As someone who’s always made part of his living as a pop culture critic, it’s easy to become cynical about Hollywood. But every once in a while we hear about a celebrity doing something to make the world a better place, like George Clooney and Don Cheadle’s efforts to Save Darfur, Brad Patt and Angelina Jolie’s donations to rebuild New Orleans, or Matt Damon’s work on behalf of Water.org.
Director James Cameron has always been a staunch supporter of environmental efforts, helping to develop technology that has changed the face of undersea exploration and research, and his global blockbuster Avatar had a great pro-environment message at its heart. So we weren’t surprised, but we were impressed, to receive a press release from the Earth Day Network and 20th Century Fox (the studio behind Avatar) yesterday announcing that the “Avatar Home Tree Initiative” had exceeded its goal for 2010, planting 1,006,639 trees in 16 countries on six continents over the past year.
The global initiative was the work of 31,000 people representing 17 partner organizations, including Landcare Australia, Brazil’s SOS MATA Atlantica Foundation, Mexico’s Sierra Gorda Ecological Group, Sweden’s Forest In Schools program and Haiti’s Trees For The Future.
According to Earth Day Network, the trees planted for the project “protect some of the world’s most bio-diverse and threatened forests; restore acres destroyed by fire, flood and wind; enable local and regional governments to rebuild communities devastated by disaster; engage tens of thousands of children and youth in learning about the environment; create career opportunities in the green economy; and provide hands-on service opportunities to volunteers of all ages.”
A lot of critics carped that Avatar‘s eco-friendly message was heavy-handed. But we here at GGT applaud the efforts of anyone like Cameron who is willing to put their time and money where their mouths are in the interest of making the world a better place. –Bret Love
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