by Kristie Bertucci Photography by Miguel Starcevich, Creative Direction by Darius Baptist, Hair by Shaul Shaya, Grooming by Denika Bedrossian
With his California-based collective Maroon 5, singer Adam Levine has sold millions of records over the past decade. But aside from filling iPods with romance-inspired tunes, the sex symbol is doing his part to save the planet with eco-minded ventures.
He’s ruggedly handsome, immensely talented and sincerely cares about the planet. Maroon 5’s front man Adam Levine isn’t only about the fame and fortune – he’s about using his success for the greater good. Earlier this year, he stripped down bare (with only the hand of his Victoria’s Secret girlfriend, Anne Vyalitsyna, covering the goods) for Cosmopolitan UK’s February issue on behalf of the Everyman charity, which raises awareness and funds for men who battle prostate and testicular cancer.
While it provided many across the globe some delicious eye candy, the 32-year-old singer is a natural philanthropist. But Levine isn’t the only one trying to do this world some good. In fact, all the M5 guys are involved in various environmental-related organizations, including Kiva, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Reverb and the Environmental Media Association.
“I think I have a very interesting and weird view [on environmental issues] because the earth is going to be fine; it’s human beings that need to be worried,” says Levine with a slight laugh. “The earth has withstood incredible damage before and will replenish itself in whatever way it sees fit. I just think it would be nice if we were more considerate so we can stick around longer to be on this beautiful earth.”
In Levine’s eyes, we should all be worried for ourselves, and he’s doing his part to wake up those who will listen. “I like Earth,” he continues. “Hopefully, it’ll stick around for a long time. Our brains have evolved to these levels where we have thoughts and intuition that most creatures don’t have, and didn’t have before. And wouldn’t it be nice to use it for a positive thing?”
Levine and his bandmates have tried to do just that. In the past, the L.A. natives have held a celebrity auction for Haiti and blogged about environmental issues on their main site (which they continue to do). And while they have rallied for a variety of good causes, Levine holds one especially close.
“Out of all our environmental projects, Reverb is what I love to talk about most because it’s this amazing organization that helps bands and artists on tour live more efficiently,” he confesses. Deeply rooted within the music and environmental communities, Reverb educates and engages musicians and their fans to take action toward a more sustainable future. Maroon 5 has been an active band for the organization since the early ‘00s and is known for always fueling their buses with gallons of biodiesel, reducing the carbon footprint of their tours and offsetting hundreds of thousands of pounds of carbon dioxide.
Because they believe in what Reverb represents, they became founding members of the Green Music Group, a Reverb coalition that includes other artists and bands like Linkin Park, The Roots, Sheryl Crow and Paramore.
“It’s basically a new coalition of musicians, industry leaders and fans working to inspire widespread environmental action,” he explains.
An issue very near and dear to the band is energy use. In the past, the band has teamed up with non-profit organizations like Vote Solar to give a positive and persuasive voice to personal energy reduction, as well as promote the use and development of alternative energy sources. And as the band currently tours Europe and Australia for 2010’s Hands All Over, the group makes sure they aren’t shirking their environmental duties.
“There’s so much waste that goes into touring, it’s kind of a shame,” Levine asserts. “As far as energy, recycling and everything being biodegradable, we’re just trying to be as conscience as we can about little things that add up when you are a touring act that goes all over the country – and over the world, for that matter. You see all these beer cans and trash everywhere at concerts, that it’s disgusting. There are napkins and shit everywhere you look. So it’s kind of cool, it’s amazing actually, that this organization does this. It’s just a great thing to be a part of and there’s no reason that everybody on tour shouldn’t be doing this already. Everybody is capable of this. It seems like an easy thing to think about, but most artists don’t, and we do.”
Steering the conversation to his next favorite organization, Kiva, Adam explains that this association encourages individuals to lend to an entrepreneur across the globe to help minimize poverty. In the summer of 2007, Maroon 5 threw an awareness party and fundraiser for Kiva and has since promoted the organization and its cause at various functions. Other celebrity supporters include President Bill Clinton and Entourage’s Adrian Grenier and Kevin Connolly.