by Michael dEstries
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f1.jpgThe Solar Neighbors program started by actor Edward Norton and BP is once again spreading some good clean energy. The idea behind the program is simple: Every time an invited celebrity purchases a BP solar system for their home, BP donates a similar system to be installed on a low-income family’s home in South Central Los Angeles. This time, it’s Will Ferrell stepping up to the plate — and his sponsorship will for the first time benefit a multi-unit building, the beautifully restored historic St. George Hotel.

Granted, this isn’t your average hotel. The St. George provides permanent supportive housing for people who have been chronically homeless. Most residents earn no more than 10% of the area median income, according to officials. They pay 30% of their income in rent under the Shelter Plus Care program. Having solar energy installed will go a long way to easing the burden of energy costs.

The official unveiling of the program will happen February 11th — with Edward Norton, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and potentially Will Ferrell in attendance. I suppose we can also tick off Will as the latest celeb to get some solar at home. Go Green Team!

For more on the BP Solar Neighbors Program, click here.

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

View all posts by Michael dEstries →
  • Yoshiko

    I think this is hypocrisy.
    We don’t need any ceremonies nor any celebrities
    for protecting our environment any more.
    Someone said that they needed the celebrities to
    get more attentions.
    So please tell me what is difference between
    actual charity and only publicity.
    I am always dismayed to see that someone use our
    environment or poor people for Hollywood
    Do you know the people who suffer from poverty
    poor conditions has no time to watch nor attend
    any ceremonies like that?

  • JJ

    I agree completely with the comment above in principal,
    BUT, people love celebrities
    They pay attention to them and celebrities have a HUGE amount of power and ability to spread information and actually cause change.
    (Proof number one? We read this website!)
    If Will Ferrell, one of the most recognized actors in the US right now, stands up and says “I am doing this because I think it’s important” then there are a lot of people nowhere near the ‘ceremony’ who might pick up the news from the media and think, “wow, I like Will Ferrell, and I think he’s cool, so I’m going to read about what he’s doing”
    Maybe it might even make an impression?
    And that is a good place for change to start.

  • yoshiko

    I’m sorry, but when I see this website,
    any celebrities aren’t my interests at all.
    Today we face the most difficult issue in our history.
    If you let some people watch the celebrities, will all of them want to learn about the enviromental problems more?
    We should study and discuss it seriously.
    We no longer need self-satisfaction nor self-righteousness.
    If someone wants to donate for saving our planet, I think that is very good.
    However should they want any tributes or ceremonies for it?
    Our individual behaviors caused today’s problems.
    I think it is so strange that the celebrities play leading roles for discussing our problems even now.

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  • yoshiko

    If you are painters, and want to protect your natures, draw beautiful pictures, like Constable or Corot.
    If you are composers, and love your lands so much, compose great works, like Beethoven or Sibelius.
    If you are in movie world, and consider your environments, make films that inspire the people, instead of attending ceremonies or chatting with politicians.
    I believe this is what the artists should do.

  • badMike

    Will Ferrell inspires me whenever he does a naked scene in a movie — and he always does a naked scene. Maybe he should show up at the ceremony naked.

    Seriously: Considering I never heard of this program before and have just now because somebody wanted to write about Will Ferrel and it got picked up at another site I read, so I came here. Then: Mission accomplished. And that’s fine.

  • yoshiko

    Do you care for Will Farrell?
    I don’t care what he did.
    I never saw his movies!!
    Why don’t you talk about the environmental issue? This site is about it. The celebrities are parts of it.
    Do you know the U.S. is the worst country on the environmental problem?
    They can’t reduce the discharging carbon dioxide.
    When I see they use the celebrities, I feel that they cheat me.
    I’d like them to open how much they will pay for the ceremony like this.
    I suppose that they might use the money of City, because of Mayor’s attending.
    At this time there are a lot of people who are almost losing thier houses, or have lost already.
    I think the donation is good. Please donate more to the poor people.
    However I think that nobody needs any ceremonies nor tributes.
    If they want to mention about today’s issues, they will claim on the websites or TV shows.
    I thoght that Edward Norton was the cleverest in Hollywood.
    Is he only pedantic?

  • michael


    Thank you for your comments. I understand where you’re coming from, but you have to understand that just because you do not find celebrities interesting, does not mean the rest of the world feels the same way.

    Take a look at the grocery aisle and tell me what magazines you see and you’ll get where I’m coming from.

    Celebrities, whether we like it or not, do have a large impact on news and focus.

    This ceremony isn’t so much a glorifying of Will Ferrell as it is an opportunity to thank him for his kind donation (which was most likely very large for a system of this size) and to bring attention to projects regarding clean energy that can help assist those financially challenged and make a difference.

    By holding this grand opening event, Edward Norton and BP can help promote their foundation and increase publicity of their worthy organization. Simply staying quiet about the whole thing might be considered noble — but for those foundations that depend heavily on outside participation and donations — it simply is not feasible.

  • yoshiko

    I am very surprised that someone replied me personally.
    I don’t think anybody should refer to writers’ personarlity.
    I don’t expect to know where Michael is coming from, but I guess who he or she is.
    I felt she wanted to protect the organization, and she didn’t want me to write more. Do I have a right that I can leave my opinion on website freely?
    I don’t think I am only person who dislikes the celebrities arrogance.
    They spend a lot of money for their luxurios lifes. If they want to buy people’s respects to them, I won’t support.
    The most important thing is that the most of celebrities are the amateurs about the environmental issues.
    Even Edward Norton is one of them, though I know him very well, and he has huge knowledge of that issues.
    I guess Micheal knows the details of the above ceremoniy. They have to accept the various opinions, if they are opposite to them.
    Eventually Edward Norton causes my feeling.
    I don’t hope that he and his colleagues want only the tributes.

  • Jason Jones

    I think, Yoshiko, your being a moron. This actor, who is looked up to by millions, made a donation that millions will see and hear about. It will have the simple effect of throwing more support to the environmental cause. This is good. Do you not like actors? Do you think we should have TV programs constantly debating and educating the masses? That’s fine, many people want that. But, despite how grave a situation we both know this is and therefore know equally that quick and substantial change in needed, change is going to only happen in baby steps like this. Again, this is a good thing overall. Quit whining-

  • Yosshiko

    Frankly I write, I suffer from calling “MORON”.
    I want him to apologize me.
    Why did he attack me, if I dislike his favorite
    Is that just his idea? Or all of organization
    don’t accept the opponent?
    Are they waiting for my surrender about this
    I showed this site to many friends and
    acquaintqnces. Nobody agreeded with the
    celebrities activities. I guarantee they aren’t
    morons, and some of them are interested in the
    environmental issues. It is an illusion that
    all of people love the celebrities.
    My suggestion is that poor people can’t
    discharge carbon dioxide so much.
    Actual problem was caused by the rich people
    like Hollywood Stars.
    I won’t support their self-congratulated and
    self-indulgent events.
    I think it is dangerous to persist one way.
    If the organization considers something, I’d
    like them to quit that way.
    I don’t want my children to be educated by
    the arrogant celebrities.

  • Jason Jones

    No. You see, I care about the environment too. I wont apologize for calling you a moron because a moron is “a person lacking in good judgement.” If you care about the environment, why are you attacking this success and triumph. You don’t like publicity and think all humans should be humble, fine, think that, that isn’t why I’m calling you a moron. I’m calling you a moron because you are slowing the movement you say you care about. A celebrity does a charitable thing, and then people see activists complaining about how they went about doing it, not seeing the greater good. That is poor judgement and ergo moronic.

  • yoshiko

    I waitad for his honest apology, but he just excused himself.
    It didn’t disappointed me, but I expected it.
    I know a lot of people like him.
    I guess that he has an education but is too young to admit his mistake.
    In his mind I am a nit-picker. Surely he wants to defeat me hastily.
    May I think that he is unfair?
    Whose success did he mention?
    It is required by only the celebrities and the organizations.
    The earth doesn’t need any victories of human being. we belong to our environment, but the nature doesn’t belong to us.
    I think that anybody won’t an expert of the environment if they pay a lot of money.
    I don’t like the way that someone entertains the people and let them focus on his idea. He also gives them a strong confedence that they persist without questions.
    I wonder how many people will be inspired by such a celemony actually.
    Kindly one of my friends reccomended me to read Rechal Carson’s writings if I was interested in the ecology.
    Also I know what the Mayor of London introduced a new rule, and what The Governor of Tokyo has a plan for the environment.
    We should learn from the various things and are enlighted by many theories.
    Eventually this ceremony will take place.
    I am disappoimted because my personal belief was that Edward Norton was more sensible and more humbler.

  • yoshiko

    I read some articles about the environmental issues, but not one on this site.
    I found an interesting posting that was written by a professor of Tokyo Univ.
    In it he claimed that it was doubtful about the capability of the solar panels for carbon diet. It means that the energy that is made by the panels can’t compensate for the discharging of carbon dioxide by the companies that produce the panels.
    This isn’t my idea, but will they attack me again?
    If they are afraid of arguments, they shouldn’t post any articles.
    I’d like them to show how much did the reduce carbon dioxide by their activities concretly.
    I understand the young people like participation, and they eager to change the world.
    They will be pleased if someone said they are efficient. they want respects and successes. It is good to enthuse the youth. However I’d like them to have tolerance and gentleness more than other things.
    Can they work without any praises? Will helping the people provide only pleasures?
    One writer remarked that I didn’t like the celebrities. I think they don’t them neither. They seem to want to win their success.
    They aren’t similar to “The Knight Foundation”. “The Knight Rider” always helped the people secretly.
    When they use the youth I’d like them to have responsibilities.
    I am still suffering from what a man said. Also my family is.
    If they have the right judgment, why did they want to destroy their opponents?

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