There are a vast number of world leaders, actors, farmer, and businesswomen who are vying to make the world green one step at time. With the urge to go green more popular than it’s ever been, you know that green culture is in. Taking part in Toyota’s Green Initiative is start, but check out these eco-friendly leaders. Their projects for going green will leave you impressed and inspired.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has fought the fight for green energy and biodiversity in Germany and all over the world. After many people were exposed to deadly radiations in Fukushima in 2011, Merkel shutdown 17 German reactors. Merkel has sought to get rid of coal use and attempt to create a cleaner world with the use of fossil fuel energy. Merkel can lead Germany and the world into a dominant use of green electricity by 2030.
Former presidential nominee Al Gore is widely known for his efforts in environmentalism. The former VP was the first politician to hold congressional hearings on climate change and global warming. He’s also traveled the world talking with fellow green leaders about practical plans for solar and wind power as main sources of energy in the future. His documentary An Inconvenient Truth also sparked conversations about global warming. The film is also the fourth highest grossing documentary in U.S film history.
President Barack Obama had many promises for environmentalists during his 2008 presidential campaign. Recently the president noted that his major goal for 2014 will be climate change. During his State of The Union address on Tuesday, the president discussed climate change and the discovery that the country’s carbon solution has drastically lowered in eight years .
While many dismiss his current energy policy that includes the importance of gas, coal and oil, the president is in talks to decrease coal’s role in energy. He also plans to celebrate the signing of the 50th anniversary signing of The Wilderness Act this year.
The co-founder of WEACT for Environmental Justice has created accolades with green culture. Shepard was the first woman chair on the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council to the U.S Environmental Protection Agency. She also is noted for raising urban awareness in going green within West Harlem and beyond. On top of countless awards for her efforts, Shepard’s team is continuously providing research for climate change, global warming, air quality regulations and more.
The actress’ efforts in going green range from her volunteer services to her site The Honest Company that sells non-VOC paints, PVC vinyl chairs, and non toxic items like diapers, clothing and home products. The ‘Spoils Of Babylon’ actress has also made her home green with a vertical garden. She’s also a big believer in reusing vintage items. Who doesn’t love nostalgia?
Mario Van Peebles
Veteran actor Mario Van Peebles made the transition into a green leader on reality TV. The actor made his home greener with his family in 2009 with the show Mario’s Green House. The inspiration behind his family going green? In an interview with TheDailyGreen in 2009, Peebles says Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth made him think about the effect his actions had on the world.
“The birth of it was after my kids and I went to see An Inconvenient Truth, and one of my sons turned to me and said: “The world is coming to an end and I haven’t even had a cocktail yet.” My other son said, “You asked me to clean up my room but you haven’t left me a clean planet.” I thought of the effect the movie had on them, and asked, what if we put it in a pop framework, see how it applies in our everyday lives, see how we can have fun with it?”
One of the most outspoken celebs in the green movement is Russell Simmons. His campaigns vary within green culture with projects like Going Green, promoting vegan foods, and fighting for animal rights. He was PETA’s 2013 Person of the Year and has been honored by numerous non-profits around the country for his commitment to protecting our planet. In the past, Simmons has also worked with Rachel Bilson, BET, and currently Toyota in creating a green initiative for African Americans who want to take part in going green.
To those who believe going green only matters in suburban areas, look no further than Majora Carter. The Bronx native is an eco-entrepreneur and creator of one of the first programs that cater to green collar jobs and training in urban areas. One of her other notable programs includes Sustainable South Bronx, or SSBX. Running the program from 2001 to 2008, Carter advocated for the developments of Hunts Point Riverside Park, community markets and an air equality movement.
She also garnered a $10,000 grant from the USDA Forest Program to create river restoration projects. Today with her company The Majora Carter Group LLC., Carter continues her efforts with green culture with plans for climate adaptation, urban micro-agribusiness, and spreading awareness of green culture in urban communities.
Organic farmer and community activist Johari Cole owns Iyabo Farms, an organic farm in Kankakee County, Illinois. African American owned farms aren’t on the mainstream eye just yet but Cole and her husband strive to create a greener world with produce that includes free-range chickens, turkeys, and veggies for Chicago’s greenmarkets and restaurants.
William Penman III
William Penman III with Carl Hansberry are owners of Off Grid Technologies, one of the few companies that are designing green technology for the U.S. Some of their efforts include creating wind farms and using plasma ‘gasification’ or making energy from waste, hydrogen and geothermal.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty