He's known as an international heart-throb and star of the hit HBO series Entourage, but off-screen Adrian Grenier devotes his energy to eco-friendly living. The actor has produced environmental docu-series, championed green technology and in 2009 co-founded SHFT - a lifestyle platform exploring how we can live cleanly through film, design, art and food - and recently starred in action crime-thriller Marauders. He sat down with SUITCASE to discuss his passion for protecting the environment and the future of sustainability.
What sparked your environmental activism?
There's a quote I love by Albert Pine: "What we do for ourselves dies with us; what we do for others and the world remains and is immortal." I'm looking to find happiness through giving back. It's that simple.
What does sustainability mean to you?
Sustainability means that what we do today will leave the world a better place for the next generation. Therefore our systems, the way we do business, how we consume and the way we exploit our resources must keep the future in mind.
Which specific causes are closest to your heart and why have you chosen to back them?
I've been focusing a lot on the oceans. They are so vast, complex and out of our immediate sight, they often get ignored. But oceans are the most important piece of the environmental equation.
Who, in your opinion, are the real innovators in the world of sustainability?
I am a Dell's Social Good Advocate and I'm really excited about what they're doing to create and support circular economies, increase efficiencies in their product and stop electronic waste entering the environment. I'm impressed with how committed [chief executive] Michael Dell is to genuine change, and how much positive influence he can have on the world.
Why do you think some companies shy away from being environmentally conscious?
It's not easy to do the right thing, because our capitalist system is designed to create the wrong incentives. Companies are not rewarded for supporting environmental initiatives. It often either costs them money or puts them at a disadvantage when competing against companies who aren't restrained ecologically. I'm very sensitive to how tough it can be to survive as a business, which is hard enough, and yet also try to do the right thing.
What small steps can young people take towards being more sustainable?
Woody Allen said "80 per cent of success is showing up". There is no panacea; the answers are still out there. We need your participation, your thoughts, your ideas. Come tell us what small steps you discover. It's not easy to do the right thing, because our capitalist system is designed to create the wrong incentives
Which parts of the world make you feel most passionate about the environment?
When I go diving and am able to see and be humbled by how vast, beautiful and perfectly balanced the ocean is, it makes me feel connected and inspired to preserve, or at least not harm it.
What steps do you take to be environmentally friendly when travelling?
I would say everywhere you go is a potential opportunity to do something. For example, if you go to a beach, take some time to clean it up.
Which destinations are on your travel bucket list?
I am yet to explore Asia - I would love to go to Japan and get really into the cuisine.