Hilary Duff is on the cover of the latest Parents Magazine. Hilary is working on both the new Lizzie McGuire movie and season seven of Younger, but both won’t be out for a while. The purpose for the article is to promote Hilary’s partnership with earth-friendly diapers, Happy Little Campers, and feminine products, Veeda. Parents Mag wanted to know what motivated Hilary to get involved with sustainable products. She said that it was watching a difficult video with her son, Luca, that inspired a change in both of them. Unfortunately, it was hard for poor Luca, who is seven, to see how heartbreaking our current environmental emergency is.
Hilary Duff couldn’t stop thinking about the fires in Australia while on her honeymoon in January. “We were in Africa, watching free and happy animals, and across the ocean things were burning down,” Duff says of her once-in-a-lifetime trip with her new husband, Matthew Koma. “We were devastated.”
Anxiety about the planet is a familiar feeling to almost any parent. If one form of adulting is thinking, “Someone should do something,” and realizing that someone might be you, the nerve-racking next step is figuring out how you might save the world for your kids, even when parts of it are literally up in flames.
The actress and her family have always practiced save-the-earth basics like recycling, but not too long ago, she and Luca caught a viral video of a turtle getting a straw pulled out of its nose. It was the kind of image that’s impossible to unsee. “All of a sudden, we knew what straws do to animals and the ocean,” Duff says. Soon after, she bought silicone straws to reuse and take everywhere. Following that, a hairstylist challenged Duff to swear off single-use drink cups. Duff was up for adding a refillable cup to the rotation, even taking it and her straw to restaurants.
“About three months ago, we stopped buying zip-top plastic bags,” Duff adds. Her family uses glass containers and reusable silicone bags instead to stash snacks and leftovers. “At first, washing and prepping one more thing seems impossible, but it only takes a little extra time, and it makes a difference.”
Duff got everyone in her family on board, including her mom and her nanny when they come to help with the kids. She tries to think of sustainability as one of those things you tackle gradually, plastic bag by plastic bag, and she accepts a practical “do what you can” attitude. “The more we dive into living cleaner, the more things come to our attention,” Duff says. She now habitually refills the soap bottles in the bathrooms, recycles shampoo bottles, and uses nontoxic cleaners. In the grocery store, she turns down plastic produce bags and improvises with reusable containers. “We’re explaining to Luca why we do all this, and he’s getting more involved. And honestly, he gets a little heartbroken. It’s sad.”
“We were in Africa, watching free and happy animals, and across the ocean things were burning down,” to borrow from CB – bless her heart. I mean yes, we were all affected watching the destruction of Australia’s fires (New South Wales is fire-free for the first time since July, btw) but those “free and happy” animals in Africa certainly face their own crises.
However, I am very much on board with everything Hilary said about making a difference. Taking personal responsibility for climate change is daunting for several reasons. The main ones for me is that 1) We really are f—ked and 2) it seems like everything I do or touch is awful for the environment. It’s overwhelming and seems easier to pretend it all away. But truly, even making one little change in our habits has a big impact and the changes Hilary discussed are all good starting points. Check out a website or two that offers suggestions of some ways to cut back and decide what you can work with. Remember, you don’t have to make all of them, even doing one or two regularly will make a difference. I applaud Hilary for getting her kids involved. Raising them to look for sustainable options is fantastic training for running their own homes later in life. Plus, when kids find something heartbreaking, they try to fix it.
Photo credit: Silja Magg/Parents Magazine and WENN/Avalon