Mediaplanet: How did you become involved in sustainability initiatives?

Adrian Grenier: My mother taught me at an early age to respect my environment. She told me to clean my room. And as I grew up, my room became my neighborhood, and eventually my neighborhood became the planet. She instilled a consciousness in me that never really left. I went through many phases in my relationship to environmentalism. At times I was fanatically concerned, and at other times I was numb to the overwhelming set of issues of climate change.

A few years ago I met a film producer, Peter Glatzer, and we created a TV show called Alter Eco for Discovery and then built a website called SHFT. There we curate a shop with the best sustainable items we’ve found and we are building an ever-growing community with multiple initiatives under one roof. It’s a very powerful platform to move people emotionally to see a better way.

"The sustainable imperative is being felt now by individuals, industries, small businesses, everyone. Our national security comes into play here as well. Energy independence, foreign policy, and our personal health also come into play."

MP: What motivates you to take action on issues related to the environment?

AG: I don’t think we have a choice but to take action on issues related to the environment. The sustainable imperative is being felt now by individuals, industries, small businesses, everyone. Our national security comes into play here as well. Energy independence, foreign policy, and our personal health also come into play. With SHFT, I’m involved with a business that has a sustainable message and is also a growing business. We recently formed SHFT Initiatives, a non-profit which will enable us to have more of an impact in areas that fall outside the scope of our business.

We’re putting together an exciting program right now bringing farm to table values to students in New york City public schools, integrating growing and cooking their own food into their curriculum. It’s pretty rewarding when you see kids who don’t know where a tomato comes from, growing, preparing and eating tomatoes of their own.

MP: Why do you think other people should get involved in promoting this message?

AG: I don’t see it so much as a message, per se. It’s more a way of life. Environmentalism as a separate category doesn’t work. We need to incorporate sustainable choices in our everyday lives. The scale really is achievable if we all make little shifts. It takes a few commitments, but it’s very doable. But we need government to step up here. There’s a reason to promote this message.