Born and raised in Louisiana, actor Ian Somerhalder took the 2010 Gulf Oil spill as a call to action. A few months after the disaster, the Vampire Diaries star started a foundation that aims to make the world a healthier, more equitable place for everyone.
“If I could leverage entertainment value and use social media to create quantifiable global change, I have done my job here on this planet,” Somerhalder, a friend of mindbodygreen who attended our most recent Supper Series, told us recently. The Ian Somerhalder Foundation (ISF) mobilizes communities around campaigns that seek to do everything from boost pollinator populations to reduce single-use plastic waste. Lately, Somerhalder has had his sights set on energy use, and he’s teamed up with Energy Upgrade California to help get the word out about easy ways people can cut back on their energy footprint at home.
“You don’t need to make drastic changes in your life; it’s about small behavioral changes and patterns,” he says, going on to explain how household-level action can add up to sweeping change. “When you save energy, you cut down on air pollution—which then encourages people to get outside more, drives down the health care cost of pollution-related illnesses, and drives innovation.” Here are three quick, simple changes he recommends starting with:
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