Rethinking Everything to Rebuilding a Sustainable World


[Original Photography: Sam Fu]

Adrian Grenier is an actor, a United Nations Environment Goodwill Ambassador, Co-Founder of, and Co-Founder of The Lonely Whale Foundation that launched the award-winning, viral #stopsucking campaign (that also recently got huge festivals like Coachella to stop using plastic straws). 

With his production company, Adrian is also continuing to use his creative talents to shed light on key social and environmental issues in order to inspire deeper thinking and meaningful change. In this episode, Adrian shares his greatest struggles as an environmentalist; what he learned from the entertainment industry that supports his work in sustainability; why it's time to literally question everything we've been taking for granted; and more. Let's dive in.

This is a conversation on Green Dreamer Podcast with Kaméa Chayne, a show exploring environmental and intersectional sustainability from ideas to life. Subscribe to Green Dreamer on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, or any podcast app and let’s learn what it takes to thrive in every sense of the word!


[02:10] How Adrian came to be so passionate about protecting nature. 

[02:45] Adrian: "I loved the idea that the Native Americans could empathize and understand the needs and wants of not only animals, but plants, the forest, and how everything works in harmony with itself." 

[03:40] Adrian's greatest struggle as an environmentalist. 

[04:20] Adrian: "It's a way of living - changing the way you look at stuff, your relationship to convenience, your relationship to the enjoyment of things in your life." 

[05:00] Adrian: "Don't overdo it. Don't become so extreme of an environmentalist that we lose you to stress... and you become apathetic." 

[05:35] Adrian: "Let go of the ego... There's this narcissism within the sustainability movement." 

[06:45] Adrian: "Life is precious and if it is precious, you need to really smell the roses, the goodness. There's a lot of good in the world… a lot of positivity.

[07:15] Adrian: "This may shock people, but I'm not trying to save the planet." 

[08:40] Kaméa: "What's something you learned from the entertainment industry that supports your work in environmentalism?" 

[09:20] Adrian: "I learned to laugh. I learned let go. I learned to be less serious... which really helped me soften and find more levity in my life." 

[10:15] Adrian: "I try to have an enriched media diet, where I'm engaged with stories that have something to inspire in me." 

[11:35] Adrian: "We've created conditions where people have to work really hard just to make ends meet." 

[14:50] Adrian: "The problem is we don't have the ability to communicate effectively, come together, unite, and operate as one voice.

[15:20] Adrian: "While focusing on one thing, don't forget to take the time out to consider everything else." 

[15:55] Adrian: "I think the whole 'American Dream' thing is a sham."

[18:20] Kaméa: "Can you share one of your ideas on how we can accelerate towards a sustainable planet?" [19:00] Adrian: "We need environmental DNA in everything we do." 

[20:55] Adrian: "We started building a society on false hopes and dreams… a destructive seduction. And we need to be unafraid to rebuild." 

[21:10] Adrian: "We're not going to see anything change unless we dare to look at everything differently."

Keep in Touch

Adrian Grenier

The Lonely Whale Foundation

For a Strawless Ocean

Final Tips

To follow: @vanjones68

Words of inspiration: "All of life is an act of holding on and letting go." 

Self-care action: Being a "halfatarian" - eating vegetarian meals on even dates of the month. 

Green action: Download the For a Strawless Ocean Toolkit, get one restaurant to sign up, and report back to The Lonely Whale team. 

Element of hope: "The world is waking up in many ways. There's never been more global awareness."


Two Takeaways