Edward Norton is one of my favorite actors. He's ridiculously talented on screen. Yet I also like him because in real life he seems so grounded and extremely smart, thoughtful and eloquent. Instead of relishing in the movie star life, the Yale graduate keeps it low key and chooses to concentrate on a lifelong commitment to the environment. After all, making a difference runs in his blood. Edward's grandfather started the Enterprise Foundation, the largest nonprofit developer of affordable housing in the country, and his father is an environmental advocate. Even his sister studied international environmental policies. So it's no surprise that Edward has used his star power to promote solar power. Now on the board of the Enterprise Foundation, he's combined a passion for helping low income families with changing the environment.
Edward realized that the solar technology he enjoys in his Los Angeles home could actually go a long way towards helping low income families pay the bills. After all, capturing the power of the sun to light your house is definitely energy efficient and socially aware. But it also helps save money. The trick was to get the solar panels installed onto these people's homes. So Edward contacted BP Solar and proposed a plan. For every celebrity who pays BP to have solar power installed, BP will donate a similar solar power system and install it into the house of a low-income family in South Central Los Angeles. BP agreed and the BP Solar Neighbors ProgramT was born.
It truly is an amazing project for everyone involved. Edward gets the satisfaction of promoting alternative energy technologies while helping with his affordable housing ambitions, BP Solar gets more business and low-income families get to save money. Plus, Edward himself goes around Hollywood asking his celebrity friends to join the program. He even asked Larry King, while on the air, to sign up. Which if you ask me shows that this man has got brains. What person as rich as Larry King is going to say no in front of millions of people during a live interview? Other celebrities who have participated in the program include Don Cheadle, Robin Williams, Carlos Santana, Brad Pitt, Owen Wilson, Danny DeVito and Daryl Hannah.
How can you help? Well unless you're a celebrity you can't participate in this particular program. But that doesn't mean you can't install solar panels into your own home. BP Solar, the largest solar manufacturing company in the country, can install systems to homeowners in California, New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia. But BP isn't the only solar power business around. Check your local resources and you'll find nearby companies that can install panels onto your own roof.
To learn more about the Enterprise Foundation click here.