The Tony-winning show's creator and his wife Vanessa Nadal, a scientist and attorney, have launched the contest to combat climate change in partnership with the Natural Resources Defense Council. Here, they talk about their decision to focus on the environment, why we should pay more attention to our scientists, and how the couple hopes to change the world for their son Sebastian's future.
What led you to partner with the Natural Resources Defense Council?
Vanessa Nadal: They employ lawyers and scientists who work together to advocate for laws and policies that will protect our environment. The NRDC has an inherently deeper understanding of the issues because their lawyers get their facts straight from the scientists who study them. Since I have both law and science degrees, I find that important and impressive.
You’re running a worldwide fund-raising sweepstakes to benefit the NRDC: The grand prize includes two tickets to the London opening of Hamilton on December 21. Why did you want this contest to be international?
Lin-Manuel Miranda: This is a global issue. And Hamilton has fans all over the world. We worked hard to open up the sweepstakes and democratize it. The biggest donation doesn’t automatically win; if you want to give $1,000, that’s great, but you can also enter with smaller amounts, like $10 or $20. I love that. This way, more people from all over get the chance to participate and do good.
WATCH: The Ladies of Hamilton Talk Style
What’s the message about climate change you’re looking to spread?
VN: Natural disasters—like the hurricanes that devastated Puerto Rico and other parts of the Caribbean—exacerbate existing social inequities in vulnerable, marginalized communities. We hope these donations from our international community can help build a more just and secure future for everyone.
What inspired you to take on this cause?
LMM: Some people, in politics especially, are hostile to the idea that climate change even exists. We’re all humans on this planet. And Vanessa and I have a child who will inherit this world. Everyone with a soul has a stake in this because climate change is happening, accelerating, and affecting us all.
What have you been able to teach your son, Sebastian, so far about the environment?
LMM: He knows that food goes in the compost, plastic bottles go in the recycling, and garbage goes in the "bin"—our son spent some formative time in London, so he says "bin" instead of "garbage," which we think is utterly charming.
What can we all do to protect the earth for future generations?
LMM: In addition to being conscientious citizens and supporting organizations like the NRDC, I’d like to see us continue to put policies in place that allow our planet to thrive. And we should listen to our scientists.
VN: Ha! Yes. Everyone should listen to me—well ... at least my husband should.
Donate to the NRDC at prizeo.com/hamilton from November 13 to December 6 for a chance to win prizes including tickets to attend Hamilton’s London opening with Miranda and Nadal. Donors will also earn rewards, such as the fan-favorite “Hamiltome."
For more stories like this, pick up the December issue of InStyle, available on newsstands and for digital download now.