Green Idol, and star-studded coast-to-coast eco-charities

For the season finales this week, American Idol is offsetting the live shows with renewable energy. LA’s Department of Water and Power improves its performance with a triple set of solar, wind, and hydro energy. Also, Idol will donate E-Village solar panels to a local school and plant greenery with LA’s Million Tree initiative. There’s a winner.

Biking activist/actor Matthew Modine connected his Bicycle For a Day org with American Forest’s “Global Releaf” campaign and TUMI’s “Go Green and Get Green” promotion. Pledging to plant 100,000 trees, the Weeds star is exhibiting his dramatic black and white photos of California’s fire-ravaged landscapes in TUMI stores and designed a limited-edition bike messenger bag with a BFAD dog tag, available through the luxe travel outfit this August. Proceeds benefit Modine's effort, American Forests, and Waterkeeper Alliance.

Ed Norton spoke with Congress last week about sustainable and eco-friendly building. Addressing the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, the actor recommended the government set up a $5 billion fund for green public housing. Norton is actively involved in BP Solar Neighbors’ retrofitting program for low-income communities to benefit from lower energy prices. The long list of celebrity sponsors includes Jim Carey, Don Cheadle, Owen Wilson, Scarlett Johansson, and Matchbox 20’s Robb Thomas.

On New York’s Pier Sixty last week, the Annual Fisherman’s Ball Benefit for Riverkeeper, the org keeping the nation’s waters clean, raised funds and awareness. Vice Chair Robert F. Kennedy Jr. spoke to a celebrity-laced crowd, including John McEnroe, Bette Midler, Larry David, Glenn Close, Susan Lucci, and Fred Schneider of the B52s. McEnroe’s wife, ‘80s rocker Patty Smyth, performed while 500 guests munched on an organic meal instead of the standard “rubber chicken” catered dinner.

In LA last week, more funds, awareness, and organic goodies flowed as Alicia Silverstone, Morgan Fairchild, Peter Horton, Dana Delany, and Sharon Lawrence attended an Environment America event. Emcee Wendie Malick introduced speakers including local politicos and EPA folks, as part of an effort among 25 states to urge the feds to start a $1-billion-a-year Global Warming Solutions Fund paid by polluters for every ton of pollution they spew. The host committee included Don Henley, Bonnie Raitt, Robert Redford, Lily Tomlin, Esai Morales, Kyra Sedgwick, and Kevin Bacon – just so you know who’s putting the green where the green counts, besides the usual beloved suspects like Ed Begley, Jr.