From Issue 3
You just launched The One Movement, which makes reusable products and connects them with powerful eco-projects around the world. Can you tell me how that started and what your mission is?
The real start was my intention to make an impact in the entertainment industry as an actor and start reducing plastic waste on sets. From being an internal activist on the film sets I was working on, I learned very quickly that in order to get people to make a change, you have to make it easier for them — especially if people aren’t as concerned about what you’re concerned about. After seeing that reflect into the big wide world and not just in one industry, the goal then became to make impact more simple. How can someone do something very simple, like purchase a water bottle, and make an impact on an issue that they’re just now learning about?
What does that look like today?
Today, we’re a water bottle company with one impact and one story, and our goal is to build a hundred houses out of single-use plastic out of low density, polyethylene. As we branch out, we’ll find more causes and more stories that are not just environmentally focused, but socially focused on some of the injustices that we see around the world.
I love that. And in research on the work that you do with The One Movement and seeing how you also focus on the intersection of social justice issues — how did you bring that intersection together? How did you end up deciding to focus on building houses out of plastic materials?
Every time there is an environmental issue, there is also a social issue in some capacity. There seems to be some kind of synergy between these two and generally. Things that are good for the planet are often better for people. We went in search of this but didn’t know what it was gonna be, we just knew that helping people was gonna be a part of this. We found this company who said they could make panels out of single-use plastic and they wanted to go build houses with them and said “that’s the story”.
I know that storytelling is very important to you and your work. Why is storytelling important and how does that play a role in activism?
Relatability is everything. I do think that the emotion of life is a thing that separates us from everything else. Knowledge is only so valuable, and wisdom is the thing that really makes it make sense. I believe that wisdom is where knowledge and emotion kind of intersect. Without that, we might as well be stats and numbers. I think humanizing everything is really important. We remember things in stories, so they are one of the best things that we have in life. Why not use stories for good?
Definitely. It’s so much easier to connect with people through your heart. However, in talking with you, it seems you have a lot going on. How do you balance everything and how do you prevent burnout?
If you had asked me this question 15 months ago, I hit a full burn out and I couldn’t do anything. It was a disaster because I couldn’t get myself together. How do I find the time? I’ve become obsessed with the things that I’m doing. And gratitude. I have a lot of gratitude for the responsibilities that I feel have been bestowed. I always say that I’ve been blessed with a burden that I care about all of these things so much, and I get to serve them. It’s a pleasure.
Does climate anxiety factor into that burden?
I think my relationship with death has actually helped my climate anxiety. It seems as though my relationship with death has helped me be okay with the end of the world. I never wanna feel powerless. And I think doing also stops you from feeling powerless. You have to be precious with your time. Find a reason to bloody live, just find a reason to live. And the truth is it’s all about the journey. That’s where it’s really at. You’re walking a path and the best place that you can be — and the best place that I’ve ever been — is when I feel grateful to be walking on the path even knowing how far away I am from the milestones I’d like to reach.
I think that’s something that we can all relate to. How can people best support the mission of the One Movement?
I would like to say buy a bottle, but that doesn’t quite feel right. But you could absolutely buy a bottle, that helps the cause. You can also become an affiliate for The One Movement or an ambassador. We have a whole program that we launched last year. We did One Movement Change-Makers and raised money for different causes and helped young, Black activists to get their projects off the ground. We funded some really cool projects through it. We’re always open. So if someone has ideas about what they think we can be doing in the world and, and what differences we can make or ideas, you can email us.