‘down to earth’: the power of sustainable living


art by stella skinner

Sustainability is the hottest topic in the fashion industry. Discussions surrounding sustainability usually involve talk of fast fashion, textile waste and the true cost of manufacturing clothing. It is important to understand these topics because they are aspects of the fashion industry that are negatively affecting our planet, but there’s so much more on this topic of sustainability and how we can start creating positive effects on our earth and environment.


Surprisingly, someone who is interested in learning and teaching sustainable living is one of our favorite childhood heart-throbs, Zac Efron.


In 2020 Efron debuted a docu series called “Down to Earth with Zac Efron” which premiered on Netflix. The series follows Efron and his co-host Darin Olien as they explore different countries and what makes them stand out when it comes to sustainable lifestyles.


In an episode in season one of the series, Efron explains how when he was younger and in the prime of his acting career he saw himself on the cover of magazines and in paparazzi photos and felt a sense of wrongness. He could feel something wasn’t right in his life because he didn’t feel that he contributed anything to society just by starring in movies and TV shows.


“I want to stand for something in life, and that desire to make a difference is why I ended up here,” Efron said in the show.


Throughout the series, Efron and Olien visit places like France to learn about their tap water system, Costa Rica to learn about a small eco-village and their commitment to a small environmental footprint and Iceland to learn about renewable energy.


The second season is solely based in Australia because it was filmed during the pandemic and they could not travel to different parts of the world due to lockdowns. Efron and Olien decided to work with their circumstances and explore the Down Under.


They visited and learned about notorious landmarks like the Great Barrier Reef and the Torres Strait Islands, while also learning from indigenous tribes about their land and how to conserve it. There is even a whole episode about the waste we create on our planet where they meet different types of people who are trying to reduce their waste. They met with business owners all the way to someone who created a 100% zero waste house.


This series is quite different from many other educational TV shows because it isn’t hosted by experts. Efron is an acclaimed actor and Olien studied physical wellness in college. These  hosts are just people who want to learn and share those learnings with others, so our world can be a better place. Because they aren’t experts, this gives people an example that anyone can live sustainably and improve their lifestyle to help our earth.


One episode named “Aboriginal Voices” is unique in the way that it is mainly hosted by Aboriginal people rather than Efron himself. In this episode, he hands off the microphone to different Aboriginal people they’ve met in Australia so they can communicate and educate the viewers on how they keep their indigenous culture alive and preserve their land by sharing their culture with others like Efron and Olien and using resources from their land, but always giving back to it. Although this is Efron’s show, no one can teach these topics better than indigenous people themselves because they have first-hand experience. By doing this, Efron and Olien showed their willingness to learn and respect Aboriginal people and their culture.


The show presents ways to live sustainably from a global perspective, but also describes ways that anyone can contribute without moving across the world or changing their whole diet. Implementing small things into your lifestyle like buying a reusable water bottle instead of wasting plastic water bottles can be a step towards living sustainably. Minimizing your carbon footprint in ways like turning off lights when you aren’t in the room and walking when you can instead of driving. Being open to learning about our planet, ecosystem and the people trying to conserve it can help us understand the importance of living sustainably.


Even though many people and places featured throughout this show are creating a huge impact on our planet, you can still create an impact by changing small parts of your lifestyle to live more sustainably.

Watch the Down to Earth trailer here:

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Hi! I’m Catie Pusateri, A Magazine’s editor-in-chief. My staff and I are committed to bringing you the most important and entertaining news from the realms of fashion, beauty and culture. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate to A Magazine.