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Green Goes Mainstream: Celebrities show that being eco-conscious is always in style.

Before being ‘green’ became fashionable, and terms like ‘eco-chic’ were coined, being environmentally conscious was synonymous with words like ‘granola’ and ‘treehugger,’ generalizing the eco-conscious crowd as a free-spirited-Birkenstock-wearing-Grateful-Dead-loving bunch of Liberal hippies chanting ‘Peace, man.’

But being green has definitely gone mainstream, and from celebs like Julia Louis-Dreyfus with her lavish, multi-million dollar solar-powered home, to Pierce Brosnan, aptly named the ‘Best Dressed Environmentalist’ by the Sustainable Style Foundation, the stereotype of the gritty, unkempt nature wanderer that once dominated the category no longer applies.

Recently, MSN posted a list of the ‘Top 14 Green Celebrities,’ which contained some long-time environmental advocates and a few surprising new additions, all echoing a commitment to championing this important cause through various initiatives like Leonardo DiCaprio’s documentary film about global warming, the 11th Hour, featuring interviews with green leaders and a companion website where everyone can sign up to take action in their local communities, and George Clooney’s Oil Change, a campaign aimed at ending America’s independence on oil.  

Here are a few other celebs using their star savvy to help make a real difference:

 Ed Begley, Jr. – About as rigorous an environmentalist as you can get, in addition to his solar-powered home and line of eco-cleaning products, Begley’s Best, Ed also hosts a domestic-focused reality TV show, Living with Ed, and pedals for 10 minutes on a stationary hybrid bicycle every morning that generates enough power to operate his toaster.

 Edward Norton – Demonstrating a passionate — and financial — commitment to the environment, Edward worked with BP to develop the BP Neighbor’s Program, supplying solar power to low-income homes in LA by getting celebrities to do their eco-part.  For each celebrity who installs a solar power system under the plan, one will be donated to a low-income family.

Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom – These Pirates of the Caribbean co-stars/friends also boast eco-abodes.  Depp converted his Bahama islands home to run on solar hydrogen technology and Bloom built an environmentally-friendly house in London with solar panel roof and energy-efficient lightbulbs throughout.

Stella McCartney – Well known and regarded  for her line of high end eco-fashion, Stella refuses to use leather or fur in her designs, and has pioneered a way to make entirely vegan boots.  In addition, her perfume line, Pampering, prides itself on absolutely no animal testing, and her latest eco-endeavor, Care, is a beauty line using all certified organic ingredients, and contains no endangered plants, petrochemicals, paraben preservatives or synthetic fragrances.

But the stars of Tinseltown aren’t the only ones making environmental consciousness a hot commodity.  Beverly Hills, home of the famous 90210 zip code, recently passed a Green Building ordinance mandating eco-friendly requirements for commercial and multifamily developments.  And musician and activist, Jackson Browne’s Malibu ranch is completely off the grid.

Even Ashton Kutcher’s gossip-driven new website, Blahgirls, gets in the game with their unique brand of adolescent humor with videos such as this one, putting the environment in the spotlight in a memorable way among their teen viewership, which can actually help to cultivate the eco leaders of tomorrow.

Awareness is the key.  And these critical environmental issues are getting widespread exposure through their celeb supporters. So, while this may be Hollywood’s flavor of the week, it seems that green has become the accessory of choice for many celebrities lately, and this eco-trend is one that can benefit the environment right from the red carpet.

Photo Credits: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Michael Weschler/Grist; Pierce Brosnan, Sustainable Style Foundation; Ed Begley, Jr., Green Patriot; Edward Norton, Virgin Media; Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom, People Magazine; Stella McCartney, Peter Larsen/WireImage.

Written by Gennefer Gross

Gennefer Gross is a food and style-obsessed television comedy writer in Los Angeles. She is currently co-founder of Blox Toppling Productions, an independent production company she runs with her husband and writing partner, David Gross. When she’s not covering the fashion beat, she can be found sharing mouthwatering morsels on her blog Tasty Beautiful or on a quest for the world's best burger.

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