Leonardo DiCaprio is one of the best actors of his generation. He has worked with top directors (Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg). His personal life finds its way to the gossip columns. But Leonardo DiCaprio is also an environmentalist and he has dedicated his life for the protection of our planet.
In his Instagram account, he rarely promotes films. Usually, he speaks about things he finds important, such as climate change.
He has played iconic roles (such as Jack Dawson in Titanic and Hugh Glass in The Revenant, a role that gave him the Oscar). And he has also given resources, time and energy to protect the Earth.
So, let’s see what the actor has done in order to help the environment.
He founded the LDF
Just over 23 and after the success of The Titanic, Leonardo DiCaprio decided to start a foundation that would deal with environmental problems. It became the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (LDF).
LDF deals with a lot of environmental issues, but most importantly with ocean preservation, global warming and wildlife conservation. As the Foundation states on its website, it is dedicated “to the protection and well-being of all Earth’s inhabitants”.
It supports projects around the world “that build climate resiliency, protect vulnerable wildlife, and restore balance to threatened ecosystems and communities”.
Over the last two decades, LDF has given over 80 million dollars to more than 200 environmentalist projects in 50 countries and five oceans. The Foundation makes partnerships with local projects and works also on a global level through partnerships with big organizations (like WWF and Oceana).
He helps protecting endangered species
One of the main goals of LDF is protecting endangered species. In 2010 the Foundation donated 1 million dollars to a Nepalese conservation project, in order to preserve the country’s wild tiger population. The LDF also funds projects to protect the Black Rhino in Tanzania, the lowland gorilla in Central Africa and the snow leopard in Central Asia.
Leonardo DiCaprio and his foundation campaign to stop the trade of animal products, such as ivory.
One very specific goal of the LDF is preserving the oceans. He has also made a film about it, called Sea of Shadows.
His voice matters
The actor is very passionate about protecting the planet and he does everything he can in order to help this cause. Unlike other actors, Leonardo DiCaprio is a true activist.
He has met with politicians and public figures and he has discussed climate change (like Ban Ki-Moon). This issue is so important to him that he decided to dedicate his Oscar-winning speech to it. “Climate change is real, it is happening right now, it is the most urgent threat facing our entire species, and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating,” DiCaprio said after receiving the Best Actor Oscar for the movie The Revenant.
The actor presented his documentary Before the Flood at the BFI festival a few years ago. There he said: “Climate change is happening and it is happening now. The situation becomes worse. Time is up”.
He uses social media
As we mentioned before, Leonardo DiCaprio is using Instagram to talk about what he finds important.
People respect and admire him and he has the ability to influence many of them, according to environmental activists.
His posts are about endangered species, local communities, and global policies. He has more than 30 million followers on Instagram and that gives him the opportunity to reach a large audience.
He makes films about the environment
DiCaprio makes films for a living, but he also makes films about issues that concern him. He has worked on two short documentaries that are available on YouTube (Water Planet, Global Warming).
He was, also, executive producer on feature-length documentaries Conspiracy and Sea of Shadows. Another project of his was Before the Flood, a documentary that came out before the election of Trump.
The documentary -produced and narrated by the actor- talked about how politicians (like Trump) do not recognize global warming and how that can harm the environment. Before the Flood was one of the most watched documentaries and received 60 million views in three months.
DiCaprio narrated the documentary The 11th Hour, as well.
Most likely, the actor will continue his fight against climate change personally or through his foundation. His actions influence a lot of people, especially a younger generation that campaigns for protecting the environment.