Gisele Bundchen covers the latest issue of Marie Claire. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this piece – which is written like a first-person essay but is really just her comments transcribed neatly – but I really did? The point of the cover story is that she’s turning 40, her eleven-year anniversary as Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) is coming up, and she truly wants to talk about environmental issues, big and small. She has some big, lofty environmental goals, but she also talks about the simple changes everyone can make to become more environmentally conscious. You can read her full piece here. Some highlights:
The Amazon fires: A few years later, my father and I did Projeto Água Limpa (Clean Water Project) in my hometown, Horizontina, in southern Brazil. Over the course of five years, we planted more than 40,000 trees and took care of the land until the trees grew strong, which helped improve the water quality and brought amazing wildlife back to the area. Given the forest fires in the Amazon, the bush fires in Australia, and the devastating impact around the world, reforestation efforts are more crucial than ever. I believe our responsibility is to take care of the earth and its natural resources. Our survival depends on it. My goal in life is to leave the earth in a better place for future generations.
Practicing sustainability at home: I always keep in mind and teach my kids the three Rs: reduce, reuse, recycle. This straightforward approach allows us to work toward simple, alternative, eco-friendly processes in our everyday lives that can make a big difference. My family tries to focus on limiting the use of paper and plastic at home. We utilize a water filter and reusable water bottles and compost all our natural food waste. When we go grocery shopping, we always bring our own bags, and by buying from local farmers we reduce packaging waste. We do our best, but it can be challenging when it comes to living completely green—and that’s OK. I always remind my kids that every choice we make has an impact on our planet and that we always need to try our best; that’s what matters.”
What her kids do for the environment: “I love seeing my kids get excited when they find fresh eggs in our chicken coop or harvest the vegetables from our garden. As a family, we also each have our reusable water bottles, and the kids understand single-use plastic is really hurting our planet. I see them talking with their friends about it and showing them their water bottles in hopes they might join them and use them too…One story that I can remember is when we were at the beach and my son Benny found plastic in the ocean. He was so upset, and I explained to him that this is what happens after we discard things; they go to landfills and sometimes end up in the ocean. For the past couple of years, he decided that he did not want presents from his friends at his birthday party. Instead, he would like if they could donate to organizations that help endangered species.
Her diet: “I find balance is key to maintaining a healthy diet. At our house, we try to eat organic foods that are in season and locally grown. We believe that by buying locally, we’ll have a better chance at getting foods that are fresh and also support local farmers. We eat mostly a plant-based diet. It makes us feel good, and it also has less of an impact on the environment, but I’m not super strict and believe everything is OK in moderation. My ultimate guilty pleasure is dark chocolate.
Limiting screen time: “Our family tries to limit the amount of screen time. Technology and social media can be a wonderful platform to spread positivity and awareness, but I do believe it is important to stay present and mindful of how it is used. The kids have an iPad where they can sometimes watch movies or play games, but they do have a time limit on that. I encourage them to play together and be outside as much as possible. When they tell me they are bored, I tell them that is good, because this way they can think of something else that they want to do. Usually within a few minutes they are running after each other around the house in some game they made up. Benny can also spend hours at his desk drawing, and Vivi plays in her room with her horses and Care Bears. In our home, we don’t have electronics at the table or in bed.”
On beauty: “My beauty philosophy has always been “less is more,” which is something I learned from my mother early on. When I was growing up, she didn’t wear much makeup, and I feel I got that trait from her. Of course, I love wearing makeup from time to time, and the ritual of applying beauty products is a way of caring for yourself. I like natural products and try to align with beauty brands that are making a conscious effort to recognize the impact they have on our environment and look for ways to improve.”
[From Marie Claire]
I think one of the best things here for everyday enviro-childrearing is limiting screen time and giving kids the freedom to be bored. That is SO important and it’s painful to see how different that is now, versus how it was when I was growing up. Sure, my parents worried about how much I watched TV, but I also played outside and drew and made up games and let my imagination run wild. That’s how it should be. Create that space for your kids! As for what she says about beauty… I mean, we all know that she’s not ageing naturally and we all know that she made that trip to a French plastic surgeon several years ago and came back with a very tweaked face. But sure, she probably doesn’t wear a ton of makeup.
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"I have realized that by working on keeping myself balanced, I have become more confident and I have strengthened my relationship with myself. It took me a while to find this inner balance. For a long time while I was in the public eye, I didn’t know who the real me was, but throughout the years I have been able to use these mindfulness practices to really evaluate myself and embark on a journey of self-discovery. I know that today I am happier because of it." Read @gisele’s April cover story at the link in bio
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