Saving the Planet Is Soooo... Cool!

The truly famous are to be found in that unassuming Toyota Prius hybrid over the road, with copies of Grist, the environmentalist magazine, and William McDonough and Michael Braungart's Cradle to Cradle eco-bible, on the passenger seat.

Published: 09-Jun-2005

Hollywood's elite is in the grip of a passion for the environment that has set a mood of conspicuous non-consumption: the expression of ecological virtue is the biggest image-plus in town. These days in Los Angeles, no-one would look into a stretch limo expecting to see a genuine celebrity. Instead, the truly famous are to be found in that unassuming Toyota Prius hybrid over the road, with copies of Grist, the environmentalist magazine, and William McDonough and Michael Braungart's Cradle to Cradle eco-bible, on the passenger seat.

Take the most-talked about TV show in America right now, MTV's Trippin. Here, a roster of stars including the actresses Cameron Diaz and Drew Barrymore crash through eco-tourist zones such as the Chilean rainforest, un-made-up, uninhibited and (some might say) unhinged. They're, like, into radical self-reliance and recycled toilet paper. "I took a poo in the woods hunched over like an animal," gushes Barrymore in the show. "Awesome!"

Less eco-tourism than ego-tourism? Possibly. Whatever, Trippin is of the moment, as it tells of Hollywood's infatuation with environmental righteousness. The A-list understands that the path to approval is no longer found through dreary old self-obsessed drink-and-drug confessions, but by environmental endeavour. These days, you've got to wear your credentials on your unbleached hemp sleeve.

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