Emma Roberts on sustainability, becoming a mom and tips for everyone

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The speed at which a conversation about plastic can speak to babies could break ground speed records currently being held. It’s a fact I learned from chatting with actress Emma Roberts about her recent decision to ditch plastics for a week. The reason? “I feel like, especially after having a baby, I just see how much plastic is used in each part of my house,” she says. And if the prophecy foretold by Whitney Houston – that children are our future – is to come true, Roberts understands that plastic shouldn’t have a place in this world to come.

Roberts isn’t going alone either. In partnership with home and clean products brand Grove, she is participating in “Plastic Free July,” a movement designed to raise awareness of the plastic crisis and encourage people to eliminate plastic waste. “It’s something that gave me anxiety, and I tried to curb it. So when Grove approached me to collaborate on a plastic-free week in July, I was like, you know what, I’m gonna do it because it’s like the kick in the ass that I needed to being held accountable and having to like to commit to trying to be more plastic free.

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Roberts has spared no effort in his quest to eliminate plastics. She rummaged through every room in the house, eventually arriving at the bathroom, where she traded a few usual essentials. Products in glass bottles from Barbara Sturm, Tata Harper and OSEA have made this one of the least difficult areas for her to reduce waste.

“I was shocked at how much plastic I was using,” says Roberts. “My cooking was obviously the biggest culprit. Especially with the pandemic, ordering so many take out and all the plastic that comes in, so that’s really where I started, ”she explains. She made small adjustments to her daily routine. She usually starts her day with a cup of coffee at a local cafe, but has found that the containers and straws she uses really add up. “Grove makes these amazing silicone straws, so I’ll just have one in my kitchen, in my purse, in my trailer on the set,” she explains. “I would have a reusable cup of coffee, which would help me a lot.” She also started preparing meals to avoid deliveries and bought a Brita filter instead of another packet of bottled water.

But the hardest place to avoid plastic coincided with her greater motivation to do so in the first place. When it comes to baby supplies, eliminating plastics just wasn’t possible for Roberts. “I did everything I could, but unfortunately, especially in the baby room, some things are inevitably plastic, so it’s obviously very difficult.”

The inability to completely eliminate these plastics put a fine point on Roberts’ thoughtful approach to his project. “Don’t be intimidated and I think you are setting achievable goals because for me I didn’t wake up on day one like, ‘I’m 100% plastic-free,'” she explains. “I just became very aware and saw where I could make changes. I felt fulfilled when I brought my snacks to work or brought my cup to my coffee in the morning or filled my water bottle.” This is especially important to keep in mind, as more and more consumers realize that there is little personal liability can do to eliminate plastic waste when companies are by far the biggest culprits.

Towards the end of our conversation, conversations turned to babies again. “After you have a child, you think more about the world and the world you want them to grow up in,” says Roberts. “And for me, I want him to grow up in a world that has clean oceans and is a beautiful place, and so if I can do little things in my daily life to be more aware of the world he is going to grow up in, how could I not do that?

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