Yes, yes, it's all about stopping global warming and passing on clean rivers and oceans to our grandchildren and whatnot. But it can't have hurt that first Earth Day's success 40 years ago to have a founder as striking as Denis Hayes. With his visionary piercing blue eyes and determined jawline, who wouldn't sign up to save the planet? (For what it's worth, 40 years later, Hayes is still quite striking.)
Many a noble cause has attracted a following thanks to our desire to nail one of the organizers. So here's a look at some of the men and women sustaining the environmental movement, four decades later, on their exquisitely-shaped shoulders.
Chieu Van, membership and outreach coordinator, Futurewise. Van sends out e-mail blasts from the environmental group telling members to write senators and representatives telling them to support green legislation. If a photo of Van were included in those e-mails, we think the response rate might skyrocket.
Julie Stonefelt, naturalist, Cedar River Watershed Education Center. Seattle owns much of the land that makes up the Cedar River Watershed. The river, which runs from the Cascades down through Renton, and its adjacent wetlands and aquifers provide much of the Seattle area's drinking water. It's Stonefelt's job to get us to care about the water and trees in that land. And somehow, looking at her right now, that is very easy to do.
Chip Giller, founder, Grist. Nerdy glasses, facial scruff. Oh my god, is that a dimple?! Yes, the founder of the super-hip and impressively relevant online environmental magazine will inspire you to better green living not just through the content on his site, but his total adorableness.
Victoria Gibson, idealist. It's one thing to work for a better planet because you're on the staff of a foundation devoted to Earth-saving and getting a paycheck for it. It's quite another to devote your spare time to the cause. Gibson sells athletic apparel by day, but in her spare time, she volunteers with the Community Alliance for Global Justice, helping support the Food Justice Project, which combines the goals of feeding the hungry while making the agriculture industry more sustainable.