The star of the hit series “The Vampire Diaries,” Ian Somerhalder, is also a great defender of the environment.
A native of Louisiana, Ian Somerhalder witnessed the disastrous 2010 Gulf oil spill. “Watching the small part of Earth I call home succumb to wide-scale, man-made devastation, inspired me to use my voice for immediate worldwide change.” Willing to take action to save the environment, Ian Somerhalder established the Ian Somerhalder’s Foundation (ISF) in December 2010 in order to put his notoriety to work at the service of the environment. The ISF’s mission is to “create awareness about environmental issues, raise funds and mobilize people to take action.”
Appalled by the extent of the 2010 environmental disaster that destroyed the Gulf’s ecosystem, Ian Somerhalder devoted his time to calling attention to the catastrophe. The 2010 CNN Telethon, in which he actively participated, raised $1.8 million in disaster aid.
According to the Mother Nature Network (MNN), the organization is today “involved in campaigns across the globe that focus on everything from pollution to animal cruelty.”
Ian Somerhalder was profoundly moved by a 2007 Estonian initiative called “Let’s Do It.” The project was essentially a gathering of 50,000 volunteers who came together to clean up the country in one day. In a single day, 10,000 tons of trash was collected. This revolutionary project would have cost the government 22 million euros and taken 3 years to accomplish.
Following that lead, Ian Somerhalder launched the “Let’s Get Dirty Campaign” in 2012. The goal was to bring together more than 2,000 schools in a state-wide clean-up effort. On August 21 2012, the state of California was effectively ‘cleaned up’ by thousands of people. The project brought together schools, nonprofit organizations and individuals, illustrating the extent to which individual commitment to the planet can impact a course of action.
“It was awesome” he reports.
– Lauren Yeh