Ian Somerhalder may play a blood-thirsty vampire on TV, but in real life he would never hurt a fly. Or any other living being, for that matter. As founder of The Ian Somerhalder Foundation (ISF) and our 2011 Green Game Changer, the HuffPost blogger is an outspoken advocate for the environment, conservation, and making the world a better place. Watch the above interview to hear him speak out against animal abuse, and read on to learn more about his passion for Planet Earth.
Your foundation is incredible. What inspired you to start it?
Honestly, the BP oil spill. That’s it. That feeling of total helplessness. I went down there immediately and realized that ... what I was seeing on the news and what I heard was going on down there were two totally different things. I said, you know what? I don’t like that, I want to go check this out.
I realized that's exactly what was happening. What we were seeing was not really what was going on, and the situation was a lot worse. And that angered me. I felt this feeling, like most people, this feeling of helplessness. I don’t ever want anyone to feel that helpless again. Not myself, not my family, not my children, not your family, not anyone. And that’s what ISF was born out of -- a feeling of complete helplessness and the desire and need to positively impact, warn and activate people, so that’s what we’re doing.
What about your partnership with Cree?
Here’s the really cool thing about what they’re doing: They are a massive LED manufacturer... and on a commercial side, they're going to revolutionize the consumer market for light bulbs. They use the saying, which is kind of awesome, “the coolest invention since the light bulb.” And you know what? It is, man! It uses 84 percent less energy, and Thomas Edison always said something to the effect of, “do it more or do it better.” I mean, it gives a 10 year warrantee on a light bulb! 25,000 hours! It’s amazing what they’ve accomplished, so that’s why I’m really excited about this partnership. I really believe in these guys and I’m very fortunate.
I have an LED company called “Go Green Mobile Power,” and we’re literally greening the oil industry. We've built stuff for the Department of Homeland Security, and we’ll be doing it for the Department of Defense. We're really moving into the world of LED, and Cree actually builds our lights for us. It’s a really phenomenal, full-circle partnership between Cree, me and some of the projects that I’ve been working on. I’m really thankful to these guys.
The cool thing is that they made it look like the regular incandescents we’re normally used to buying. So not only do you have the same form, but the light is the same as well. Usually, you have two types of light. You have the very expensive lighting, which is the good lighting, and then you have affordable lighting, but it’s poor quality. This cuts both of those in half, so now you have incredible lighting that is very warm, very beautiful, and uses 84 percent less energy.
What’s really cool is we had the lights on yesterday, we were taking some pictures and I had my hand on this 60 watt bulb that had been on for an hour, and there was no heat! This is major game-changing technology. It’s the real deal.