Leonardo DiCaprio

Man on a mission:
7 times Leonardo DiCaprio was the ultimate eco activist

Photo: Getty Images

He’s one of Hollywood’s leading lights and an Academy Award winner, but Leonardo DiCaprio is as passionate about saving the world as he is in front of a film camera

In 2005, DiCaprio bought the island of Blackadore Caye off the coast of Belize for £1.4 million. Describing it as “Heaven on Earth”, the American actor set about developing a luxury eco-resort with sustainability at its core.

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Due to be opened in 2018, final plans for the resort have been released and the idyllic paradise will include 36 residential homes and 36 villas. The design and décor of the buildings are said to be inspired by the country’s ancient Mayan culture. Environmental protection is at the heart of the project with locally sourced materials used to build the resort. The island will also boast solar panels and an on-site waste treatment facility.

The Belize project is the latest initiative undertaken by the Titanic and Wolf of Wall Street star who is making a stand to save the planet.

Here are 6 more times when the actor turned activist:

When he started his own foundation 

In 1998, DiCaprio established the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation which is dedicated “to the long-term health and wellbeing of all Earth’s inhabitants.” The organisation has paid out almost £50 million in grants to projects which protect vulnerable wildlife, ecosystems, and communities around the world. The actor regularly holds fundraisers including gala balls.

When he appeared with Barack Obama in Before the Flood

© Youtube // National Geographic

The powerful eco-documentary Before the Flood made with National Geographic follows DiCaprio through Greenland, the Pacific islands, Sumatra, China, and other parts of the world, as he highlights the critical threat of climate change. DiCaprio hopes to influence world leaders and communities to take immediate action. The film includes footage of the actor’s visit to the White House to discuss the issue with President Obama.

When he narrated the documentary Carbon 

© Youtube // Green World Rising

In 2014, DiCaprio also lent his voice to the hard-hitting short film Carbon in which climate scientists argue that the burning of fossil fuels is causing catastrophic damage to the planet. In the documentary, he argues that a price must be put on carbon. “If national governments won’t take action, your community can,” DiCaprio says. “We can move our economy town by town, state by state to renewable energy and a sustainable future.” Carbon is the first film in a series called Green World Rising that focuses on climate change. Ironically, DiCaprio himself is not without his critics who say his jet setting lifestyle goes against what he preaches. 

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When he was named a Peace Messenger

Honored to be part of this historic first step ...

Honored to be part of this historic first step alongside Ban Ki-moon and so many world leaders. Now is the time for bold unprecedented action. Watch live: http://webtv.un.org #ParisAgreement

In 2014, the United Nations named DiCaprio as a UN Peace Messenger with special responsibility for promoting global action on climate change. At the Climate Summit of the same year, he urged world leaders to take large-scale action to save the environment, telling them: “You can make history or you will be vilified by it.” 

When he was linked to a Hollywood reboot of Captain Planet

© Youtube // CharcoalShadow

Rumours abound in Tinseltown of DiCaprio’s attempts to bring the environmentally-aware cartoon series from the 1990s to the silver screen. DiCaprio’s production company Appian Way is heavily linked to the potential project which would revive the eco superhero Captain Planet and the team of youngsters who can summon him to save the world. 

When he used his Oscar speech to urge action on climate change

He’d spent years waiting to get his hands on the golden statue having come close on so many occasions. DiCaprio finally landed the Best Actor prize in 2016 for his role in The Revenant. When he’d finished thanking his colleagues, Leo made an impassioned speech to argue that climate change is an urgent threat. “Let us not take this planet for granted,” he pleaded.

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11 2016 The Red Bulletin

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