With Earth Day approaching this weekend, actress, mom, and animal lover Kristen Bell has joined forces with Tide purclean and the World Wildlife Fund to help convert as many homes as possible to energy-saving laundry habits. Tide Purclean is a 65% plant-based detergent that has the exact same cleaning power of regular Tide—and so Bell will be encouraging people to take the #CleanPledge at Tide.com. For every pledge, Tide purclean will donate $5 to support WWF’s global conservation efforts.
How are you encouraging people to get involved in advance of Earth Day?
We’re reminding people that there are incredibly tiny steps you could take in your daily lives—like washing clothes in cold water, using quick cycle, if possible, and extending the life of clothing by caring for them properly so you know when something needs specific care. Which means you have the clothing for longer and that’s better for the environment and it doesn’t end up in the landfill. It’s better on your household and gives back—and for everyone who takes the pledge, Tide will donate $5.
How do approach the conversation about sustainability with young children?
We try to have the macro conversation about earth, and the fact that we share it as often as we can. And we encourage more empathy toward other species. When they’re done with their waters, we dump them on the tree because the trees are thirsty also and California has a water shortage. When we boil ravioli, we cool the pasta water and dump on the tree outside. It’s always fun.
When did you become an animal love?
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I never remember an instance. I don’t remember the catalyst for feeling this way. I have early memories of accidentally stepping on a slug—it needed a proper burial, so I buried him in my backyard. It’s cute, but also crazy and unrealistic, sometimes. I think there are animals that recognize more of a symbiosis than humans do. I want to encourage that. Having kids now, we ‘re all born little demolishen men. You see a bug, and you want to squash it. So we have that conversation. Is that bug hurting you—he’s not hurting me. Maybe he’s a daddy bug and he’s just getting home from work, and he has a family in the yard. We have conversations encouraging empathy and broader thinking.
How do you share the household burden?
Well, we read—full disclosure, we only read the first chapter of this book when I was pregnant, Brain Rules for Baby. The first chapter was on marriage symptoms your marriage can going through—one was an uneven work load. Our commitment to wanting a strong marriage made us agree to a handshake deal of spitting the household work always. He changes fifty percent of the diapers always. There’s an awareness there. He does 50 percent of the laundry. He does 99 percent of the dishes because I do 99 percent of the cooking.
Spring is finally here. What are your favorite outdoor activities with the kids?
Well, we’re very lucky to live near Gramercy Park in California, which has a ton to offer. Parks, I guess they seem so boring to an adult. But as a kid it’s an absolute adventure land. Parks are big for us—we’ll pack a picnic and go up for an hour and a half and let them run off steam. I’m a big believer that kids need to get their sillies out. I don’t think sitting prim and proper for anyone under 15 is a reasonable expectation, so if we don’t have the access we’ll have a dance party at night to shake their sillies out so that they’re tired when they go to bed.
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