Learn More About Our Past Honorees

Each year at the Captain Planet Foundation Benefit Gala, we give a series of awards that highlight outstanding, real life environmental superheroes. These awards honor those who have demonstrated extraordinary environmental stewardship, have helped to protect and preserve the natural balance and beauty of our land, and those who have offered significant contributions to making the world a better place. Below are some of our past awardees.

Ed Begley Jr.

Ed Begley Jr.

2009 Superhero for Earth Award

 

Noted actor Ed Begley, Jr. has set an example of sustainable living through the construction of his LEED platinum-certified home, the construction of which is chronicled in the documentary series On Begley Street.

https://begleyliving.com

Ta'Kaiya Blaney

Ta'Kaiya Blaney

2017 Young Superhero for Earth Award

Ta’Kaiya Blaney is an actor, singer-songwriter, speaker, and activist from Tla A’min Nation, Turtle Island. She has performed & presented everywhere from the UN to the Parliament of World Religions. Her inspirational single "Earth Revolution" screened on the even of COP21 and features children from around the world uniting to protect Mother Earth.

www.takaiyablaney.com

Robbie Bond

Robbie Bond

2018 Young Superhero for Earth Award

 

Robbie Bond is a 10 year old boy from Hawaii who recently moved to Reno, NV. He is the founder of a non-profit organization called Kids Speak For Parks which is dedicated to educating kids about the importance of the national parks and monuments.

www.facebook.com/kidsspeakforparks/

Sir Richard Branson

Sir Richard Branson

2012 Superhero for Earth Award

Legendary entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson has leveraged his status as a leader in the business world to push towards sustainable energy, notably through The Carbon War Room, a network of entrepreneurs and business leaders dedicated to sharing the best thinking toward accelerating and scaling solutions toward a low-carbon economy.

https://www.virgin.com/richard-branson

Erin Brockovich

Erin Brockovich

2013 Protector of the Earth Award

Since gaining recognition through her successful anti-pollution lawsuit re: Pacific Gas & Electric's poisoning of Hinckley, CA's water, Erin Brockovich has become a sought-after lecturer, and as President of Brockovich Research & Consulting, she is currently involved in environmental projects worldwide.

www.brockovich.com/

President Jimmy Carter

President Jimmy Carter

2013 Exemplar Award

US President Jimmy Carter's environmental achievements during his time in office included a comprehensive energy program conducted by a new Department of Energy and major environmental protection legislation, including the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act.

https://www.cartercenter.org/

HRH Prince Charles

HRH Prince Charles

2016 Exemplar Award

HRH Prince Charles exhibits his support for education, environmental sustainability, the built environment, and responsible business (among others) through The Prince’s Charities, a group of not-for-profit organizations of which he is Patron or President. The group is the largest multi-cause charitable enterprise in the UK, raising over £100 million annually.

www.princeofwales.gov.uk/

Dyson Chee

Dyson Chee

2018 Young Superhero for Earth Award

While interning at a world-renowned coral research lab & Hawaii's State Capitol, Dyson Chee has been working on a various range of issues related to ocean pollution by creating an initiative, Project O.C.E.A.N., which supports and promotes environmental bills with fellow students, and actively engaging other youth. He is also an '18 Ocean Heroes Champion.

www.instagram.com/project_ocean_hawaii

Coda Christopherson

Coda Christopherson

2018 Young Superhero for Earth Award

As an 2018 Ocean Heroes Champion, Coda Christopherson has established Sustainable School, an initiative to stop plastic waste at schools by educating students about their impact & providing eco-friendly alternatives.

www.instagram.com/sustainableschool.cool/

Fred Conrad

Fred Conrad

2008 Superhero for Earth Award

 

As community garden program manager at the Atlanta Community Food Bank, Fred Conrad helped the program grow from its start to now well over 300 gardens in the metro area.

https://acfb.org

Ken Cook

Ken Cook

2014 Superhero for Earth Award

 

Ken Cook is president and co-founder of the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a public interest research and advocacy organization that uses the power of information to protect human health and the environment.

www.ewg.org/

Jeff Corwin

Jeff Corwin

2011 Superhero for Earth Award

 

Biologist, conservationist, and author Jeff Corwin has spent his entire life advocating for wildlife. He is best known for hosting a variety of educational TV series, such as ABC's Ocean Mysteries (of which he is executive producer) and Disney's Going Wild with Jeff Corwin.

https://www.facebook.com/wildcorwin/

Dr. David Suzuki and Dr. Tara Cullis

Dr. David Suzuki and Dr. Tara Cullis

2013 Exemplar Award

Professors Drs. Suzuki and Cullis co-founded The David Suzuki Foundation to work with “government, business and individuals to conserve our environment by providing science-based education, advocacy and policy work for social change that today’s situation demands."

www.davidsuzuki.org/

Rev. Dr. Gerald Durley

Rev. Dr. Gerald Durley

2018 Exemplar Award

Over 25 years as a pastor, Rev. Dr. Gerald Durley became intensely involved in the climate change, global warming, and environmental justice movement. He now combines the disciplines of faith & science with the lessons learned as a civil/human rights advocate in the 1960’s to work towards a greener Earth.

Dr. Sylvia Earle

Dr. Sylvia Earle

2011 Exemplar Award

The proposal for which legendary oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle won the 2009 TED Prize has transformed into Mission Blue, an organization which is uniting a global coalition to inspire an upwelling of public awareness, access, and support for a worldwide network of marine protected areas.

www.mission-blue.org/

Chloe Mei Espinosa

Chloe Mei Espinosa

2018 Young Superhero for Earth Award

 

Chloe Mei Espinosa is a 2018 Ocean Heroes Champion and the founder of Skip the Plastic Straw, an initiative to combat plastic waste by educating & convincing both individuals and businesses on plastic alternatives and ways to reduce waste.

https://www.skiptheplasticstraw.com/

Eric Estroff

Eric Estroff

2011 Young Superhero for Earth Award

 

Eric Estroff has served as the Green Schools Alliance’s National Student Coordinator since 2009. He is also the U.S. Department of the Interior and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s appointed Green School Program Coordinator for the GSA’s Student Climate and Conservation Congress (Sc3).

Dr. Jane Gooddall

Dr. Jane Gooddall

2014 Exemplar Award

In 1977, Dr. Jane Goodall established the Jane Goodall Institute, which is a global leader in the effort to protect chimpanzees and their habitats. The Institute is widely recognized for innovative, community-centered conservation and development programs in Africa, and Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots, a global environmental and humanitarian youth program. 

www.janegoodall.org/

Adrian Grenier

Adrian Grenier

2018 Superhero for Earth Award

In 2015, actor and philanthropist Adrian Grenier co-founded Lonely Whale. Inspired by the power of community, Lonely Whale is working towards a new era of collaboration, together facilitating the creation of innovative ideas that push the boundary on current trends in technology, media and advocacy that positively impact the health of the world's oceans.

https://www.lonelywhale.org

Dr. Sanjay Gupta

Dr. Sanjay Gupta

2010 Superhero for Earth Award

Multiple Emmy® Award-winning medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta understands the pivotal role that a healthy planet plays in human wellbeing. His medical training and public health policy experience distinguishes his reporting on natural disasters, as well as on a range of medical and scientific topics, including disaster recovery and health care reform.

www.cnn.com/profiles/sanjay-gupta-profile

Mitchell Hardman

Mitchell Hardman

2010 Young Superhero for Earth Award

At 15, Mitchell Hardman was experimenting with alternate fuel sources and powering his room with a wind turbine and solar panels. He was also working to bring hydroelectric power to his family’s vineyard, Persimmon Creek Vineyards in Clayton, GA. His passion for renewable energy has made him an example to his peers of what it means to work towards a sustainable future.

Paul Hawken

Paul Hawken

2014 Superhero for Earth Award

 

Paul Hawken is an environmentalist, entrepreneur, and author. His work includes starting ecological businesses, writing about the impact of commerce on living systems, and consulting with heads of state and CEOs on economic development, industrial ecology, and environmental policy.

www.paulhawken.com/

Jerry Hightower

Jerry Hightower

2009 Superhero for Earth Award

Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area Park Ranger Jerry Hightower’s passion is environmental education. He loves introducing people to the wonders and extraordinarily diverse resources of his park. Jerry believes teaching others about natural resources and how to defend them is the key to saving national parks and even our own backyards.

https://www.nps.gov/chat/index.htm

Linton & Gina Hopkins

Linton & Gina Hopkins

2008 Superhero for Earth Award

Acclaimed chef team Linton and Gina Hopkins are noted advocates for sustainable farming. Linton educates students about local produce, and Gina is a member of an organization whose Green Table Initiative is designed to inform children about how food gets from the farm to their table.

www.restauranteugene.com/

Congressman Jared Huffman

Congressman Jared Huffman

2013 Superhero for Earth Award

Jared Huffman represents California’s 2nd District in the US House of Representatives. Prior to his election to Congress, Huffman served six years in the California State Assembly. Huffman previously worked as a Senior Attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Lisa P. Jackson

Lisa P. Jackson

2012 Protector of the Earth Award

As administrator of the EPA, Lisa P. Jackson worked to modernize the US's 30-year old chemical management laws and announced tough standards for cleaner air. She also stepped up protection for vulnerable groups including children, the elderly, and low-income communities that are particularly susceptible to environmental and health threats.

Larry King

Larry King

2014 Special Guest

Dubbed “the most remarkable talk-show host on TV ever” by TV Guide and “master of the mike” by Time Magazine, Emmy Award-winning Larry King made a special appearance at our 2014 Gala and interviewed Dr. Jane Goodall, our 2014 Exemplar Award recipient.

Alec Loorz

Alec Loorz

2010 Superhero for Earth Award

 

Alec Loorz founded the group Kids vs. Global Warming to empower and educate young people. His organization has held workshops, actions and marches across the country to help youths realize that they have the power to take on an issue of global proportions. 

Ludacris

Ludacris

2008 Superhero for Earth Award

 

The Ludacris Foundation inspires youth through education and memorable experiences to live their dreams by uplifting families, communities and fostering economic development.

Xiuhtezcatl Martinez

Xiuhtezcatl Martinez

2016 Young Superhero for Earth Award
Xiuhtezcatl Martinez is a young indigenous climate activist and hip-hop artist. He is the Youth Director of Earth Guardians, an organization of young activists, artists and musicians from across the globe stepping up as leaders and working together to create positive concrete action in their communities to address climate change.
Steff McDermot

Steff McDermot

2018 Young Superhero for Earth Award

 

Estefania (Steff) McDermot is an advocate for marine life from the Cayman Islands. In partnership with Plastic Free Cayman, Steff has created the 345 Pledge that provides businesses and individuals a stepwise plan to reducing their plastic consumption and work toward a plastic-free Cayman Island.

Ovie Mughelli

Ovie Mughelli

2009 Superhero for Earth Award

Not many former professional athletes are able to keep driving as hard off the field as they are on it. For former NFL Pro Bowl fullback Ovie Mughelli, it’s all in a day’s work. When he’s not working to engage, enlighten, and entertain adults and kids alike about the necessity of living green, he embraces his abiding love of sports by serving as a sports analyst.

Leilani Münter

Leilani Münter

2015 Superhero for Earth Award

Leilani Münter is a biology graduate turned professional race car driver and environmental activist. Discovery’s Planet Green named Leilani the #1 Eco Athlete in the world. Since 2007, Leilani has been adopting an acre of rainforest for every race she runs. She uses her race car to spread environmental awareness among 75 million race fans in the US.

Robyn O'Brien

Robyn O'Brien

2009 Superhero for Earth Award

Robyn is a speaker, author, and expert on food systems and the effect it has on the health of families, companies, and economy. In the last ten years, she has helped to lead a food awakening among consumers, corporations and politicians. She has worked with members of Congress, governors and other political leaders.

Catherine Padgett

Catherine Padgett

2009 Superhero for Earth Award

Ford Elementary School teacher Catherine Padgett began the Environmental Program at her school in in 1995. Now, the outside classroom and school garden program has grown to include every class at the school and major additions to the grounds, including a Children’s Garden, individually raised classroom beds, a Nature Trail, and a Native Tree Arboretum. 

Carter & Olivia Ries

Carter & Olivia Ries

2014 Young Superhero for Earth Award

 

Siblings Carter and Olivia Ries started One More Generation (OMG) back in 2009 when they realized that many animals were in danger of becoming extinct. Their goal is to help endangered species survive at least One More Generation…and beyond.

Alice Rolls

Alice Rolls

2008 Superhero for Earth Award

 

Alice Rolls is President & CEO of Georgia Organics, which helps mitigates obstacles to Georgia farmers becoming organic-certified by covering certification costs and offering workshops to teach prospective organic farmers the ropes of the business and offering free marketing consultations.

Mark Ruffalo

Mark Ruffalo

2017 Superhero for Earth Award

 

One of Hollywood's most sought-after actors, Mark Ruffalo is one of the founders of the Solutions Project, which aims to bring clean, sustainable energy to 100% of the US. Its grantmaking dollars support efforts in 22 states across the US to accelerate the transition to clean energy for all.

thesolutionsproject.org

Joel Sartore

Joel Sartore

2017 Exemplar Award

Joel Sartore is a photographer, speaker, author, teacher, conservationist, National Geographic fellow and regular contributor to National Geographic magazine. He has visited 40 countries in his quest to create a photo archive of global biodiversity called the Photo Ark. To date, Sartore has completed portraits of more than 6,000 species.

Dr. Marshall Shepherd

Dr. Marshall Shepherd

2014 Superhero for Earth Award

Dr. J. Marshall Shepherd is a leading international expert in weather and climate and spent 12 years with NASA. He is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society and sits on boards for NASA, NOAA, Climate Central, and Mothers and Others for Clean Air.

Ian Somerhalder

Ian Somerhalder

2016 Superhero for Earth Award

Actor Ian Somerhalder is the Founder/President of the Ian Somerhalder Foundation (ISF). The purpose of the Foundation is to advance science; promote the conservation of natural resources for the benefit of the entire community; provide relief to the poor, distressed, and underprivileged; and support other organizations with aligned missions. 

Tom Szaky

Tom Szaky

2013 Green Innovator Award

Tom Szaky is the Founder and CEO of TerraCycle, Inc, one of the world’s foremost leaders in eco-capitalism and the reuse of non-recyclable, post-consumer waste. Today, TerraCycle has worked with over 125,000 organizations worldwide which have helped collect over 2.5 billion pre and post-consumer wrappers while earning over $7 million dollars in donations.

www.terracycle.com/

Hannah Testa

Hannah Testa

2016 Young Superhero for Earth Award

Hailing from Georgia, Hannah Testa is passionate about animals and environmental issues that have an impact on wildlife. She believes that knowledge is power and that through education and awareness, she can affect positive change. She founded Hannah4Change to fight for issues that impact the planet and all of its animals.

Ted Turner

Ted Turner

Ted Turner is chairman of the Turner Foundation, which supports efforts for improving air and water quality, developing a sustainable energy future to protect the earth’s climate, safeguarding environmental health, maintaining wildlife habitat protection, and developing practices and policies to curb population growth rates.

www.tedturner.com

Alice Waters

Alice Waters

2013 Superhero for Earth Award

 

Alice Waters is the chef and owner of Chez Panisse and American pioneer of a culinary philosophy that maintains that cooking should be based on the best and freshest seasonal ingredients that are produced sustainably and locally.

E.O. Wilson

E.O. Wilson

2016 Exemplar Award

E.O. Wilson is generally recognized as one of the several leading biologists in the world. He is acknowledged as the creator of two scientific disciplines, three unifying concepts for science and the humanities jointly, and one major technological advance in the study of global biodiversity (the Encyclopedia of Life).

Brooklyn Wright

Brooklyn Wright

2010 Superhero for Earth Award

In 2010 at age 7, Brooklyn Wright Earth Saver Girl about an ordinary 9-year old turned superhero who protects people & animals so that other generations can enjoy a healthy planet. Since then, Brooklyn has traveled and spoken to a wide variety of audiences from pre-schools to churches in order to educate and activate.

Arabia Mountain High School

Arabia Mountain High School

2011 Green School Award

Arabia Mountain High School (AMHS) is the first public school in Georgia to achieve LEED Certification and hosts Dekalb's Environmental Energy and Engineering Program, which it uses as an Integrated Context model to improve student achievement.

Assoc. of Waldorf Schools of NA

Assoc. of Waldorf Schools of NA

2012 Green School Award

Association of Waldorf Schools of North America offer integrate the arts in all academic disciplines for children from preschool through twelfth grade to enhance and enrich learning. Waldorf Education aims to inspire life-long learning in all students and to enable them to fully develop their unique capacities.