elizabeth wiatt / Green Goddess
WHO SHE IS: She may not grab as many headlines as Leonardo DiCaprio or Laurie David, but when it comes to getting things done in eco-Hollywood, Elizabeth Wiatt is the go-to power player. For five years, Wiatt--a former ICM agent and wife of William Morris CEO Jim Wiatt--has quietly and effectively worked as a board member of the nonprofit Natural Resources Defense Council. The 41-year-old Wiatt also is on the steering committee of Antonio Villaraigosa’s Million Trees LA initiative and is working on a 2008 energy forum, a conservation platform for presidential candidates.
WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT HER: “She’s bright, focused and extremely well-connected,” says Joel Reynolds, director of NRDC’s Southern California program. “You put that together with her passion for the environment, and it’s a formidable combination.”
WHAT’S NEW: In July, she helped the NRDC launch Simplesteps.org, an online site filled with tips to green your home. Wiatt, also a former Vogue staffer, is a contributing editor for the site.
WHY IT MATTERS: “Growing up in Manhattan, I always thought the environment was somewhere you went--it was camp in the summer, it was trees upstate. Then one year there was a garbage strike, and we had tons of trash everywhere. The air was stinky, and I remember my friend said, ‘This is a horrible environment.’ I realized right there the environment is not a place you visit--it’s the water you drink, the air you breathe.”
WHAT YOU CAN DO: “Being an environmentalist always seems very large, as if you have to run out and buy a Prius. Most people can’t afford a new car, but there are small things that you can do.” Think bricks in toilet tanks to reduce water usage, canvas bags for groceries, reusable water bottles and post-consumer recycled paper products throughout the home, which took some buy-in from her husband: “His biggest compromise, I think, is the toilet paper we have.” *
AT A GLANCE
Using her high-powered Rolodex
Know somebody who’s out to save the world, or at least Southern California? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.