Ian Somerhalder is lending his voice to something that can’t speak for itself: nature. The Vampire Diaries star has joined Conservation International’s Nature Is Speaking environmental awareness campaign, where celebrities like Somerhalder, Penélope Cruz, Julia Roberts, and Harrison Ford narrate short films as natural resources. "Nature’s talking to us," Somerhalder explains to InStyle. "Things are a little out of balance. Our lifestyles aren’t working very well. Our survival literally depends on us stopping, shutting up, listening to what nature’s telling us and do something about it."
So what exactly can we do to help save the coral reefs, forests, rain forests, and more? The actor believes it's all about conscious consumerism. "We have the ability to vote every day with our dollar. An empowered consumer basis only buys from corporations that are actually taking a step forward, putting their best foot forward and protecting the environment that we live in," Somerhalder says. "Buying from organizations and companies that protect our environment and build sustainability into their business practices as a corporate mandate will literally change the world."
Although he dresses up as a vampire for work, Somerhalder will spend this Halloween with his girlfriend Nikki Reed and their pets in nature, instead of in costume. "I think this Halloween we are going to take off and go out to the woods and just have a quiet time. I have a lot of animals that I just want to get out of the city, and just go and hang," he shares of their low-key plans. "I’ve spent better part of 20 years volleying back and forth between New York, Los Angeles, and New Orleans, so this year I’m just excited to just hang out with my girl and my animals."
While the couple has already adopted a kitten and horse together, Somerhalder reveals he definitely wants a family of his own one day, too. "Absolutely, beyond the scope of comprehension but the question you ask yourself is, what kind of a world am I bringing kids into?" he says of having a family in the future.
And speaking of questions, fans have been dying to know if the rumors that one of the The Vampire Diaries stars may not return next season are true. "One day at a time. Who knows what’s happening? I have no idea about Season 7," Somerhalder says of his future on the show. One thing that is clear is that the cast is all very close. "Season 6 is kicking our asses but what’s amazing is what a well-oiled machine and a family this is. We are a family," he says.
To see Ian Somerhalder’s film, visit natureisspeaking.org and join the dialogue yourself by using the hashtag #NatureIsSpeaking.