The Kill Bill star has two off-grid homes, one in Colorado and one in California. She was recently in Abu Dhabi as a guest of the world’s leading hoteliers, where she shared her philosophies on living a sustainable lifestyle.
Being green does not mean you have to cut down on opulence, Hannah said at the eco-travel event they all jetted in for: “It depends what your concept of luxury and lavish is. I consider my home incredibly comfortable and incredibly luxurious in terms of its appointments. (Being sustainable) it doesn’t mean it’s hideous.” Its not clear whether means her Colorado home, near Telluride, or her Santa Cruz home which she refers to elsewhere as a “misfit circus.”
Hannah says she does not have “19 bathrooms with gold faucets” . .(does anyone outside of the Saudi royal family?). “I have a human-scale sized house. I only have what I actually use and need. (Being environmentally concerned) does not mean your house can’t be sumptuously appointed.”
But she says it’s difficult to attract friends to her green-built house. “My best friend is a Jewish American Princess from Long Island. For 10 years she would not come and visit me in my house because she is like, `I am not coming there until you have plumbing and electricity’. She doesn’t like anything that isn’t perfect.
“Finally, she came over to my house. I kept trying to tell her solar power is electricity, she didn’t get it. She thought I was nibbling on the ground and I was digging a hole every time I had to go to the rest room.”
Being environmentally conscious also means that you don’t have to live in a world of toxins at home. “The comforter I sleep under does not have formaldehyde, chemicals and fire retardants that can cause cancer . . . that means it is better for you, and better for the people who made it and created it.
“It is better for all life, thinking about the consequences of your actions and the ramifications of the things you do consume and not being as wasteful . . . I just think it depends on your definition of luxury, some people’s definition of luxury is having 19 bathrooms.”
The Mermaid star was arrested last August after participating in a sit-in demonstration outside the White House, part of a campaign to encourage Barack Obama not to bow to oil lobbyists over a pipeline project. At the time, Hannah, who was not charged over the incident, claimed her career had suffered as a result of her environmental activism — because conservative movie bosses don’t want to be associated with an eco-warrior.
But she continues to accept first class airline tickets around the world in her eagerness to help save the planet. “Personally, I try and do it every way I can, it’s about continually sharing information. (But) this information is not getting out there. And there’s a reason why.
“If I search for a composting toilet, there’s 60 of them, I don’t know which works, half of them definitely don’t. The choices are now so overwhelming it is almost impossible to find stuff out. We need to constantly communicate and share information with each other.”
Asked who inspired her, Hannah cites environmentalists and activists such as David Suzuki, Silvia Earle and Julia Butterfly-Hill.
“I have so many heroes, but I really don’t think this should be a culture of personality. This is about all of us. It doesn’t matter if you are an actress . . . or a shoemaker, everybody needs to get out there. We are down to it now. We are not facing these (environmental) crises — we are in the midst of these crises, we are hanging by our fingernails. It is not easy to see, but it is there.”
Buy our book - OFF THE GRID - a tour of American off-grid places and people written by Nick Rosen, editor of the off-grid.net web site
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