Hilary Duff teaches her son sustainability: ‘He’s getting a little heartbroken’


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.”

[From Parents]

“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.

Embed from Getty Images


Photo credit: Silja Magg/Parents Magazine and WENN/Avalon

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

19 Responses to “Hilary Duff teaches her son sustainability: ‘He’s getting a little heartbroken’”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Gigli says:

    Luca is 7 not 12…

    • Léna says:

      I had to Google it because I was surprised at his age too! Born in March 2012. I thought I was crazy

  2. margedebarge says:

    I’ll keep doing my part with reusables as much as I can. It makes me feel like I’m doing my part. But until we hold all the massive corporations responsible for the damage they do, things won’t get better. Most of our pollution comes from oil and other industries running free and destroying the planet to improve their profit margins. As long as that’s happening, reusable straws are just a self-soothing mechanism with no meaningful change.

  3. savu says:

    It’s funny how some switches are super easy, and some you just keep failing at! One of these days I will remember to bring reusable grocery bags back into my car, then into the store. But every time I use them for groceries, they sit in my house for way too long. I’m just not in the habit! We switched to glass instead of plastic food storage (which is supposed to be way better for our bodies too), and even that has been stupidly tough. I kept the plastic around for a while and ended up always reaching for that because I know it better and honestly, I’m clumsy and kind of afraid of breaking the glass! But I recycled most of the plastic and that helped.
    For us, reusable straws, reusable food wrap and food bags (we got environmentally-friendly plastic bags, but I think we’ll switch to silicone bc it’s easier to clean) and reusable cups/mugs has been easy. Just recently when I’m out shopping, I try not to get a bag. It’s astounded me how much plastic I was wasting getting a bag for even just 2 items. Oh! And! Check the labels on EVERYTHING. It’s shocked me how much can be recycled. The other day my partner moved the plastic packaging our frozen potatoes came in to the garbage. I had to tell him no, it’s recyclable! It has honestly blown my mind how much we can recycle these days. And since I started checking everything, it’s shocking how much went to the garbage by assumption because it doesn’t “seem” like something that could be recycled.
    I know it’s all little things, and my small efforts don’t have a gigantic impact, but I’m trying. And that makes me feel better.

    • pottymouth pup says:

      I use these awesome reusable bags Earth Tote bags that are made of recycled PET, hold a lot and are washable. I got them from reuseit.com but that site doesn’t seem to be live anymore. I’ve had a couple of them for over 10 years now and they’ve held up really well

      I’m trying to minimize wastage by using the vacuum seal containers and some other produce containers. My biggest downfall is meal prep for freezer since you can’t sous vide in an instant pot w/the reusable vaccuum bags (you can but then the bag can’t be used again)

    • Paleokifaru says:

      @savu make sure you check your City trash and recycling website. Just because the bag, box, or jar has a recycle symbol on it, doesn’t mean that your own city recycles it. You may inadvertently be contaminating your recyclables by including items your city doesn’t accept. We recently had a big issue with that in my large city that resulted in an even more restricted program because so much time and money was being spent on weeding out materials they didn’t accept.

  4. Riley says:

    Lizzie McGuire movie? I know the Disney Plus series was cancelled/put on hold, but hadn’t heard anything about a standalone movie?

  5. Amy Too says:

    Seems like some good ideas in this article for your Amazon posts. Reusable sandwich bags, reusable stainless steel or silicone straws, reusable, non plastic cups with lids for both kids and adults (sippy cups, too).

  6. Heather H says:

    Focus on reduce and reuse. Recycling has completely fallen apart. There are still some things that can easily be recycled but most like plastic and glass have no market or infrastructure to support the volumes. Zero waste groups are helpful to think through ways to reduce plastic, especially single use.

  7. Andrew’s Nemesis says:

    American Bitchies – for this unenlightened Brit, can you tell me what ‘bless your heart’ connotes? When we use it, we’re being sympathetic – but Kaiser’s use seems to be faintly pitying! Is it universal across the States or are there different connotations for North and South?

    • BearcatLawyer says:

      “Bless your heart” is a Southern expression that carries a variety of connotations. In this case, Kaiser is pointing out that as free and happy as African animals might seem, they are not much better off than the animals in Australia – a fact that Hilary missed. So “bless your heart” is basically, “Hello…you missed something obvious!”

      In other cases, it can be a polite “F@#$ you.” Or it can be used as semi-polite filler when you do not really have something nice to say.

      So to answer your question, it is a very complicated but useful expression.

    • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

      I grew up with it in the South. It’s supposed to be an empathetic proclamation of understanding coming from a place of genuine concern and care. Trust me. It doesn’t lol.

      I believe its history has its roots in kindness, but yeah, today it’s veiled repugnance.

    • Andrew’s Nemesis says:

      Thank you, @BearCatLawyer and @MabsAMabbin’: I’ll be very careful in my usage of it around American citizens! (Unless, naturally, they deserve it, in which case I’ll drop it and run for cover)

  8. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    My journey began in the early 2000s, I think around the time I lost my grandmother. Just a few years before I’d lost three family members. Obviously I was a lump of breathing flesh, but something weird happened, and I stripped so much crap from my life. I never bought another plastic zip lock, and I washed the ones I had until they dissentigrated lol. It’s as though I became my ‘Mamaw’ overnight. I bought our favorite pickles that came in mason jars which, in turn, became our storage. If possible, we almost always purchase food which comes in reusable glass containers. And we buy in bulk. So the pantry is crazy with glass lol.

    We keep our stainless and/glass water bottles filled and ready in the fridge. Everything that comes in and goes out is examined for it’s usability and I normally insist on at least two uses lol. I love love love these shopping totes I bought from Amazon made from recyclables. They’re beautiful, big, soft, sturdy and I think six came in a package. I keep them everywhere, especially the car. And even rolled up in my oversized purse which also comes in handy lol! If anyone interested in these totes, lemme know and I’ll find them.

    We use lots of vinegar, lemons, baking soda, etc for cleaning. Reusable rags. I know there’s so much more I can do, but I’m on a good path. I really like reading other’s ideas because most of what I currently do came to me from a Depression-era grandmother.

  9. Kate says:

    I’ve been wanting to cut down on single-use plastic cups, since I get an iced coffee every morning. But you can’t just bring your own cup into a store that’s selling their own sizes, right? Idk what to do about that. Maybe wash the same cup they give you one day and bring it back to them the next day? Any suggestions?

    • Lex says:

      Just ask them. They may even sell a reusable cup that’s the right size. Just take one in and ask for it in that, if they say no say it’s really important that you aren’t sending a plastic cup to landfill every single day and who can you speak to about making it possible. Then speak to whoever they suggest. Keep asking every day and they’ll get annoyed and try fix it to shut you up haha

      All coffee shops where I live accept reusable cups and most give a small discount of 20-50c to use your own cup.

  10. SForeman says:

    This is going to sound really harsh and I’m probably gonna get yelled at but something else people should consider is not having (more) kids.

  11. JennEricaMS says:

    My daughter is 11 and was much more aware of the crisis our planet faces than I was. Thanks to her passion we have changed our habits and frivolous wasting by implementing many of the same methods that Hilary Duff has. She even went to her principal and started a recycling program at her school by going door to door to local businesses until she found enough sponsors to cover the pickup cost. She’s always been strong-willed and stubborn to the max so it’s been a refreshing change to see those qualities work to make her small corner of the world a better place. It seems that as we get older we tend to forget that we have the power to change the world. I pray her generation doesn’t become jaded in such a way because I believe they’re our only hope for the future.