There are so many actors out there today that have “big personalities” both on and off screen. It’s sometimes difficult for me to separate the two. I may like the characters they play, but then I see how they are in normal life, and am often shocked or disappointed. There are certain actors out there (no names here…) that I refuse to watch in a movie or show because I dislike how they are personally, or how they choose to represent themselves in the world. In some cases, luckily, it’s quite the opposite. Leonardo DiCaprio has always been one of my favorites. He’s shown just how talented he is in every film he’s been in, and he chooses meaningful and wonderful roles I enjoy. But he’s done more than just act. He’s also taken action outside of entertainment to give back, and give back in a big way.
Whether you’re a fan of Leo DiCaprio or not, you have to give him a thumbs up with regards to his tireless efforts to help our planet. I know a lot of celebrities get flack for their own personal lifestyles. Some try to send a message about one thing, and their personal behavior says something else. We can’t all be perfect, and although I do happen to be a fan of Mr. DiCaprio’s film work, I’m an even bigger fan of his charitable foundation.
In 1998, Leonardo DiCaprio established his foundation with the mission of protecting the world’s last wild places. The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (LDF) implements solutions that help restore balance to threatened ecosystems, ensuring the long-term health and well-being of all Earth’s inhabitants, all causes that fit perfectly with my own beliefs. Since its inception, LDF has worked on some of the most pressing environmental issues of our day.
Through grant-making, public campaigns and media initiatives, LDF brings attention and needed funding to six program areas — Wildlands Conservation, Oceans Conservation, Climate Change, Indigenous Rights, Transforming California, and Innovative Solutions.. Several successful fundraising events have enabled LDF to “scale up their grant-making strategy, driving support for vitally important projects around the globe.”
For his tireless work over the last two decades, Leonardo was given the designation United Nations Messenger of Peace for Climate Change, and also received the 2014 Clinton Global Citizen Award, both speaking volumes to is passion for the fight against global warming. Leonardo also serves on the board of several environmental organizations; World Wildlife Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, National Geographic’s Pristine Seas, Oceans 5, and the International Fund for Animal Welfare.
Now lets discuss the urgency of what is going on with our planet through the eyes of LDF. Not only are we all dealing with climate change, but our biodiversity, the variety of life in the world or in any particular habitat or ecosystem, is seeing significant affects. This, in turn, wreaks havoc on human and animal health and well being. That means OUR well being. According to LDF, “Since 1970, we have lost one-third of the world’s wildlands, and in that time 50% of all vertebrate land animals have vanished. One-third of the world’s coral reefs, the ‘nurseries’ of the ocean, have died and another third are expected to perish by 2030.” That is some major impact on the world that is difficult to ignore.
I’m passionate about The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation because their sole reason for existence is to protect the world around us. There are no politics involved, no executives making a fortune from donations. Leonardo has taken his fame, and money that has come from it, and built an organization that simply wants to help, and find real ways to protect all of us. When I think of what I would do if I had money, or influence, this is exactly my agenda. I’m proud to be a fan of Mr. DiCaprio, but even more proud it’s not just because he’s a good actor.
For more facts and figures, and how you can help, go to The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, and pledge to do your part to bring awareness to our world crisis. Without a healthy planet, we will all be lost.
The sea, the great unifier, is man’s only hope. Now, as never before, the old phrase has a literal meaning: we are all in the same boat. ~Jacques Yves Cousteau