Avatarmania continues to grip the globe as ticket sales reach the $2.6 billion dollar mark, which is no surprise given its visual spectacle, compelling storyline and heart-tugging themes (whether you’re a rabid greenie or a dyed-in-the-wool mainstream movie enthusiast). With the film’s upcoming DVD release – which is appropriately timed to coincide with the 40th anniversary of Earth Day – James Cameron announced on March 23rd that he would work with the international non-profit Earth Day Network to plant one million native tree species in 15+ global regions in an effort to help combat climate change.
Well, we’re happy to report that the Oscar winning director appears to be a man of his word. This Sunday, he and fellow Avatar actress Sigourney Weaver planted the first of what will be many pau-brasil trees in Brazil’s Ibirapeura Park along with a number of prominent local officials. The type of tree, which is presently considered to be 99% extinct due to massive deforestation, is now taking on the symbolic role of a Phoenix that will hopefully rise up and take back its native stomping grounds with a little help from the very species that largely contributed to its demise.
Speaking about Earth Day Network’s efforts, Cameron said that their “commitment and actions to promote a healthy, sustainable planet go hand-in-hand with the themes of Avatar.” The president of the organization (which works in 190 countries) similarly feels that this partnership is a natural fit because, “Avatar sends a universal message about the danger of exploiting our natural resources and brings to the forefront of the global consciousness the need to protect our planet and humanity.” The fact that they’re following through on their promises by getting down and dirty sends a fantastic message to the world about actions being louder than words. Perhaps this will spawn a grass roots tree-planting trend among fans? Fingers and toes crossed…