Kristen Bell isn't one to give advice without taking it herself. This is especially true when it comes to improving the environment. The eco-friendly words of wisdom she shares all come from experience. As an actress and an activist, Bell wants to make the world a better place for the kids who will inherit it, beyond giving them Frozen. Bell has partnered with the World Wildlife Fund and Tide Purclean to work towards creating a greater number of households using energy-saving laundry habits.
Leading up to Earth Day, Bell has been encouraging consumers to take the #CleanPledge at Tide.com. By taking the pledge, you'll promise to wash with cold water, use an energy-saving, high-efficiency washer and quick cycle, and extend clothing life through care. In fact, washing your clothes in cold water for a year produces enough electricity to power your phone for a lifetime. On top of that, extending your clothing life helps reduce the 21 billion pounds of textile waste dumped into landfills each year. Tide Purclean, itself, is produced in a facility with wind energy and has zero waste going into a landfill.
"It doesn't matter if you have a voice for 10 people or 10 million people, you have a voice."
"If you take the Clean Pledge, they donate $5 to the World Wildlife Fund and that has a global impact because they work to protect species and local communities to be able to conserve and protect the world around them," Bell tells Bustle. "The world is a giant eco-system and we have seen time and time again how you'll take a tiny eco-system and you kill the snails in that area and all the fish start dying. We are all interconnected so the World Wildlife Fund does a great job with environmental impact and I think this Earth Day is going to be particularly important because that's a hot topic right now."
Bell believes that each action we take, big or small, is important for the future of our planet. Here's some of her best eco-friendly advice.
1Take Shorter Showers
While long showers may feel like a luxury few want to give up, Bell hopes people will reconsider. "Particularly after a long, stressful day which every single American experiences in this day and age of non-stop going, it's so relaxing to sit in a hot shower," she says. "But we are lucky enough to have a little clock in our shower and I never go more than six minutes because I'm like you know what, I just can't. I have to stay committed to it and I'll lay down on the bed for five minutes if I want to continue the relaxation."
2Reuse As Much As You Can
An important thing to remember is that in order to better the environment, your entire life doesn't have to change overnight. "Before I throw anything away I think how can it be reused," says Bell. "And I don't do that in a stressful way because it's tiny, tiny decisions. If you don't do it every time, forgive yourself, you'll do it next time. We reuse toilet paper rolls and you can push them in paint and make stamps for the kids and we make crafts out of them. Or whenever I make a big vat of pasta for my family, I take the noodle water and go throw it on the plants. I reuse the ziplocs we go through TSA with. There are tiny decisions that, if we all do them, can impact the world in a big way."
Each tiny action you take has an impact that adds up to a better world. Doing something is always better than nothing.
3Find Your Cause
"Figure out what's important to you," Bell says, "if you love sloths or you love elephants or you love the ocean or you love breathing clean air. Whatever is important to you is the cause you should be affiliated with because they really all matter."
Each one of us has something we are passionate about. Let that guide you in your fight for a better world. If it matters to you then it matters.
4Understand How One Thing Affects Another
"Everything is connected," Bell says. "Clean air is important but if we don't have clean water we can't survive on just air. Clean water is important but if there are no species in the water or on land we all go hungry."
In the same way we are all connected, so each of our actions affects our fellow human beings. When we all work together it becomes that much easier to create the world we want.
5Pay Attention To The Companies You Buy From
Every time you buy something from a company, you are condoning their actions and showing your support for them. By making your purchases at companies who's values you align with, you are showing every business what matters to you. This can work no matter how big or small the company is.
"I just think that we as the consumer have to demand more from businesses that have a huge reach and have a huge environmental impact," Bell says. "And when you see a response like this, I'm like duh, I'll work on this campaign with you and that's why we created the Clean Pledge because it's starting a great conversation."
6But Don't Assume All Big Businesses Are Bad
"I have a tremendous respect for big businesses that take small or giant steps forward, including the small steps, to be more impactful and good to the world around them. I think the future of the world depends on big businesses making good decisions," Bell explains. "In order for big businesses to make good decisions then the consumer has to make their voice heard. What I love about this is that Tide is obviously responding to a huge customer demand for a more eco-friendly detergent. They are obviously responding to what their customers care about which is clean clothes but also a clean environment."
A corporation can have tremendous leverage, but it's consumers have even more. When the two come together for a cause the results can be amazing.
7Use Your Voice
Unsure about how to get involved? Bell has some recommendations. "There are tons of organizations that need support and if one is the way in which you want your voice to be heard, join it," Bell says. "Whether it's an environmental issue, or a mental health issue, or an animal welfare issue or feeding kids issue, whether it's here or abroad — there is something out there for you and you can be impactful. It exists. It is your anxiety and depression that is telling you, you can't have a voice. It is a trick, because you can. It doesn't matter if you have a voice for 10 people or 10 million people, you have a voice."
If you're worried about changing your lifestyle, Bell says you don't need to be and has this important tip. "Stay woke about it, stay online, meaning in your brain, but also online, you just google it and there's going to be tons of household tips." One step at a time, we can each work towards making the world a better place for all.