Trips on lavish private jets. Astronomical amounts of water hoarding during drought. Fast fashion is stitched from snakeskin, mink fur, and cowhide leather. It’s no secret that Hollywood is the epicenter of pollution, waste, and just an overall lack of environmental awareness. Sure, plenty of celebrities tout the benefits of sustainability…while they board a private jet for twenty minutes or less.
But that doesn’t mean that “climate criminals” constitute all of Hollywood, take Edward Norton and Robert Redford, notorious environmental activists.
And then there’s Julia Roberts, that has recently given her voice to Mother Nature, as part of a series of short films created by Conservation International, an environment protection organization that has, to date, saved more than 6 million square kilometers of land and sea across the globe.
But, aside from movies, how did Julia Roberts actually contributed in saveguarding the environment?
Julia Roberts and climate change
Julia Roberts, 54, has always been the leggy, sexy heroine in iconic films like “Pretty Woman” (1990) and “Sleeping With The Enemy” (1991). In 2000, Roberts blended fiction with reality when she starred in “Erin Brockovich,” a film about the real-life activist of the same name who made headlines when she sued California’s Pacific Gas & Electric Company over groundwater contamination in 1993.
The lawsuit sparked public outrage over what was a deliberate water contamination scheme, and in 1996 Brockovich won the case for $333 million, the greatest ever paid in a class action lawsuit at the time.
7. Erin Brockovich (Julia Roberts) ERIN BROCKOVICH
A single mom of 3 with the help of her employer took on a shady energy corporation
For playing Brockovich, Roberts became the first actress to win an Oscar, BAFTA, Golden Globes, SAGA, Critics Choice and NBR for a single role. pic.twitter.com/0eLCG3aKDN
— SpinnMovieSpot (@SpinnMovieSpot) March 8, 2022
Starring in the film was a turning point in Roberts’ career, and it all had to do with protecting her family.
“People think, ‘Well, I don’t want to be here when the planet implodes,’” Roberts told Vanity Fair in 2007. “But maybe your grandchildren will, or your great-grandchildren, or your great-great-grandchildren. And if you could give them one more day on earth, wouldn’t you do that for them?”
Clean Cooking Alliance ambassador
One of the most notable ways Roberts uses environmental activism to make a better future for families and tackle climate change is through the Clean Cooking Alliance. Founded in 2010 under the United Nations Foundation, the organization strives to provide clean cooking appliances for people in the developing World.
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According to the Borgen Project, “The goal of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves is to change the landscape of cooking in the developing world […] Goals have been set to establish 100 million clean stoves [to impoverished families].”
An estimated three billion people around the world still use open cook fires, which can exude harmful smoke and are a leading cause of pneumonia, a fatal illness in many impoverished countries. Every year, approximately two million people die as a result, many of whom are children.
Roberts became a Clean Cooking Alliance ambassador and spokesperson in 2011. “I saw a picture of a woman with a baby on her back, just like I would be with one of my babies on my hip, cooking at the stove,” Roberts told Marie Clare in 2013, when discussing interviewing one of the group’s founders, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “Her hut is full of toxic smoke, and that child is in tremendous peril. It’s my privilege and honor to cook three meals a day for my family, and it’s a luxury on a level that I didn’t even realize because it can be relentless for me on some days. You have pride in how you take care of your family.”
Tackling climate change through activism
Ever since Roberts got involved in environmentalism, she hired activist Sophie Uliano as an eco consultant. Together, the pair started a “green group” in order to “teach and aid mothers on how to incorporate and build eco-conscious families who want to bring great awareness and desire to impact the environment.”
At Heal the Bay’s 2012 Bring Back the Beach gala in Santa Monica, California, Roberts and her husband Danny Moder were awarded for their environmentalism. Not only are they climate activists, but they live their lives and raise their children according to this cause.
Their primacy home in Malibu cost the pair $9.5 million, but for good reason. Overlooking the glittering Pacific Ocean, the mansion is covered with solar panels, features greenhouses, and two beehives. Plant life thrives on the property and the entire complex is powered by clean, solar energy.
In a world where greenwashing lawsuits hit companies like H&M, and celebrities face backlash for misleading marketing over an alleged sustainable brand collaboration, revisiting Julia Roberts’ activism and green lifestyle is a breath of fresh air. Just imagine if the rest of Hollywood started to mimic Jules.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here by the authors are their own, not those of Impakter.com — In the Featured Photo: Julia Roberts in Cannes. Featured Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons.