When Adrian Grenier decided he wanted to leave Hollywood behind to live closer to nature, Austin was an easy choice.
The Entourage alum, who was familiar with the Texas city from visits to its annual South by Southwest festival, tells PEOPLE, “I really liked the down home vibe. Very cosmopolitan, yet no frills, no posturing.”
While Grenier had been an active environmentalist for years, the ranch inspired him to rededicate himself to focusing on his own habits and impact.
“I wanted to really take the next step in my environmental journey and get very close to nature and how I can be a greater steward every day in practice as a lifestyle, not just as an idea,” he says.
Sustainability is “just a more enjoyable life experience,” according to the New York City native.
“You sleep better, you’re more grounded, you have a sense of wellbeing. It’s good for mental health, it’s good for skill building, resilience and all of that, I think it allows you to make more informed, wiser choices when it comes to how you live, how you treat others, and in particular, how you treat the environment,” he adds.
Grenier and Roemmele began storing seeds and wood cuttings for plantings and rainwater for irrigation. The obvious next step, he says, was to store energy.
Grenier worked with the solar energy company Sunrun to power the ranch using solar panels and home batteries that provide power during outages.
“Out of all the renewable energy sources, I love solar because it’s so personal,” he says. “I like the autonomy and the independence and the resilience that it allows for a customer. Instead of being at the mercy of a grid that could crash, could go down, power outages, a tree falls in a storm and suddenly you’re without power, you can have your own power source so you’re not beholden to that centralized system.”
The couple’s other eco-friendly efforts include growing much of their own food, using regenerative practices to replenish the soil, and creating a wildlife sanctuary.
Grenier says they now have bobcats, wild boar, fish, egrets, hawks, vultures, ducks, llamas, donkeys, goats, and chickens on their 46-acre property.