A Salute to Eco-Friendly TV Characters

Let’s celebrate Earth Day with some of our favorite TV characters who love the planet with every fiber of their being. In honor of this year’s very special green holiday, on Monday, April 22, I thought it’d be fun to explore fictional TV characters that embrace vegetarianism, clean energy, recycling and many other planet-friendly causes.


1. Captain Planet

Captain Planet

He is the eco-friendly character of all eco-friendly characters. Captain Planet is the man. Even the “Captain Planet and the Planeteers” theme song brags about his greenness, “Captain Planet, he’s our hero. Gonna take pollution down to zero. He's our powers magnified. And he's fighting on the planet side.” Talk about a catchy theme song. Each week, fans could look forward to Captain Planet and his gang of Earth loving kids fighting the evil Eco-Villains who brought nothing but toxicity to Earth. Thankfully, Captain Planet and the Planeteers were there to save the day and educate others about the importance of taking care of our planet.


2. Temperance Brennan

Temperance Brennan from Bones

She may have a lack of social skills, but forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel) on “Bones” isn’t afraid to say what’s on her mind. This definitely comes in handy regarding her environmental stance. Temperance is a practicing vegetarian for health reasons, and from time to time speaks out on behalf of environmental issues. Ironically, in real life Deschanel herself is a vegan and animal rights activist. She has also fought for animal-themed episodes to be created like the one about tiger smuggling and chicken factory farming.  


3. Christopher Ewing

Christopher Ewing from Dallas

Not only is Christopher Ewing (Jesse Metcalfe) nice to look at, he’s also a promoter of clean energy and alternative fuel on TNT’s reboot of “Dallas.” It hasn’t been the easiest ride for Christopher's methane extraction process. The Ewing family is known for drilling oil, but Christopher has gone above and beyond to prove the successfulness of alternatives. He hasn’t had the best of luck this season, but hopefully if the show gets picked up for a third season we will get to see Christopher showcase more of his green qualities.


4. Jessie Spano

Jessie Spano on Saved by the Bell

If there’s one outspoken character on this list it’s “Saved by the Bell’s” Jessie Spano (Elizabeth Berkley). One of her biggest liberal activist moments was in the memorable episode titled “Pipe Dreams” showcasing the dangers of oil drilling. Jessie chained herself to an oil derrick protesting the drilling. At first, most of her friends weren’t against it, but after the drilling caused a terrible oil spill killing animals - like Zack’s (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) duck, Becky - the Bayside High gang hopped on the protest bandwagon and voiced their concerns over anti-environmental movements.


5. Monroe

Monroe on Grimm

Who doesn’t adore Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) on NBC’s “Grimm”? He’s the more humane wesen and best friends with Nick (David Giuntoli) aka a Grimm who kills wesen. Well, Nick has nothing to worry about, because not only is Monroe a tame Blutbad, but he is also vegan. Yes, vegan in the sense that he does not feed on animals, humans or other wesen. Also, he survives off of a plant-based diet. A few weeks ago he made quinoa blueberry pancakes with spinach basil and walnut puree maple syrup. Yum!


6. Sean Tolkey

Sean Tolkey on The Big C

Sean Tolkey (John Benjamin Hickey) on “The Big C” is a very unique environmentalist. His eccentric qualities shine through his love for the planet. First, as a homeless man he eats out of garbage cans and doesn’t let food go to waste. He also isn't afraid to shout from the rooftops his love for the planet. Sean likes to stand outside supercenters and protest their wasteful and harmful practices.


7. Topanga Matthews

Topangoa Matthews from Boy Meets World

“Boy Meets World” fans first fell in love with Topanga Matthews nee Lawrence (Danielle Fishel) as the hippie who eventually captured Cory’s heart (Ben Savage). Her love for the planet also never went unrecognized. Remember when she worked with Cory on a project about the ozone layer? She busted out some performance art and a poem that included the following lines, “Sun. The Only. The One. Doughnut in the sky. Space. Big gaping place.” It goes on. Check out the full poem here. Even though her earth loving ways only appeared in a few seasons, here’s hoping we’ll get to see more of Topanga’s eco-friendly nature on “Girl Meets World.”


8. Lisa Simpson

Lisa Simpson on The Simpsons

Lisa Simpson from “The Simpsons” is one, among many, TV characters who eliminated meat from her diet after learning about the harmful treatment of animals. Unlike her dad, Homer, who loves burgers and beer, she refused to digest any meat in Season 7. Thanks to a chat with vegetarian/convenience store owner Apu and vegetarian/former Beatle Paul McCartney, Lisa realized the importance of saying goodbye to meat. She even stood up to her own father about his eating habits and Mr. Burns’ use of sea animals to create mud and cement.


9. Phoebe Buffay

Phoebe Buffay on Friends

Phoebe Buffay (Lisa Kudrow) speaks animal-friendly. She is widely known to the “Friends” crowd for her avid love of animals and vegetarian lifestyle. But, that’s not her only environmental aspect. For example, during one Christmas episode she was not too happy with Joey (Matt LeBlanc) selling Christmas trees. She even freaks out when one tree ends up in the wood chipper. Phoebe tries to persuade customers to take home the “homelier” trees that aren’t given any love. As a surprise and in honor of Phoebe, Joey and the others bring home all the less-loved trees and save them from the wood chipper. What a great group of friends


10. Sara Sidle

Sara Sidle on CSI

Lastly, we have Sara Sidle (Jorja Fox) from “CSI.” She is another one on the list who transformed to a meat-free lifestyle after witnessing animal abuse. After she stumbled upon a dead pig, she said sayonara to meat. As she told Grissom (William Petersen), “I’m a vegetarian. Everyone here knows I’m a vegetarian. I haven’t eaten meat since we stayed up that night with that dead pig. It pains me to see ground beef. Forget about cleaning it up.” It says a lot about someone who works gruesome murders, but refuses to eat animals. Like Deschanel, Fox is also a vegetarian in real life like her character.


Now, go celebrate Earth Day like your favorite eco-friendly TV characters!