Nothing rouses a person's eco-conscience like becoming a parent. Realizing that your daily decisions will impact future living conditions is a big pill to swallow and can be the impetus for moms and dads to do right by mother Earth.
And, while average Joes and Jills don't usually have a lot in common with their glitterati counterparts, when it comes to looking out for our kids, it turns out we all possess the same "mama bear" instincts.
The award-winning parenting magazine Wondertime asked me to quiz green giants about what families can do to help save this planet of ours. The resulting article in the upcoming April issue, on sale March 25, boasts poignant yet pragmatic quotes from an eclectic group. As a special treat to TheGreenCarpet: Hollywood (TGC:H) readers, I'm happy to share these exclusive outtakes for your green-edification.
"Try using compact fluorescent bulbs and energy-saving thermostats. Install double pane windows (when building new or remodeling) and get energy efficient appliances (when purchasing new ones)." -Ed Begley, Jr. , whose book Living Like Ed is currently available on his website and at Barnes and Noble.
"JFK said, 'a journey of thousand miles must begin with a single step.' I think the most important thing you can do is drive a hybrid or energy efficient car. It will benefit the earth in every way -- not just because of the air, but because of using less oil --I think oil is the root of all evil.
"Equal to that is to plant a tree. The tree is the engine of environmental change for our cities." -David Zucker, director of Scary Movie 3 and 4, producer/creator of Airplane, Naked Gun and more, who has been a Tree People board member since 1990.
"I think the best thing you can do as a parent is to lead by example and to be consistent, especially when kids are really young. By nature, kids are born being more connected to the environment. They're on the ground; they're seeing things from that perspective.
"I have an 8-year-old son; becoming a mother was one of the biggest wake-up calls for me to change. Every day I find one more small, simple thing to do and I include my son in the process. We recycle, compost, and turn off the water when we brush our teeth, take short showers, and only flush the toilet when we need to. When we take our dog for a walk, we bring biodegradable poop bags.
"My son is always trying to find new creative ways to recycle. One day he brought me a Viking figure I'd brought him from Iceland and asked if it could be recycled, pointing out the wood and plastic parts.
"His teacher says that his environmental interests cross over into his science and social studies classes; that because of it, he has a better understanding of the connection to how the roots talk to the trees -- and how everything we do affects the planet." -Elizabeth Rogers, co-author of The Green Book: The Everyday Guide to Saving the Planet One Simple Step at a Time (Random House), who also recommends healthychild.org for families seeking green information.
"Turn off the TV, go for a hike, move to a smaller house, get solar power, don't poison your kids, pets and yourself by using toxic cleaning products -- choose biodegradable, non-toxic ones, plant an organic garden and shop at your local farmers' market -- it's fun for the whole family." -Daryl Hannah, one of the most dedicated green celebrities, who tours the country speaking about eco issues and lives completely off the grid on an organic farm in the Rocky Mountains.
David de Rothschild
"There's a native Indian proverb that says we don't inherit the Earth, we borrow it from our children. Children have a boundless enthusiasm, energy, and optimism for tackling issues and finding solutions. We want to catch them before they lose their curiosity about the natural world. But in protecting our children, we've also made it very hard for them to go out and experience nature." -David de Rothschild, named 2007 Emerging Explorer in National Geographic. The British banking heir founded Adventure Ecology, where his mission is to combine education with his environmental treks around the world.
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