Putting big city lights in the rear view and trading it for the quiet farm life has changed “Vampire Diaries” alum Ian Somerhalder’s perspective on life. Moving to a farm outside of Los Angeles with wife Nikki Reed and their daughter Bodhi Soleil, 5, has helped the couple further implement more sustainable living.
Somerhalder, 43, recently talked to People at Shiseido’s annual beach cleanup on behalf of their Blue Project in Huntington Beach, California about what the move has done for his life and family. “[It’s been] magic. It’s really the way it’s always supposed to have been. I think now you’re seeing a lot of people who were working in corporate offices, and you can see it now from a societal standpoint,” he said. “People are having a really hard time getting back to work. People have realized that their time and the value of their time and the value proposition of time has shifted a bit. Be more engaged, be outdoors more, spend more time with one another.”
Somerhalder, who said he doesn’t “plan on being on screen for a long time,” told People what he’s learned in the last few years. “I think what the pandemic sort of did was show us that moments matter. Birthdays matter. Holidays matter. These small little granular moments with one another really matter,” he explained. “And that is why Nikki and I find that rural or even urban/rural lifestyle – which I think a lot of people are getting into, whether it’s permaculture, building food forests – we’re past the point of just thinking that we’re going to step all this by not using plastic straws and driving electric cars.”
The “Twilight” actress, 34, spoke to People in May about her experience during the pandemic and what changed for her. “It was a turning point for me. I made a conscious choice to give my child the most normal life possible,” she said. “It felt like a relief, moving out of the city. I promise that if anybody wants a feeling of ease, of peace, of calm, the answer is nature.”
The family lives on a farm “very far outside the city” where they grow vegetables and herbs and raise animals. Reed explained how this kind of living has changed her mental health. “Nature is the best form of therapy. And it’s instant – you don’t have to spend six months in nature before you feel it,” she explained. “Go on a hike and release endorphins. Look at a tress instead of the blue light on your phone. All of our souls need a dose of that kind of medicine.”
In a recent Instagram post about the beach cleanup, Somerhalder talked about why awareness isn’t enough. “Wow. What a day. I’m excited to be here today in Huntington Beach at the VANS US Open of Surfing competition with #ShiseidoBlue Project for their second-annual beach clean-up, led by @wildcoastcostaconsalvaje – a non-profit environmental organization that conserves coastal and marine ecosystems and wildlife. This was not just about driving awareness this was about action. And I am so grateful to be a part of this,” he wrote in a post. “Shiseido Blue Project is a global initiative that launched in 2019 in collaboration with @wslpure, World Surf League’s environmental arm, committed to inspiring, educating and empowering ocean protection.”
Somerhalder helped clean up the beach with the team at the Shiseido Blue Project event and talked about his passion for ocean preservation. “The idea is that it’s not just about driving awareness. Awareness is great, but awareness is nothing without action. That’s the big thing, and I think that’s what people sort of miss,” he said. “What I love about this is there’s an actionable component, which is getting on the beach, people seeing this being clean, and driving home the fact that there’s seven and a half billion of us here. So if we each do one little thing, we do our part, the world changes.”