Green cred: Working for both environmental and social causes, Norton says he has always been interested in spreading the word about the “interconnectedness of life.” His father was a head of public policy at the Wilderness Society in the 1980s and co-founder of the Grand Canyon Trust. As a teenager, Norton worked for the National Park Service in the Grand Canyon.

Focus: Norton has said being an actor gives him large chunks of downtime to pursue his environmental interests. In 2004 he hosted National Geographic special “Strange Days on Planet Earth,” which examines the cause and effect of human actions on the planet.

Latest battle: Norton and his brother Jim have been active in providing low-income housing through Enterprise Foundation, a charity established by their grandfather. With solar energy company BP, Norton founded the Solar Neighbors Program, an effort that helps counter rising energy costs for low-income households. Every time a celebrity or public leader buys a BP solar system, the company donates a system to a low-income family.

Eco mantra: “Across the last century there’s been a growing, deepening understanding of our impact on and stewardship of the environment. Environmental consciousness is something that is beginning to percolate on lots of different levels and in lots of different communities.”

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