Actor Abhay Deol On Sustainable Actions And Travel Stories

The Hindi actor spoke to Outlook Traveller in 2019 about reducing his ecological impact on the planet and the launch of a campaign that celebrates planet-friendly initiatives
Abhay Deol on a Blive electric cycle
Abhay Deol on a Blive electric cycleFlickr: Blive E-bike

On World Environment Day in 2019, Hindi actor Abhay Deol launched Humans of Planet Earth (H.O.P.E.), a campaign to celebrate and support the people adopting and advocating for planet-friendly initiatives. The campaign was part of Goan start-up Blive, a travel and technology platform offering experiential tours powered by electric bikes.

Outlook Traveller sat down for a brief chat with Deol on the changes he has made in his own life that help the planet, his favourite destination and what's on his bucket list.

Actor Abhay Deol
Actor Abhay DeolCopyright: TJ Ramini

Can you start by sharing why you chose to be a part of H.O.P.E.?

As inhabitants of this planet, all of us are its only hope. It's up to us to do something to combat climate change in every way we can. If adding my voice to a green initiative and becoming a responsible H.O.P.E. [ambassador] can help people realise the importance of sustainability, then I believe it's the best use of that voice.

We are running out of time and that's why everyone must focus on what they can do. You do your bit, I shall do mine. It's our choices today that shape our tomorrow when it comes to our environment.

What do you have to say about this new initiative?

I did not realise the impact of my everyday actions until recently, after which, I took measures to go green. So, I can relate to the people who may not be so aware or [are] looking for examples they can follow to do their bit. I'm still learning [and] there's still much more I can do [and] so many ways I can practice sustainability.

H.O.P.E. puts stories of eco-warriors, whether they are individuals, organisations or companies, in the spotlight to inspire others. I also see a younger generation that is willing to give this cause top priority. In the end, we all may have different ways to go green but if our common goal is the same, then an initiative like this can help us to learn more from each other's efforts.

Deol with Blive co-founder and CEO Samarth Kholkar (centre) and co-founder and COO Sandeep Mukherjee (right)
Deol with Blive co-founder and CEO Samarth Kholkar (centre) and co-founder and COO Sandeep Mukherjee (right)Flickr: Blive E-bike

What are some of your own eco-friendly endeavours?

Well, as part of my profession I've always had to maintain [physical] fitness and good health. But it took me a while to realise that if our environment is an unhealthy one, it affects us and prevents us from being healthy. I built a home in Goa with considerable thought given to aesthetics, etc., but slowly it occurred to me that I hadn't considered the impact of climate change. So, I started to look for ways in which I could reduce the carbon footprint [of] my home.

I already have rainwater harvesting on site. I am going to install solar panels, compost my wet dirt, recycle the dry, plant vegetables, and now I am installing a natural filtration pool. Even when I'm outside my house on set or on location, I carry glass bottles filled with clean filtered water instead of buying plastic bottles. I don't use plastic to carry or store anything. I don't invest in companies that pollute and look to support those that are using environment-friendly green technologies.

Now onto some travel questions. What's your favourite destination?

I like big cities: New York City for the energy of the place and, of course, Broadway; Los Angeles for the lifestyle and weather; Paris for the architecture; and Barcelona for the partying. As a country, I really enjoy visiting Spain.

Madrid, Spain
Madrid, SpainFlickr: Alexei Malutin

What's your craziest holiday experience?

I jumped off a plane once.

Tell us about an unusual travel meal.

I'm not very adventurous when it comes to exotic foods unless they are vegetarian, which wouldn't be considered adventurous.

Aurora borealis glowing over Quebec in Canada
Aurora borealis glowing over Quebec in CanadaWikimedia Commons: Carl Young

What is your souvenir of choice?

Anything but a virus. Sometimes I steal ashtrays from hotel lobbies, just because.

What's on your bucket list?

Bali for the vibe and beaches, Argentina for the culture, Peru for Machu Picchu, and northern Canada to see the aurora borealis.

Related Stories

No stories found.
Outlook Traveller