Sara Gilbert on Being an 'Imperfect Environmentalist'
Co-host of “The Talk” and mother of two, Sara Gilbert, released her first book, “The Imperfect Environmentalist: A Practical Guide to Clear Your Body, Detox Your Home and Save the Earth (Without Losing Your Mind).” The book offers easy-to-follow tips for people who would like to be eco-friendly, but don’t know where to begin.
“I felt like there was no easy, single reference guide that you could pick up and read without getting confused, discouraged or bored,” Gilbert told Mother Nature Network. “I thought, why don’t I do something for people who aren’t thinking about the environment 24-7 and just want an easy way to start making small changes, which is almost everybody. I think everybody is willing to do something if it’s easy and the information is accessible.”
Gilbert advises readers to reduce their exposure to toxic chemicals by making informed purchasing decisions. “The home environment is a great place to start: carpets, paints, furniture, mattresses,” she says. Also, opt for organic produce “otherwise you’re eating pesticides that are designed to kill bugs.”
When purchasing cosmetics, she suggests looking “for simple products, where you recognize and can pronounce the ingredients.” The Skin Deep database is a valuable resource for looking up unfamiliar ingredients in beauty products.
Gilbert also recommends limiting plastic in your home. “It’s super easy to change plastic Tupperware for glass,” she says.
The actress, a vegan herself, is raising her children vegetarian, though she says “they eat vegan a lot. It’s the balance of trying to get them to eat healthy and organic and not completely alienate them from everyone else around them.” “When they’re old enough to see how food is prepared and what’s going on in slaughterhouses and what it does to your body, they can also talk to people who think [meat is] delicious, take in all the information from all sides and make their own decisions.”
She also stresses the importance of environmentalism to her kids. Compromise is key to their cooperation, often telling them, “If we’re going to get this stuffed animal that’s brightly colored and filled with stain-reducing chemicals, you get to play with it for an hour or two and put it at the foot of your bed, not by your face where you’re breathing in those fumes all night. It’s about finding a balance that works in the real world—that’s kind of the point of the book. We’re not gonna be perfect, but how can we minimize our risk?”
Gilbert hopes the book’s message will resonate with other parents. “I hope that people get inspired to keep their kids safe, keep them away from pesticides, plastics, and make their school supplies and cleaning supplies safe,” she says. “I think that if we clean up their environment we’ve really done a service for the world.”
See the full interview at MNN.