Whole Living Daily

Kristen Bell on Water Conservation and What's Growing in Her Garden

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Kristen Bell is known for her performances in such hits as Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Couples Retreat, and When in Rome, but in her role as brand ambassador for Neutrogena Naturals, she's taken on a new passion -- water conservation.

What have you learned about water conservation since working with Neutrogena Naturals? Through Neutrogena's partnership with the Nature Conservancy, I went to the Colorado River with Alexandra Cousteau and other experts in the field and saw firsthand how the river has been depleted. It was shocking to hear the scientists talk about how it will further deplete. But then I realized that no one was trying to be too dramatic about it and the reason is because it's solvable. There are tiny adjustments that all of us can make that collectively have a profound affect on our resources.

What do you do in your own home to help conserve water? I've made simple changes, like keeping a brick in the back of the toilet tank to use a little less water when we flush, not turning on the shower for ten minutes before I step in, keeping the tap off when I brush my teeth or do the dishes. When I made these changes, I felt the adjustment for about a week, but now it’s just commonplace -- my body does it naturally.

How does what you purchase make a difference? I believe that every dollar is a vote and you vote almost every day with what you support. Neutrogena Naturals is walking the walk -- working to reduce their emissions, using recycled materials, all those good things -- and I'm looking for companies like this that have the same values that I do.

What other eco-friendly choices are you making in your life? I think the minute you become an educated consumer, you feel like you've been given the power of choice. I thought the grocery store was the only place to get food before I realized I have local farmers' markets. By shopping there, I can not only financially support farmers that are trying to stay in business, but also help reduce emissions because I'm not shipping oranges from Florida or peaches from Georgia. I need to get my butt there on a Sunday because I need to support these people who have made a commitment to harvest responsibly.

How do you feel about meat? You've been a vegetarian for a while now, right? If you eat meat, you can now get humanely harvested meat from animals that have been outside cages. And I get that no one wants to think about where their meat comes from, but the bottom line is if you're going to eat it, wouldn't you rather that it had a good life outside?

Any other green changes? I planted a garden this year that was insane. I grew watermelon and butternut squash and I have a basil plant that's the size of a chair -- it wouldn't stop growing! I can't get rid of it fast enough -- I'm giving basil away on the street corner. And that's empowering. I'm cultivating something in my yard and feeding the people I love with it. I feel great about that.

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