Adrian Grenier: What Sustainability Means to Me

Actor, Producer, Director, and Musician, Adrian Grenier has become a champion for the environment through the Lonely Whale Foundation, which he co-founded in 2015. Lonely Whale  is dedicated to bringing people closer to the world’s ocean through education and awareness, and aims to inspire empathy for marine life and action for ocean health. Lonely Whale Foundation was also behind Strawless September and the #stopsucking campaign which was so successful that it drove the entire city of Seattle to go plastic strawless!


Most recently, Adrian has been involved with International Harvest (which was founded by his mom), the leading one stop source for all certified organic dried foods, nuts, trail mixes, granolas and other special super foods. He serves as a social good advocate on behalf of Dell with whom he spearheaded creation of the first commercially viable and operational supply chain to slow the amount of marine degradation caused by plastic pollution. Adrian also serves as a UN Environment Programme Goodwill Ambassador and shares with Seek Minimal what sustainability means to him.

photo: Adrian Grenier

photo: Adrian Grenier

You've been a champion for the environment through ‘The Lonely Whale Foundation’. Where did the inspiration for this initiative come from?

I'm inspired because I believe in human ingenuity and our ability to manifest the world that we envision. The industrial revolution brought us squarely into modernity and solved a lot of challenges that humans faced, but at the same time brought with it environmental destruction and many unintended consequences. I enjoy modernity, and yet when I look out and see plastic catastrophe in the ocean and in my backyard I know that there is much to be improved upon. I, like my industrious fore parents want to work for a world better than it is today. All that humans are capable of must now be applied to these new challenges that we brought upon ourselves. I believe we are in a bright moment, an industrial evolution, bringing our intellect in line with our EQ and emotional intelligence to build a better society where we can build industries of the future that are more improved than old dirty business and create jobs and wealth as well as caring for our environmental health.

‘The Lonely Whale Foundation’ was behind ‘Strawless September’ and the #stopsucking campaign, can you tell us more about your next big initiative with plastic water bottles?

We are so proud to say that within the year #stopsucking will have seen the elimination of an estimated 15 Billion plastic straws from the waste-stream...and still going! Proof that little changes add up to big ones, and now it's time to take the next small step and ask people to think about how they hydrate? Chances are they use single-use-plastic-water-bottles at least sometimes - contributing to the 50 billion plastic bottles sold every minute!!!! All those bottles end up in landfills and the environment. Make the pledge to use alternatives, or which there are many - reusable bottle, recyclable aluminum, cup your hand under a babbling brook - and #hydrateLike you give a damn.

Your mom started ‘International Harvest’, which you've been incredibly involved in, is this where your passion for the environment stemmed from?

Yes, my mom taught me to care about the environment and that starts with the environment of the body. I am so thankful because she gave me the gift of health - all the super foods and snacks that my mom fed me growing up are what she offers at International Harvest.

Being perfect is an easy excuse to give up. But I say, let yourself be imperfect and make small incremental changes as a way of daily life.

What can you tell us about International Harvest's exciting partnership with LOOP?

The one area that has troubled my mom is finding alternatives to plastic for her products - but the reality is that these options just didn't exist until recently. My mom asked me to come in and help solve that problem and we are excited that we have joined LOOP in offering a durable-reusable package through their circular delivery system of consumer goods. It really is where all the lessons that my mom taught me have converged...healthy food and sustainability; it feels like everything is coming home finally.

photo: International Harvest

photo: International Harvest

It's not always easy to commit to living a sustainable lifestyle; purchasing ethical-only clothing, wearing non-toxic beauty products, or eating organic foods. What efforts do you try to make in your everyday life to live a sustainable lifestyle?

Being perfect is an easy excuse to give up. But I say, let yourself be imperfect and make small incremental changes as a way of daily life. Every journey is one step in front of the other...#stopsucking and now #hydrateLike are just steps, and you can discover your own too. Contemplating what is possible and finding your own solutions are also steps. Sometimes you don't have to do anything in particular, just making a quiet choice for future action is a step.

What does sustainability mean to you?

It means recognizing that you are powerful and that what you do has a real effect on the world, nature, people and animals. It means that you can change your life and the world for the better, if you choose to do so ...