25 Thoughts I Had While Watching 'Down To Earth With Zac Efron'

by Sa'iyda Shabazz
Originally Published: 
25 Thoughts I Had While Watching 'Down To Earth With Zac Efron'

After seeing the trailer for Zac Efron’s new discovery show on Netflix, Down to Earth, I was intrigued. I wasn’t sure what exactly they were going to do. I mean, watching Zac Efron travel the world would be enough if I’m being honest. But then there’s an opportunity to actually learn something, so it’s even better. If you’re looking for an informative watch and a little (okay, a lot) of eye candy, then you should definitely check out Down to Earth.

Zac Efron isn’t alone on Down to Earth. He’s traveling around with Darin Olien, a wellness entrepreneur. They became friends after Zac saw one of Darin’s TED Talks. Each episode focuses on going to a different city and country and learning about things like sustainability, green energy, and lifestyles that present alternatives to our current American way of life. They’re meeting with key figures and just interesting people who are really living a way of life that helps fight climate change.

The show is surprisingly informational. I wasn’t sure what to expect when it came to the subject matter, but I learned a lot. The show is giving viewers information in the way that makes it easy to understand and follow. They’re talking to experts who are knowledgeable and personable, which makes it a lot more fun to watch. Here are the thoughts I had watching Down to Earth.

  1. Zac Efron looks really good with a beard. Like, really good. I had no idea how much I would like it, but I like it a lot.
  2. Iceland is really beautiful. I wish I could afford to go on vacation there. Not that it matters, because we’re never going to be allowed to leave the house again.
  3. Wait, are they about to bake bread underground??? And boil eggs? How is this even happening right now?
  4. So like, I had no idea that this geothermal energy thing is even possible, let alone in practice somewhere.
  5. Fools gold, which is formed when they feed the CO2 back into the ground, is just as nice as regular gold and probably a lot cheaper. Why do we go bonkers over actual gold?


  1. Ooh, they’re going to a chocolatier? I do love chocolate. And the company is called Om Nom Nom, which is incredibly clever.
  2. Wow, Zac Efron is annoyingly handsome.
  3. What does burnt chocolate taste like?
  4. Zac’s going to use every topping in his chocolate and it’s not going to taste good at all.
  5. Aaand I was right. Raisins and smoked sea salt are not the best combo for chocolate. The mom in me is definitely coming out because I feel like I saw that coming from a mile away.


  1. Zac Efron in a “Viking Spa?” Yes please. He needs to be shirtless more often.
  2. That spa seems awful; freezing cold and then hot? No thanks.
  3. The portions at this sustainable restaurant are tiny! Is it my Americanness that makes me need a bigger portion? Probably.
  4. I couldn’t eat reindeer tartare. Nope, I can’t do it. Rudolph didn’t deserve to go out that way.
  5. Rutabaga ice cream? Delicious or weird? Yes.
  6. WTF is a water sommelier and how do I get that job?
  7. And has Anna Kendrick always been so annoying, or is it burnout from Trolls?
  8. Wow, Zac Efron has extremely blue eyes.
  9. Does the sparkling water in the fountain taste like La Croix? Because I would absolutely try it if it tastes like Limoncello or Hibiscus.
  10. Is it legal to have a pet monkey in the United States? Because I want one so bad.


  1. I lived in New York City for most of my life and had no idea there’s a rooftop where they keep bees.
  2. The London Eye is awesome, but I do not have the stomach for riding in a giant glass ferris wheel. Ditto that giant slide.
  3. Why is Zac Efron wearing a button down shirt while hauling trash in Puerto Rico when he should clearly be wearing a tank top?
  4. So, I wonder what fresh from the teet goat milk tastes like?
  5. How is Zac Efron 33? When did this happen?

Obviously, there’s so much more that happens in Down to Earth than just Zac Efron and his beard. It is a great beard though. Firstly, he’s a very affable host who is really engaging with the people he’s interacting with. You can tell he is genuinely interested in learning. And on more than one occasion, you see him donating money or purchasing from local businesses. Of course he’s a rich celebrity and can afford it, but it’s still great to see.

Down to Earth is more than just a celebrity traveling the world. It’s actually creating an important conversation. Climate change and ways to create a more sustainable world are ongoing conversations, and it’s good to see that people are actively making it a priority.

As much as I love Down to Earth, I do have one major criticism. In Costa Rica, Zac and Darin visit a sustainable living pod. And it’s wonderful that such a place exists. But everyone there is an expat (ex-patriot) and mostly American. So it’s like, “here’s this cool sustainable housing, but it’s run by a bunch of white hippies.” He’s going to a very culturally rich place and doing nothing but talk to white people.

The Puerto Rico episode is absolutely heartbreaking. They’re still recovering from Hurricane Maria in 2017. Zac Efron spends time with Carmen Yulin Cruz, the mayor of San Juan. Many remember her from her expert handling of the United States’ mishandling of Hurricane Maria. You see them visiting members of the community together. Cruz is the kind of leader we need more of — she actually cares about the people she works for and wants better for them. It’s fucking infuriating that almost three years after Maria, barely anything has changed.

And in London, they explain that air pollutant PM 2.5 kills nearly 10k Londoners a year. Air pollution has a dangerous effect on our health. Air pollutants like PM 2.5 are a leading cause for chronic health issues like asthma, which can also have negative effects on pregnancy, including prematurity and stillbirth. While things are certainly better, there’s still so much to do. But it seems that they’re on the right track.

Watching Down to Earth makes one thing abundantly clear: The United States is woefully behind when it comes to creating a more sustainable way of living. Not enough people are really taking climate change seriously, and it’s clear that others are.

If you need something inspiring and entertaining — and let’s face it, a little bit of eye candy to boot — this is the series for you.

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