Watch CBS News

Gisele Bündchen teams up with Paul Hawken to advocate for the environment

Gisele Bündchen on the environment
Gisele Bündchen teams up with Paul Hawken for environmental advocacy 07:11

She's been hailed as one of the great beauties of the world, but retired supermodel Gisele Bündchen is now hoping to turn the world's gaze from the dazzle of the catwalk to the condition of the planet.

"I believe we are spiritual beings having a human experience. And I believe that Planet Earth is, like, you know, it's a spaceship. Let's put it that way," Bündchen told "CBS This Morning" co-host Charlie Rose. "In this spaceship, life is very fragile, in a way."

"This planet – I mean, look at it. Fruits grow on trees. You know, the Earth provide us food, rivers, all the animals, all the species. I mean, we are blessed! We are living in heaven here. I mean, come on," Bündchen added. 
Having stepped off the runway last year, Bündchen uses her global platform to advocate for the environment, exploring deforestation in the Amazon, working as a United Nations goodwill ambassador, and now addressing climate change with environmentalist Paul Hawken. She's helping promote his latest book, "Drawdown."

Environmentalist Paul Hawken (left) with former supermodel Gisele Bündchen  CBS News

"What is Drawdown?" Rose asked.
"Drawdown is the first time when greenhouse gasses peak, and go down on a year-to-year basis," Hawken said.
"When will that happen?" Rose asked.
"Well, we don't know. But the point we try to make in that book is that nobody's aiming for it," Hawken responded.

Hawken's book lists 100 solutions to reverse global warming, all based on existing science and ranked by cost and carbon impact. It inspired Bündchen to take action.
"I saw, 'Oh my God,' someone is actually addressing solutions. Someone is focusing on the solutions here, instead of focusing on the problems… like, 'How can I help? How do I sign up to help?' And that's how I – that's how I'm here," she said.

Asked why people haven't advocated for the environment more in recent years, Hawken said while "the science is impeccable," the communication of the science "has been miserable." 

"Because it has focused on threat, on gloom, and the idea somehow that we'll get people to act if we scare the pee out of them actually hasn't worked at all," Hawken said.
"I hear you talking about the fact that you gotta have a plan, and you gotta be optimistic. And you gotta understand what you can do. But at the same time, I know lots of people who are saying that unless we do something immediately, it's gonna be catastrophic," Rose said.
"And I agree. And then what I'm saying is we're acting," Hawken said. "This is in place. It is scaling. And if we continue to scale in a rigorous but reasonable way over 30 years, we can reverse global warming." 
For now, the two claim to be unfazed by the Trump administration's efforts to revive the coal industry and roll back environmental rules. Bündchen said she is concerned but called herself "an optimist."
"So I believe… that what all of this noise is doing, I feel, is bringing more awareness," Bündchen said. "And I think now people are just more kinda feeling like, you know, I have to take the matters to my own hands. Like, I have to get educated. I have to learn. I have to kind of figure out how are we gonna do this."

Listen to this episode on Stitcher

"But don't you think we should be a catalyst to try – if you disagree with government policy, try to change it?" Rose asked. Hawken and Bündchen agreed. 

"But I think the way you do that is by bringing forth the information, because I think we are all learning, right? … And live that what we believe, right? Live our convictions. Like, you know, in my situation, like, we have a plant-based diet. And we've been having it for 10 years," Bündchen said.

"And why is that?" Rose asked.
"Because we feel better. It is better for our health," Bündchen said. "And everything we put into our body has an effect on us, has an effect on our energy and how we feel."
"And your husband says, Tom Brady says, 'Unless I had this plant-based diet, I would not be the player I am and I would not be -- have the career at 39 that I do,'" Rose said.
"He's almost 40, right? … But the thing is, he said he's been feeling so much better, I have to say it's amazing. You know? The way he feels, he doesn't feel achy. He just feels so much more energy," Bündchen said.  

She influenced her family's view on the plant-based diet.

Gisele Bündchen on Tom Brady's concussions 00:42

"So he has his career to thank you," Rose said.

"No," Bündchen said. "He has to thank his commitment and his dedication to it. Because he still has to wanna do it, right? … In the beginning he was like, it was a little, you know, different for him. But now he loves it, and he wouldn't have it any other way, because he feels better."

Beyond their diets, Bündchen expressed concern for her husband's health from his activity on the field. 

"If it was up to my wife she would have me retire today," Brady told Sirius XM NFL Radio earlier this year. "She told me that last night three times and I said, 'Too bad, babe, you know, I'm having too much fun right now.'"

"As you know, it's not the most, like-- let's say 'unaggressive' sport. Right? Football, like, he had a concussion last year. I mean, he has concussions pretty much every-- I mean, we don't talk about-- but he does have concussions," Bündchen said. "And he's-- I don't really think it's a healthy thing for your body to go through, like-- you know, through that kind of aggression, like, all the time, that could not be healthy for you, right? … And I'm planning on having him be healthy and do a lot of fun things when we're, like, 100, I hope."

As for Brady's Super Bowl victory, Bündchen said it was a "very emotional" experience for them. 

"I saw the victory as something much bigger than just a victory of like a team playing another team. I thought that was an amazing message there," Bündchen said. "I was, like, 'You know what? For all the people who feel like, you know, when they're losing, like, they give up, I was, like, never give up.' Like, if you're here, if you're standing, if you're breathing, there is a way. You know? And as long as we have focus and dedication and clarity of purpose, we're gonna make it happen."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.