Shailene Woodley is on a mission to help save the planet.
The actress speaks to Shape about trying to protect the oceans, telling the magazine how she wants to do everything she possibly can to “make things feel a little better.”
She explains, “I was raised by two psychologists, so empathy was a big deal in our household. Everything was about trying to understand everyone else’s experience. Not necessarily agreeing with it, but having empathy for whatever they were going through. From there, I looked at nature and the natural world the same way.”
Woodley says of her emotional connection to saving the ocean: “I don’t want to save the ocean because my mind says it’s the right thing to do. I want to save the ocean because I can feel that she’s suffering. I can feel that turtle drowning from the plastic in its belly.
“I can feel the temperatures rising on the algae that is killing other species. For me, everything is based in feeling and emotion. I’m a progressive, and I want to change the world – I feel a responsibility to try to do everything I possibly can to make things feel a little better.”
Woodley shares of now working with Karün, a collection of sunglasses made from recycled fishing nets and metals, to create change: “Those microplastics — there’s no way we will ever clean them up.”
Adding, “No matter how many eyeglasses we make. No matter how many other material goods we create using them. What we can change is consuming that plastic in the first place. I’m always much more focused on the human side of the environmentalist mission, because until we address that, nothing will happen.”
The star goes on to say of getting sustainability to stick: “So much of what people are doing today is fighting against, and standing against, something. That’s important obviously because it helps educate us and helps awareness. But what I’m really interested in is: What if we completely take ourselves out of the narrative of ‘I’m against oil and gas, and I’m against these things,’ and just start building new systems and new foundations that are in alignment with all the things we want to create. I believe that offers more inspiration and easier, quicker access to the change we all seek.”
She also talks about creating a healthy headspace: “One thing I really prioritize is sleep, and it has changed my life genuinely. Another is focusing on how I can nurture and help my self-talk.
“When I notice negative self-talk happening, how I can sit with it and be friends with it instead of constantly feeling I’m in this rat race of not good enough, not this enough. Becoming a witness to it instead of a victim to it has also dramatically improved my health.”
Woodley then speaks about her now-fiancé Aaron Rodgers and how the pandemic affected their relationship.
She shares, “Starting a relationship where you immediately move in with someone — because it’s a pandemic and you can’t just get on a plane and go back and forth on weekends — taught us a lot about each other very quickly.
“We jumped in headfirst and got some of the sticky bits out of the way early.”
“I was by myself with my dog and didn’t see anyone for three months,” she continues of lockdown. “It forced me to be still and quiet.”
Read the full interview in the new issue of Shape, on sale June 11.