Review of Down to Earth with Zac Efron

Well known actor and producer, and former Disney heartthrob, Zac Efron has launched his very own Netflix docuseries titled “Down to Earth with Zac Efron” in which he and wellness expert Darin Olien travel around the world in search of healthy, sustainable ways to live. The series touches on the themes of travel, nature, green energy, sustainable living practices and water with a nice addition in the local cuisines.

The eight episode docuseries, which was released in July of 2020, took viewers to countries including Iceland, France, Costa Rica, Peru, along with the territory of Puerto Rico, the city of London and the island of Sardinia.

In the first episode, we watched as Efron and Olien traveled to learn about Iceland’s renewable energy efforts. Our first takeaway is that Iceland covers 99.9% of their electricity and heating needs with renewable energy, without the use of fossil fuels. More specifically, energy production and geothermal energy comes from the nearby hot spring and volcano. In fact, the local hot spring is used to heat up all the houses in their village.

Next up is the one and only Paris, France. Here, Efron dove deep into the city’s tap water system. It had been revealed by the deputy mayor of Paris, Célia Blauel, that the publicly owned company responsible for the public water supply and waste water collection for the city of Paris has made immense progress. The company, Eau de Paris, provides clean drinking water for the city year-round by providing more than 1,000 drinking fountains around the city. This solution not only distributes clean drinking water to all its citizens, but reduces the waste of single-use plastic water bottles. According to a 2020 study, humans “produce 300 million tons of plastic each year worldwide, half of which is for single-use items.” In better news, the Paris water movement has been so successful that more than 500 cities all around the world are beginning to adopt it.

As they made their way west of Italy to the island of Sardinia, Efron and Olien found the secret to living a longer life. Sardinia is one of five blue zones, where there are more people over the age of 80 than under 18. It is yet to be determined how these Sardinians live such long lives but possible theories include their diet of beans and vegetables and their isolated location from the rest of the world. The diet focuses on natural foods, with an abundance of fruits and vegetables. Many factors contribute to the theories of longevity such as a combination of diet, exercise and a stress-free life.

London, Costa Rica, Peru, Puerto Rico and Iquitos were the other locations Efron and Olien visited on their worldwide adventure. At these locations, the two men learn about community food systems, local growing and harvesting, green and urbanized lifestyles, the economy and survival of indigenous people, pollution, the continuing aftermath of Hurricane Maria and more.

I definitely recommend giving “Down to Earth” a watch as the show has inspired me to make better life decisions for the sake of my own health and the planet’s. The educational yet entertaining series is available now on Netflix.