Global Green's 15th Annual Millennium Awards kick off this weekend, honoring individuals and organizations who recognize the important connection between humankind and nature. 

This year's award recipients include actors Mark Ruffalo, and Ed Begley Jr., as well as Wendy Schmidt, wife of Google co-founder Eric Schmidt and president of the Schmidt Family Foundation. 

Ruffalo, 43, will receive the prestigious Entertainment Industry Environmental Leadership Award in recognition of his campaign to ban hydrofracking and other green efforts. Previous winners have included Leonardo DiCaprio and Pierce Brosnan.

The actor is enjoying a resurgence in Hollywood thanks to some star turns in Martin Scorsese's "Shutter Island" thriller and an Oscar-nominated performance in the "The Kids Are All Right." In the process, he has used his fame to draw attention to the natural gas boom in states like New York and Pennsylvania — and the detrimental environmental effects of the extraction process. 

"The root of this is our addiction to carbon-based fuels," he recently told The Hollywood Reporter. "Everywhere we turn, they are touching our lives in a negative way, and our extraction methods are getting more and more desperate because there’s no more easy fuel. As we get more desperate, more of our natural processes will get destroyed in the process."

Ruffalo recently launched his own environmental foundation, Water Defense, to help spearhead campaigns promoting clean water and healthy environments, and to encourage clean energy solutions throughout the U.S.

For his part in "walking the talk," Ed Begley Jr. will receive the Individual Environmental Leadership Award  — an honor I think is long overdue for a guy who has been thinking green every day since the '70s. From a release: 

"From powering his home with 100 percent wind and solar to taking his bicycle to nearly every environmental event in Los Angeles to humbly utilizing his celebrity to advocate for greener policies, corporate practices and individual action, Ed is a true environmental hero and leader." 

Forget the award, this guy deserves a day named after him. 

Besides the usually long celebrity guest list, famous faces presenting at the event include Jamie Lee Curtis, Christopher Guest, Kevin Bacon and Laura Dern. The fun kicks off June 4 at 6 p.m. in Santa Monica. 

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

Mark Ruffalo to receive prestigious green award
Actor to be honored during Global Green's 15th Annual Millennium Awards for his work in fighting for a ban on hydrofracking.