Sustainable Living

The Top 3 Ways Sophia Bush Reduces Her Carbon Footprint at Home

Graphic: W+G Creative
To actor and climate activist Sophia Bush, climate change isn't a distant threat or something she can just worry about later. It’s an issue that’s long kept her up at night, she tells me. That's why she jumped at the chance to partner with manufacturing company 3M for Climate Week NYC earlier this month and promote the brand’s latest eco innovations, including a paper-based shipping wrap that functions like bubble wrap and a roofing material that reflects sunlight, limiting energy use. These big Earth-saving ideas help her rest a little easier—and to feel just as good about her personal carbon footprint, Bush also prioritizes making sustainable choices at home.

Over the past few years amid the pandemic, Bush has spent more time at home making sustainable upgrades, including re-roofing her house, renovating its attic, and installing new insulation to be sure she was minimizing energy usage. “If there’s a big project or something needs fixing, sustainability is always something I think about,” says Bush, who also recently made the switch to an electric vehicle.

“Once you start to really pressure-test your life, you realize you can make so many small [sustainable] changes and maybe even a few big changes.” —Sophia Bush, actor and activist

But it isn’t just these once-in-a-while types of eco-friendly acts that can make a big impact. Bush has woven sustainable moments into her everyday home life, too, working to shrink her carbon footprint from any direction possible. "Once you start to really pressure-test your life, you realize you can make so many small changes and maybe even a few big changes," she says. "Overall, I feel so much healthier and happier since I’ve begun to do all of the above in my household," she says.

Below, find three everyday ways that Bush walks the sustainable walk at home—and you can, too.

3 sustainable moves that Sophia Bush has made at home

1. She doesn’t use single-use plastics

While it’s true that some plastic is recyclable (including jugs, bottles, and large plastic containers), much of it is not. And some of the most common culprits in the latter category include all kinds of flimsy or flexible plastic—like the kind that makes up plastic bags and cling wrap. These items can’t be reused and don’t fully break down, instead turning into micro-particles that pollute our environment.

That’s why Bush has switched over to beeswax wrap and reusable Stasher bags—of which she says that she now has a full collection, of all the shapes and sizes—to store leftover food and snacks. Beyond those swaps, she opts for reusable glass, fabric, and materials other than single-use plastic whenever she can.

2. She composts whenever possible

Bush is a big fan of "ABC"—or “always be composting,” in this case, at least when it comes to foods that aren’t dairy or animal products. It’s a simple way to keep your food waste from ending up in a landfill (where it emits harmful methane) and to make good use of it by turning it into a rich plant fertilizer.

Bush has a composting bin in her yard at her southern California home that she and her husband built, but concedes that you really don’t need a yard to join in. “Our adventures in composting have inspired my friends in cities like New York to start, too,” she says, noting that there are compost bins that look like trash cans, which can work in an apartment setting. “Once you start composting, I guarantee you’ll look around and think, I can’t believe I ever just threw all of this away,” says Bush.

3. She grows many of her own fruits and vegetables

Bush is a proud gardener and thanks the southern California weather and her yard space, once again, for contributing to her efforts. She also keeps bees (not just one, but two beehives, she tells me), which, in addition to being a great source of honey for her homemade lip balm, also help pollinate her garden.

But, as with composting, you certainly don’t need outdoor space to grow some ingredients for a plant-based diet. Over the past couple years, in fact, the market for indoor gardening kits that sprout eats like mushrooms and microgreens has grown massively. And with enough patience, you can even re-grow some vegetables using scraps (if you haven’t composted them already, that is).

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