Here at Grist, we like to think of ourselves as trendspotters. And this is one trend we didn’t mind spotting: hot actresses are starting green websites left and right. With the launch of the most recent addition from Alicia Silverstone, we thought we’d take a peek at what lies beneath the glitz and glamour. Oh, and we figured we’d check out the websites, too.

Alicia Silverstone,
Motto: “Sign up and spread the kind”
Mood: A chat with your spacy childhood friend
Worth a damn?: Too soon to tell

silverstone video stillthekindlife.comSilverstone’s site, a cross-promotion for her book The Kind Diet, kicked off this week with a welcome video in which she describes her vision for a “blog-community thing” where she’ll give advice on the health and environmental considerations behind consumer choices. “I’m just trying to fill a need … and I’m hoping that you’ll help me do that,” she says in this stoner-in-the-desert style confessional. Silverstone has made her eco-leanings public before, most notably through a naked PETA ad. And contrived as it may be, her presence here somehow feels authentic, as if you could write her a note (which people are starting to do) and she’d get right back to you (um, so far she’s not).


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Gwyneth Paltrow,
Motto: “Nourish the inner aspect”
Mood: Spare and elegant, bordering on insufferable
Worth a damn?: Sure as Margo Tenenbaum smokes

paltrowDominique Charriau/WireImage.comMuch has been made of this vanity website, in which Paltrow introduces marvelous, wonderful things into the lives of mere mortals. How you feel about it depends largely on how you feel about her, but we give props for the fact that it weaves in sustainability — almost naturally. Vegan recipes and recyclable socks nestle alongside accounts of taking weekend jaunts to London and getting fashion advice from Vanity Fair — you know, the stuff we all do when no one’s looking.

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Tricia Helfer,
Motto: “Chronicling the adventure of building a green, off-the-grid house”
Mood: Clouds and prairies and legs that go on forever
Worth a damn?: Good for a Cylon or solar fix

tricia helfertriciagreen.comUnlike the others on this list, Helfer — who’s either pervaded your every dream after her star turn in Battlestar Galactica or never blipped across your radar — hasn’t created a glitzy consumer site. Hers is actually an account of investigating the green options for a vacation home in her native Alberta, Canada. The quest may not garner many real-person points, but Helfer and her husband, a showbiz lawyer, manage to sound legitimately inquisitive and down to earth.


Rachel McAdams,
Motto: “Tiny changes, big impact”
Mood: Bright and fun … until you start reading
Worth a damn?: Eh, it’s a fine place to poke around for a while

mcadamsAttit PatelThe Notebook beauty downplays her celebrity on this site, which she started with two friends when they realized that they were exchanging green “quips and tips” on a daily basis (and which now boasts a small slate of contributors). Her modesty is appealing, as is the green-lipstick kiss that graces every entry — but the writing is downright dull: “Hair dryers can really suck. Energy, that is.” A guide to taking action exhibits signs of life, and offers templates for writing to companies about their good (and bad) behavior, but to be true to its name, this site needs a little spark.


Julia Stiles,
Motto: “Helping the environment. You’re welcome.”
Mood: In your face, eco-poseurs
Worth a damn?: If you’re in a meta-mood

stiles illojuliastilesstyles.comWe love a celebrity with a sense of humor, especially when it’s least expected. Which is why the eco-knockoff site created by Julia Stiles makes us just a little bit happy. The lippy actress deadpans her way through a video featuring her fashions, including a tie made from Swiffers and a shirt that doubles as pants, and then offers a “purchase” link that actually encourages visitors to donate to a food-rescue organization. Snark for a good cause? For some reason, that really resonates.