Don Cheadle Named UN Environment Programme Goodwill Ambassador, Rue McClanahan Remembered, and More


Photo via The Urban Daily
Don Cheadle, who earned an Academy Award nomination for his role as hotel owner Paul Rusesabagina in Hotel Rwanda, spent World Environment Day in the namesake country's Volcanoes National Park, where he announced the winning name in the traditional Kwita Izina gorilla baby naming ceremony: Zoya. But that wasn't the only big news:The United Nations Environment Programme executive director, Achim Steiner, was also on hand to announce Cheadle as the organization's newest Goodwill Ambassador. He's in good company -- other Goodwill Ambassadors include Yann Arthus-Bertrand and Gisele Bundchen --and says he hopes to use his new position to encourage the public to get involved. "We need to educate people on the environment and draw clear connections now -- it is not disparate pieces, it really is a chain of life. We have to connect the dots...What is more important than clean air and a healthy planet?"

Leilani Munter Hits the Track

Photo vie Premiere Speakers

If you think your career has a big carbon footprint, then you should talk to Leilani Munter, a dedicated environmentalist with a not so eco-friendly day job: She's a racecar driver. But not just any racecar driver -- she's a record-setting racer named one of the top females in the field, and she wants to spread the green gospel to the 100 million fans that follow the sport by driving cars that run on alternative fuels, adopting one acre of rainforest every time she hits the track, and acting as an ambassador of the National Wildlife Federation. She's also a vocal supporter of vegetarianism for its environmental and health benefits. "I want everyone to realize how much a choice at the dinner table can affect our environment," she told EcoStiletto. "I know that not everyone reading this is going to become vegetarian, but I hope they will at least try to reduce their meat consumption, even if it's just one day a week like meatless Monday." Read more from Munter at EcoStiletto.

Rue McClanahan: Friend to Animals

Photo via Mirror The Golden Girls's Rue McClanahan was best known onscreen for her romantic escapades as Blanche Devereaux -- but offscreen, she was known for her work with PETA. For almost 30 years she was the group's honorary director; she was the star of the organization's first anti-fur commercial (and she enlisted Bea Arthur and Betty White to join her); and she traveled all over the country to support spay-and-neuter campaigns, anti-cruelty efforts, and animal adoptions. PETA senior vice president Dan Mathews talks more about his work with the actress in his post on The PETA Files.

Heal The Bay Honors Nicolas Cage

Photo via Rotten Tomatoes Heal the Bay celebrated more than two decades of working for clean water along the coast of California with a 25th anniversary gala on the beach, where Nicolas Cage, Luann Laval Williams, and Jack Baylis were honored for their support of the organization. Also in attendance: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Chad Lowe, Lindsay Wagner, Amy Smart, and Jakob Dylan (who took over the mic to provide some music). While guests wore flip flops to navigate the sand, eco-friendly decor included chandeliers made from plastic bottles and plastic bags upcycled into faux-floral centerpieces. (Via Ecorazzi)

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