Leonardo DiCaprio, who now stands at 43 years old and is most known for his role as Titanic’s Jack Dawson, has a cachet of around $25 million per film followed and a successful career as a producer. With his own financial backing and storytelling powers, DiCaprio is now able to devote himself even more strongly to ecology activism, a passion that was truly first ignited with his 1998 meeting regarding global warming with then American Vice-President Al Gore.
Some of his most striking deeds include buying an island on the coast of Belize — Blackadore Caye — to save its mangroves from deforestation, joining the board of several environmental organizations (such as the World Wildlife Fund), and launching the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation when he was only 24, to promote dozens of pro-wildlife causes. For example, the foundation raised $38 million through a Christie’s auction featuring artwork donated by Banksy, $40 million through a charity gala in St. Tropez, and another $20M were donated, spread across a hundred organizations around the world. Overall, DiCaprio’s foundation proudly backs 35 global conservation projects aiming at protecting fragile ecosystems and key species. Individually, he has also directly contributed to the conservation efforts of tigers in Nepal with his $1M donation to WWF, and to saving elephants from ivory trade in Thailand by a joint WWF donation and petition. His actions respectively resulted in the WWF doubling its goal of protected wild tigers and for Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shingawatra to have pledged to end ivory trade.
Beyond the foundation, DiCaprio has als partnered with decentralized solar energy company Kingo, who focused on providing off-the-grid communities with sustainable energy services and eliminating energy poverty.
The activist has also distinguished himself by tirelessly raising awareness about many environmental battles in addition to his charity and financial donations. In 2007, DiCaprio also wrote and produced the eco-friendly documentary The Eleventh Hour. He has also recently put together a new documentary, summing up all of his latest environmental efforts. Before The Flood – Point Of No Return is the result of three years of work dedicated to raising awareness about global warming. Filmed in collaboration with National Geographic and with himself as the sole protagonist, he travels the world to understand and report on what is happening, what causes warming, the effects on Earth, and what we can concretely do to save the planet
The actor-producer also does smaller, everyday acts of sustainability; he was among the first Hollywood stars to drive a Toyota Prius hybrid — and go to the Oscars in it — and he bought his New York apartment in a sustainable high-rise.
Leonardo DiCaprio’s efforts and activism are inspiring, they show us a great example of using one’s power and resources to advance sustainability efforts, tailored to one’s own talent and passions.