Earlier this year, Vincent Kartheiser of Mad Men told UK publication The Guardian that he doesn’t own a car in LA, and lives in a home that is “just a wooden box” without mirrors or even a toilet. Kartheiser does his business at his neighbor’s house when he needs to go. He claimed that his commitment to living a simple lifestyle started as a reaction to all of the free swag that people were giving him that he didn’t want or need.
Kartheiser was interviewed recently as part of MSNBC’s “green week,” where he explained that he honors his commitment to the environment by being a vegetarian and by vowing not to have children.
Vincent Kartheiser, who plays Pete Campbell on ‘Mad Men’ and does not own a toilet, appeared on MSNBC Wednesday afternoon to talk about his “green choices,” which include avoiding driving, eating meat and having kids.
He said he stopped driving four years ago, when his car flooded and he found that taking the train instead “actually enriched my life. It made my life better to slow down a little bit and walk through the city.”
Vincent talked about other choices he has made to minimize his impact.
“I’ve been a vegetarian for four years and I have chosen not to have children, which are both green choices in my life,” he said. “I also xeriscaped my lawn.”
[From The Huffington Post]
A friend in the US once told me that he wouldn’t have children because he was committed to “zero population growth.” (He was older and married, and I wasn’t dating him or anything.) I had to look it up as I’d never heard of it before, but a lot of people think having children is just about the worst thing you can do to the environment. I’ve read that it’s not necessarily bad for the environment if you have one or two children and raise them to respect the earth.
I’m a materialistic person in many ways and I love shoes and clothes, but I do try and do my part by recycling, bringing my own bags to the store and eating meat only occasionally. When I lived in the US, I had friends make fun of me for washing and reusing ziplock bags. Now that I live in Germany, I appreciate how that sort of frugal approach is just part of the culture. More people take public transportation, almost everyone brings their own bags to the store and you buy less when you shop because you have to pack your own groceries. Things are just set up in a way that’s better for the environment, which can seem very inconvenient when you’re coming from the US.
So is there something sanctimonious about Kartheiser’s commitment to the environment, or is it kind of admirable in its way? I agree with Kaiser’s earlier assessment that he seems weird, but I also like what he said about how there are small things we can change in our lives that will make a difference. I hope the guy has a toilet at this point though. Now that I know this about him he just looks like he smells.