Leonardo DiCaprio is best known for his acting repertoire, but it’s his off-screen work that may leave the most lasting mark on the earth.
For years, DiCaprio has been on the forefront of the environmental movement, often appearing in documentaries and even starting the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, which is “dedicated to the long-term health and well-being of the Earth’s inhabitants.”
And while DiCaprio has long been celebrated for his conservation work, there is one area where he is criticized more than any other: his use of private planes to attend environmental galas.
In his 2016 Oscar acceptance speech, DiCaprio said:
"Climate change is real, it is happening right now. It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species, and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating. We need to support leaders around the world who do not speak for the big polluters, but who speak for all of humanity, for the indigenous people of the world, for the billions and billions of underprivileged people out there who would be most affected by this."
However, as the Daily Mail noted, the actor/environmentalist also flew from Los Angeles to New York City six times in six weeks on a private plane in 2014, racking up some serious carbon miles, making him one of those “big polluters” he mentioned in his speech. As Forbes calculated, if DiCaprio took commercial flights for all of his travels in 2014, he’d be responsible for 44 tons of carbon dioxide emissions, or more than twice the yearly amount of the average American citizen.
But now, to offset his carbon footprint – and perhaps to offset some of the criticism he’s endured – DiCaprio says he will fly commercial to his foundation’s fourth annual awards gala in St. Tropez. There, he will also dine on a sustainably sourced pescatarian meal, according to W Magazine.
DiCaprio, however, isn’t alone in taking the blame for Carbon emissions. As New York Magazine recently reminded us, “every round-trip ticket on flights from New York to London... costs the Arctic three more square meters of ice.”
To learn more about how to do your part, check out Travel + Leisure’s guide to responsible travel.