"So we find ourselves on the brink. It’s clear humans have had a devastating impact on our planet’s ecological web of life." -Leonard DiCaprio, The 11th Hour
Out of all of the celebrities who donate their money and time to help out, Leonardo DiCaprio must be towards the top of the list. Yes he's a certified dreamboat. And yes he's an incredible, actor commanding the screen with one strong performance after another. But to me his strongest role isn't as an actor, but as himself. His passion and dedication to the environment proves that there's so much more to him than being a Hollywood heavyweight.
He established his own foundation (appropriately named the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation) in 1998 to build awareness around important environmental issues. And the foundation isn't just his in name. He tirelessly travels the country promoting a green lifestyle and giving speeches on how and why it's not too late to save the planet. In addition to heading his own foundation, he's also currently on the boards of both the Natural Resources Defense Council and Global Green USA. Environment Now even presented him with the prestigious Martin Litton Environmental Warrior Award in 2001.
Leo doesn't just talk the talk, but he also practices what he preaches. He drives a hybrid, flies commercial instead of wasting fuel on private jets (like many A-list actors) and has solar panels in his house. And most recently he's taken his passion to the big screen, co-writing, producing and narrating a globally-conscience feature length film, The 11th Hour. It's a frank, startling film about why our planet is in an environmental crisis, what the impact will be and how we can take steps to literally change the world. The film was out in theaters this summer and I encourage you to rent it when it comes out on DVD.
On his foundation's eco-site, www.leonardodicaprio.org, you can watch a trailer of The 11th Hour, see what's happening across the country with the Environmental Calendar, click on links to dozens of green organizations, watch two short films created by DiCaprio and learn about everything from global warming to biodiversity. One of his main goals is to alert his generation to change. Taking environmental action, he believes, shouldn't be left to leaders and politicians. Every individual should take part, as much as possible, in preserving Earth's future.