Actor, singer-musician and environmental activist Aidan Gallagher, 14, is the youngest ever UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador – and he’s making sure to use his voice to help change the world.
Best known for his starring role as Nicky on Nickelodeon’s Emmy-winning comedy “Nicky, Ricky, Dicky and Dawn” – airing Fridays at 6 p.m. ET/PT on YTV – and now his new role in the upcoming Netflix series “The Umbrella Academy”, Gallagher is hoping to use his celebrity status and huge social following to help save the world’s oceans by raising awareness surrounding critical environmental issues.
ET Canada spoke with the actor about what he hopes he can achieve as a UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador, especially in the age of social media.
“To be able to share environmental messages through them, as an environmentalist, that’s the ultimate goal because of how much change you can affect there,” he said. “It means your message and your goal is going to be achieved much faster on your own.”
“Because of social media today, we’re able to spread messages much more effectively and gain a lot more information than we would on our own,” he added.
Gallagher said that during this year’s World Environment Day, on Tuesday, June 5, 2018, his goal is to speak up about plastic pollution and what it takes to beat it.
“The main problem with plastic pollution today is focused on single-use plastics,” Gallagher explained. “We have 300 million tons of plastic that are being produced each year. That’s roughly the weight of the human population of 7.5 billion people. It’s a huge problem.”
The 14-year-old said that people can help defeat plastic pollution by using reusable alternatives, such as water bottles, utensils, a straw or to simply drink without a straw.
Along with being the youngest ever UN Goodwill Environment Ambassador, the young actor is taking on a new role in Netflix’s highly-anticipated series “The Umbrella Academy”, which is loosely based around two graphic novels written by Gabriel Ba and Gerard Way.
“We are almost done with our first season,” he said. “It’s about a dysfunctional family of superheroes, and I play a boy who travels back from the future, through time to save the world from an impending apocalypse.”
The show is also shooting in the heart of Canada, in Toronto, and Gallagher said he is loving his temporary home while filming.
“Toronto’s a beautiful place, we have a park right by our house,” Gallagher said. “We love to go for walks on the weekend.”