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10 Celebrities Who Double-up as Eco-Warriors

On World Environment Day 2019, take a cue from B-Town celebrities who make ‘green living’ part of their everyday lives.

Annabelle D’Costa

Annabelle D’Costa

Earlier in 2019, 16-year-old Greta Thunberg berated world leaders for not doing enough to reverse the effects of climate change. World leaders, according to her, “talk about almost anything except the climate crisis.” The young Swedish activist also took it upon herself to lead thousands of Belgian students, who along with her, skipped school for seven weeks, on a march to protest the fact that her country wasn’t doing its bit for the environment.

According to the UN Sustainable Goals Report, 2018, climate change is among the key factors contributing to rising hunger and human displacement. The need for awareness and reparations has never been more pressing. Educating people about climate change, the plastic burden, wildlife conservation and other big-picture issues facing our planet, is the need of the hour.

This year, air pollution is the theme for the World Environment Day, and let us remind you that India is home to nine of the world’s 10 most polluted cities, according to the World Health Organization. While we may have a five-year plan to tackle the country’s air pollution issue, thanks to the National Clean Air Program, it is also our civic duty to take on the mantle of protecting our environment.

Take a cue from these Bollywood celebrities who are using their public image and position to further the message for a better world. They're adding muscle to causes close to their heart—and it's not just a part-time commitment—but a lifestyle choice.

Dia Mirza

Mirza who is all geared to mark her Zee5 web series debut with Kaafir, set in Kashmir, has been a practising green warrior. She was appointed as the first United Nations Environment Goodwill Ambassador for India in 2017. Mirza has been vocal about issues such as pollution, protecting the oceans and wildlife conservation. She is also the ambassador for the Wildlife Trust of India, part of the Swachh Bharat Mission’s youth-based programme and a member of the Sanctuary Nature Foundation. 

Dia also grows her food in her balcony garden. We spotted pictures of feeders and water baths for our avian friends that she posted on her Instagram handle. Last year on World Environment Day, the actor lent her voice to the campaign to ban single-use plastic and urged women to use biodegradable sanitary napkins.


Rahul Bose

The versatile actor-director has been speaking up on green causes way before it became the politically right thing to do. In 2007, he became the Oxfam Global ambassador and in 2009, Bose represented the international charitable organization at the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen. The same year, Bose became an ambassador for ‘Planet Alert’, a campaign that works on grassroots level conservation to address climate change. Apart from being an ambassador for the American Indian Foundation, he was actively involved in the Narmada Bachao Andolan to raise awareness about the environmental impact due to the construction of the Sardar Sarovar dam.  

Gul Panag
Former Miss India, an actor, a licensed pilot and a politician, Panag is equally dedicated to the environment and lives her part. As part of Col. Shamsher Foundation and Gul 4 Change, she’s been working towards "improving basic sanitation, appropriate waste disposal and competent utilisation of natural sources of energy," according to her website. The Foundation also works to popularise solar energy and rain harvesting systems. Panag is also associated with raising funds for Shop For Change Fair Trade, which promotes fair trade opportunities for the farmers of Telangana, Vidarbha and Kutch; and Green Commandosa citizen action initiative to save the environment.

Irfan Khan
All set to make his comeback on the big screen with Angrezi Medium, Khan has long been engaged in the climate cause. He owns a farm where he implements water saving techniques such as drip irrigation systems to grow vegetables and fruits. It all started with buying a barren piece of land and turning it into fertile soil, he told DNA in an interview. Khan has harvested organic cereals such as wheat, and veggies like bottle gourd, ladyfinger, bitter gourd and spinach. He has been vocal about the erosion of a mangrove forest near the suburb of Malad, his home in Mumbai.

Priyanka Chopra

The UNICEF goodwill ambassador has been travelling the world visiting various camps set up for underprivileged women and children. As campaign ambassador for Greenathon, an NDTV-Toyota Green campaign, she is also credited for starting the ‘plastic clean-up drive’ campaign in April 2014 on the banks of River Yamuna in Agra. The campaign also encourages the use of solar power, especially in villages that lack the uninterrupted supply of electricity. The very same year, she was appointed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a Navratna for the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. The following year, she lent her voice for PETA’s life-size robot ‘Ellie’ who visited schools in the United States and Europe to educate and sensitise kids about elephant captivity in the circus. 

John Abraham
Apart from being the poster boy for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Abraham has been working for animal rights for a very long time. As a PETA advocate, he pushed for enforcement of the ban on Jallikattu, a sport-based festival held annually in the state of Tamil Nadu where men try to catch a running bull by the hump in order to secure a pouch of coins hung around the bull’s horn. He also spoke out against Mumbai’s ‘dancing’ monkeys who are forced to perform and beg on the streets. 

Shilpa Shetty Kundra

Shilpa believes in taking baby steps towards clean living, literally. Shetty-Kundra has invested $250,000 in a Delhi-based mom and baby care consumer startup Mamaearth. The company produces toxin-free baby products. The actor has posted pics of the organic fruits and vegetables she grows in her home. Every year on Ganesh Chaturthi, she brings home an eco-friendly Bappa, encouraging her social media followers to follow in her footsteps.


Nandita Das
The noted actor and filmmaker has been outspoken about the need for water conservation. She has collaborated with New Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment to help spread awareness on water conservation and made a series of short films on topics such as Rainwater Harvesting. 


Abhishek Bachchan
Junior Bachchan won the Green Globe award in 2012 and has been on jury duty for the 'Green Heroes Film Festival’, organised by US Consulate General in Mumbai and The Energy and Resources Institute, featuring short films that put light on the Green Heroes who are improving the environment in their local communities.

Juhi Chawla

Known for her sunny smile, the actor is a fiery advocate of clean living and has embraced an eco-friendly way of life. From planting trees, growing her own veggies to reducing use of plastic, she's been vocal about lifestyle changes we should all adopt. A quick scroll through her Instagram feed, and you’ll see that the actor routinely also shares wellness tips urging her followers to adopt a clean and healthy lifestyle.



Lead image: Instagram
Conceptualised by Vartika Pahuja
 

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