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8 eco-superheroes that might surprise you

By: Matt Hickman on Jan. 7, 2011, 11:30 a.m.
Montage of Prince Charles, Natalie Portman, Bryant Terry, Colin Beavan

Photo: Sara Remington, Getty Images via ZUMA Press

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Good 'n' green

If there’s one thing that Mother Nature hasn’t lacked over the last decade, it’s been a committed coterie of allies ready to swoop in and come to her defense during her darkest hour — which, unfortunately, has been frequently. It’s been a decade rife with eco-lows, both natural and manmade, including oil spills, hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, heat waves and environmental degradation. These “eco-superheroes” have garnered plenty of attention for their good green works, whether supporting conservation issues or alerting the public to the effects of global warming. Among the ranks: Al Gore, Ed Begley Jr., Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert Redford and, of course, Captain Planet.

And then there's a handful of not-so-obvious eco-superheroes ranging from a sustainable chef to a vegan starlet to British royalty who have flown under the mainstream radar but whose actions are no less important. This sampling is in no way conclusive, and we invite you to list any eco-superheroes who have inspired you in the comments section. (Text: Matt Hickman)