

 
Credit: Hybrid. Digital Image. Zimbio. July 16, 2004.

She was one of the first celebrities to start with the hybrid car trend by getting herself a Prius as soon as it was available to the public.

10. Christy Turlington

fix the planet
Credit: H&M. Digital Image. El País. March 26, 2018.

The 90s supermodel has partnered with H&M to promote their Conscious Exclusive 2018 collection, as part of their 2030 plan to only use sustainable materials. This new collection uses organic natural fabrics, recycled polyester and even fishing nets found in the ocean to create nylon fibers.

10. Christy Turlington

Credit:  Threading. Digital Image. The Trend Spotter.

As part of her work to improve the standards of the fashion industry, Christy also created a show called Threading: Driving Fashion Forward, which raises awareness on the poor working conditions on the industry’s laborers in developing countries.

A New Report Finds That Puerto Rico Is The Most Vulnerable Country When It Comes To Climate Change

Things That Matter

A New Report Finds That Puerto Rico Is The Most Vulnerable Country When It Comes To Climate Change

Credit: Unsplash

According to a new report released on Tuesday, Puerto Rico was the most vulnerable country to extreme weather events over the last 20 years. The grim news comes from the Global Climate Risk Index 2020 by environmental and development organization Germanwatch. The report analyzed various countries and the impacts of weather-related events have had on these areas which include how often the extreme weather events occur and their impact, including death tolls. The study looked specifically at the 20-year period from 1999 to 2018 and the climate change effects that have struck all over the globe. 

In the case of Puerto Rico, the Caribbean island was ranked the highest in terms of being most affected by climate change in those 20 years, followed it was Myanmar and Haiti. Puerto Rico and Haiti were the sole Latin American representatives on the list.  

“The Climate Risk Index may serve as a red flag for already existing vulnerabilities that may further increase as extreme events will become more frequent or more severe due to climate change,” the report reads.

The report makes it clear that countries should look at its findings to serve as a warning sign in order to foresee more frequent or more severe natural disasters in the future.

There is no denying that the earth is getting warmer as record temperatures have struck across the globe over the past five years. This has led many researchers to believe it may be connected to extreme weather events becoming more frequent as a result of this changing climate. Another startling finding in the study shows the number of lives that been lost due to extreme weather events, 526,000, while economic losses have amounted close to $3.47 trillion. 

“In many cases (e.g. Puerto Rico), single exceptional disasters have such a strong impact that the countries and territories concerned also have a high ranking in the long-term index,” the report reads. This relates to the natural disasters that have hit Puerto Rico, most notably Hurricane Maria which struck in the fall of 2017. The Category 4 storm hit the small island and destroyed a majority of it’s electrical grid, homes and killed 2,975, a number that is still being disputed.

The report makes the argument that poorer developing countries have been a frequent target of these natural disasters and the death toll numbers highlight their vulnerability to future weather events. These countries at times rely on loans to deal with the consequences of these climate changes, meaning they will be threatened by excessive indebtedness, which undermines already vulnerable economies. During the 20-year period, Myanmar, 70th in GDP rank, leads all countries when it comes to fatalities per year on average with 7,000 deaths. In relation to financial losses related to the climate crisis, they are significantly greater in wealthier countries. 

Japan was the most weather-affected country in 2018, most notably by rising heat, which has been a relatively frequent effect of this climate change. The country last year was affected by extreme summer heat, killing 138 people, and the most powerful typhoon in 25 years. 

“Recent science has confirmed the long-established link between climate change and the frequency and severity of extreme heat,” the report reads. 

The report has got a lot of people talking about what it means about climate change, particularly how to use this information to prepare for future events. 

Climate change is an issue that should be discussed more frequently and has seen its share of critics. Many have taken to social media to express their frustrations with the report findings and what actions should be taken. 

“For older adults, the changing climate brings heightened vulnerability to environmental risks, temperature changes, and increased susceptibility of disease. However, in #PuertoRico, these vulnerabilities are exacerbated with the health care crisis. We need to talk about this,” one Twitter user wrote. 

The issue has even reached the attention of Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren who took to Twitter to discuss the importance of listening to the report. She has made climate change one of her key platform issues for her campaign and has vowed to invest money to help curtail this crisis. 

“The devastating impacts of climate change in Puerto Rico have been made worse by decades of neglect and racism. Justice must be at the center of our response to the climate crisis and that’s why I will invest $1 trillion in vulnerable communities,” 

READ: Activists Interrupt Harvard-Yale Football Game To Protest Climate Change And Cancel Puerto Rico Debt Holdings

Activists Interrupt Harvard-Yale Football Game To Protest Climate Change And Cancel Puerto Rico Debt Holdings

Things That Matter

Activists Interrupt Harvard-Yale Football Game To Protest Climate Change And Cancel Puerto Rico Debt Holdings

extinctionrebellion / Instagram

The Harvard-Yale football game was delayed during halftime on Saturday after more than 150 students and alumni took to the field to protest against the schools’ endowments from fossil fuel companies and Puerto Rican debt. The scene was captured across social media as videos were shared of students unfurling banners that read “Nobody wins. Yale & Harvard are complicit in climate injustice,” among others signs.

The annual football game between both Ivy League schools was delayed for almost an hour as police demanded over speakers that protesters leave the field. In videos, you can hear protesters chanting “disclose, divest and reinvest,” as more fans from the stands joined protesters on the field. The end result was 42 people being charged with disorderly conduct, protest organizers had initially said that 20 to 30 protesters were arrested.

“Students are tired of Harvard and Yale profiting off of climate destruction and neocolonial investments in Puerto Rico’s debt,” a statement by student group Divest Harvard read. “It’s time for more than lip service and greenwashing from academic leaders. Harvard and Yale must address the climate emergency at the scale and with the urgency it demands. This action is only the beginning.”

The reason behind the protest was to speak up against the schools to divest from fossil fuels and cancel their Puerto Rico debt holdings, among other issues. 

While there was some initial confusion behind the reasoning of students taking the field, the message was clear that there was anger at both Yale and Harvard financial dealings. According to Vox, both of the schools “rely on funds, bonds, and assorted financial instruments to keep their endowments strong”. Many students and alumni are looking at the schools profiting from the ongoing climate crisis and want them to divest their endowments from fossil fuel holdings and to cancel any debt from Puerto Rico.

“Harvard and Yale claim their goal is to create student leaders who can strive toward a more ‘just, fair, and promising world’ by ‘improving the world today and for future generations.’ Yet by continuing to invest in industries that mislead the public, smear academics, and deny reality, Harvard and Yale are complicit in tearing down that future,” the student groups, Fossil Fuel Divest Harvard, Fossil Free Yale and Yale Endowment Justice Coalition, said in a statement following Saturday’s protest.

This has been a growing movement on college campuses across the country that has peaked as environmental issues have come to the forefront of various institutions. Back in September, activists celebrated a victory at the University of California system said that it would move away from investing from fossil fuels.

For Harvard senior Caleb Schwartz, who was one of the various protest organizers that were arrested on Saturday, told NPR about the events that unfolded on the field. “That moment, when we saw people running onto the field was just really incredible,” Schwartz said. “I saw organizers around me crying because it was such a beautiful moment.

Yale responded to Saturday’s protest saying that while the school supports freedom of expression, it shouldn’t come at the cost of delaying a sporting event.

Yale released a statement shortly after the game that the school “stands firmly for the right to free expression” but just not as the cost of this football game.

“It is regrettable,” a statement released by Yale read, “that the orchestrated protest came during a time when fellow students were participating in a collegiate career-defining contest and an annual tradition when thousands gather from around the world to enjoy and celebrate the storied traditions of both football programs and universities.”

The protest received support from various politicians who supported the activists’ cause and freedom and expression.

One of those who supported Saturday’s protest was Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., who tweeted “Activism disrupts the present to change the future.

Former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro also took to Twitter to shoutout the activists and said that he was impressed by the students’ efforts. “From the March for Our Lives, to worldwide Climate Strikes, students and young people are leading the charge to protect their futures,” Castro wrote. “I’m inspired by their efforts to hold their universities to a higher standard.”

There is no doubt that this protest has put these issues at the forefront of many people’s minds, especially at other fellow colleges. Don’t be surprised if this isn’t the last sporting event that gets disrupted to send the powerful message of climate change. 

READ: A Photo Of This Sad, Sweet Old Lady Went Viral Because She Hadn’t Sold Any Of Her Handmade Napkins, Now They’re All Sold