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Celebrity Eco-Friendly Tips

The (surprisingly simple) truth about "going green": continued...

"Food is another area where I try to exert control. Cooking is one of my favorite things to do; when I'm away on a set and can't cook for Ryder, it drives me crazy. I like to get as inventive as possible. He doesn't like veggies, so I boil them, puree them, then hide them in his food so he doesn't say, 'Mommy, I see something green....' Often I put them in lasagna or other kinds of pasta. I'll also put flaxseed oil or a flavored omega-3 oil in peanut butter. It's all about taking charge. You can't stop your child from doing what they're going to do outside the home. But I can do something — quite a lot, actually — about the products in my home. That requires my being as conscious about things as possible, what I put in and on my body. Plus, I believe in constantly finding new ways to do things — myself."

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"When my son was 3 months old, I took him to the zoo. At the polar bear exhibit, Wyatt's face lit up when he saw the baby polar bear. It was amazing for me to watch them connect — these living beings who share a planet. But I also felt panic and overwhelming sadness knowing the impact our environment is having on polar bears and on us.

"Yet I see something very hopeful in kids — the birth of new activists. Kids don't just feel helplessness and panic but a sense of injustice, too. I sometimes think the thing that keeps adults from acting is cynicism, a belief that we can't really change things. Kids aren't like that. They're awake to what's around them, so they can actually do something about it. We teach our kids all these ideals: Let's leave the Earth a better place than we found it. Kids are motivated not just by what's in their heads but by what they actually see, like a baby polar bear. They can be the ones to motivate us, their parents, to change."

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"When you make choices to live better, greener, and more organic, it's not always so clear-cut; that is, you want to do the right thing, but you also have to do what works for you and your lifestyle," Shields wrote recently. "Sometimes that means choosing the lesser of two evils.

"When you become a parent, you would think the choices become more obvious, and they do — you always know who comes first — but then there are still trade-offs; there always are. I've changed all our products to eco-friendly ones, but sometimes I have to bring in something less eco-friendly as a supplement. I use all recycled paper products except toilet paper.

"I realize that just because I can't go all the way and in every area, I still can make a sizable difference. In my mind, I may still lament that I haven't gone even farther.... In my actions, though, I try always to be forward-moving, to focus on the change I am making."

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