Okay, it’s no secret that we are huge fans of celebrities who use their fame as a platform to raise awareness for animals and the environment. So let’s just say we were a little more than through the roof excited when Leonardo DiCaprio used the time given for his Oscar acceptance speech to talk about climate change. ….And pause for the swoon.
DiCaprio has become a huge advocate for the environment in recent years, donating millions to protect elephants and support conservation projects. Most recently, the starlet donated $15 million in grants towards environmental projects, securing the protection of 6.5 million acres of Sumatran rainforest that will help save countless orangutans and other endangered species. While these actions in and of themselves are amazing, the fact that he took the opportunity to engage the estimated 40 million viewers who tune into the Oscars every year to talk about the future of the planet … now, that’s just – well, we’ll let Leo explain this one:
In his speech, Leo said, “Climate change is real, and it’s happening right now. It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species, and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating … Let’s not take this planet for granted.” He is certainly correct in this statement as there is now currently more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than there has been for the past 800,000 years, and according to NASA, the world has gotten three degrees warmer within the last hundred years. All of this extra heat is melting the glaciers at the astounding rate of 8.8 million acres per year. We’ve lost around 52 percent of the world’s wildlife in the last 40 years alone. We cannot afford to take this planet and the many species who call it home for granted any longer.
Afterward, DiCaprio explained this sense of urgency to reporters stating, “I feel there is a ticking clock out there. There’s a sense of urgency that we all must do something proactive about this issue … If you do not believe in climate change, you do not believe in modern science or empirical truths and you will be on the wrong side of history.”
The good news is there are many things that we can do to be proactive in our everyday lives. While there are many small things we can do, like choosing to walk over driving and shutting off the lights whenever we leave a room, one of the largest positive actions we can take starts on our plates. Did you know that you can halve your carbon footprint by simply leaving meat and dairy off the menu?
If you’re looking to follow Leo’s advice and start acting for the planet right now, you can start by joining One Green Planet’s #EatForThePlanet movement.