Kristen Bell is not only Hello Bello’s co-founder and “Mom,” she’s also an eco-conscious queen who has inspired our brand to think about our impact on the planet. KB pushes us toward sustainability, reducing our carbon footprint, and creating less waste – and the company is better for it! As a result, we prioritize earth-friendly formulations, recyclable packaging, refillables, and renewable energy initiatives (S/O to our our *new* diaper factory that’s powered by 100% renewable energy!).
Outside of Hello Bello HQ, Kristen walks the “nature walk.” She and her family are passionate about preserving the earth – and they’ve adopted some super attainable lifestyle changes that anyone can implement. Kristen says, “I was always outside as a kid. I think exposing myself to nature from a young age made me conscious of preserving it. I want those beautiful resources to be there for my children to enjoy."
With KB as our muse, we’ve gathered 5 family-friendly tips from Kristen Bell for eco-friendly living.
#1 Grow Food
Tending to plants, caring for soil, and learning how to garden – those are some serious #lifeskills right there! But gardening (indoor or outdoor) is also an act of love to the earth! The more local food we consume (like using herbs you’ve grown yourself, instead of ones sold in plastic packaging at the grocery store down the road), means a lighter carbon footprint. Kristen has shared about her own backyard plot: "We also like to grow our own fruits and vegetables and take other measures to help the environment and live a healthy lifestyle," she says. "I like that the children see that we are aware and participate in these things so it becomes the norm for them."
But gardening isn’t always easy breezy. Thankfully we can always count on KB to keep it real. “We have a garden where the girls and I are learning about growing and caring for edible plants and how to cook what we grow,” she says. “Our thumbs aren’t very green just yet but we are trying.”
Intrigued? Check out our guide on how to garden with kids. It’s way more doable than you think!
#2 Adopt a Flexitarian Diet
Kristen knows that reducing meat consumption can go a long way for the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, soil degradation, and deforestation. As a vegetarian, she prioritizes nutrient-dense foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, eggs and dairy. But KB is anything but dogmatic. "I'm all about eating clean and ethically, but I also believe that it's important to listen to your body," she says.
If becoming a vegetarian isn’t in your future, there’s a more approachable alternative called the flexitarian diet. It’s a mostly-plant-based way of eating with room to enjoy the occasional animal product. As the name implies, it’s flexible! And if you need it to be a bit more of a baby step, and are better with intentional schedules, try Meatless Monday! To make it extra, extra easy, you can subscribe to the Meatless Monday newsletter to get recipes, plant-based inspiration, and more delivered right to your inbox every Meatless Monday morning!
#3 Conserve Water
Water is one of those precious resources that we often take for granted. Kristen is proof that h2O conservation doesn’t have to be extreme or unreasonable. She and her family manage their usage by cutting back wherever it makes sense. Here are a few of the tips she’s shared over the years:
- As a rule, KB’s household always turns off the tap while brushing their teeth.
- In addition to waiting 5 or 6 days between showers, they aim to take short showers. KB likes to “wait for the stink.” :)
- When washing fruits and veggies, Kristen likes to catch the water in a bowl and then use it on houseplants.
- They’ve even taken more drastic measures, like replacing their lawn with AstroTurf to cut down on their household water bill.
- When it’s toilet time, their family goes by the saying “let it mellow if it’s yellow” – meaning they only flush if #2 is involved.
For some water-conscious words of wisdom, here’s what KB has to say:
"I want [my kids] to know having running water is a privilege, that it isn't an endless resource, and you can't just assume when you turn the tap on that there will always be water. Understanding how to be grateful for what we have and conserve it when necessary makes you an informed, aware, and concise adult. I think, as a mom, that is all you can ask for, for your children to be curious about the way things work and to love nature and want to do something to help based on what they learn about the world around them."
Eco-anxiety is a real thing! With so much at stake for the environment and the state of climate change, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed and helpless. Just remember – it’s not up to you alone to save the world (phew!). A great first step? Reusing and reinventing things you might normally throw away – glass jars can become storage containers, scraps of paper can be used for art projects, old clothes can become cleaning rags, gently used items can be donated.
According to KB, it’s all about daily habits and taking action where and when you can. "Before I throw anything away I think how can it be reused," she says. "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."
#5 Enjoy Nature
When we take things outside, everyone benefits! In today’s hustle culture, taking a moment to connect with nature allows kids and adults to quiet our minds, calm our nervous system, and stretch our legs and imaginations. Science even suggests that, when children spend time outdoors (and away from technology!), they have improved mental health and development. As a result, Kristen’s family prioritizes lots of fun, outdoor activities: “We love hiking as a family, walking a mile to dinner or biking along the river,” she says. “We often go exploring and make up outdoor games such as: How far can you jump? How far can I throw this? And Let’s Race! The kids like to get dirty and my husband and I like to breathe fresh air at the end of a workday.”
In addition to all the fun and stress-freeing and health benefits, spending time in nature also makes people appreciate it and want to protect it. And that’s exactly what we want to instill in our kiddos!
What Earth-friendly actions do you and your family embrace in day-to-day living? Please share them in the comments below! We love learning new tips and might even feature you on our social media channels! With your permission, of course :)