While hot young thing Isabel Lucas is leading the eco-charge in Hollywood, Cate Blanchett has focused her green efforts a little closer to home. In 2007, the Oscar winning, mum-of-three spent a whopping $1.5 million on 'greenovating' her Hunters Hill mansion, which included a 20,000-litre water tank and solar panelling. As well as backing the Australian Conservation Foundation's 'Who On Earth Cares' project, Cate is also making her work environment a little more eco-friendly. When she and hubby Andrew Upton last year took the throne as artistic co-directors for the Sydney Theatre Company, the pair impressed all, not only with their record ticket sales, but with their whizz-bang loo system which helped STC cut its water use by 40 percent. Here are some reasons why we think Cate is downright eco-chic:
On competing with herself to be green: "I actually have little races with myself, thinking, `Oh no, I'm not washing my hair, I only need to have a two-minute shower.' I went to a website and my husband was laughing at me because a box arrived with 30 timers, and I thought, `Excellent stocking fillers'."
On why being green is important as a mum:"I'm extremely concerned about climate change as a mother, because I want to ensure for my children a very safe and sustainable future."
On 'greenovating' her home: "I was horrified to see how uncommon greening practices for the home are. We've had solar panels installed, but they're still seen as a left-field idea. We've also got rainwater tanks and we're using natural air flow to cool the house."
On being realistic and eco-friendly: "Look, I live in the modern world as much as anyone else. I use a car and, in the last two years, I've been flying far more than I'm comfortable with. So it's been really important for me to offset my flights, which I do."
On using the arts to help the environment: One of the roles of art is to imagine the future. To do this effectively, it must be both visionary and practical."
On the future: "I firmly believe we all have the capacity to think big thoughts and are ripe to be inspired. I'm an optimist. I believe we're ready as a generation to seize this opportunity to make profound environmental changes for the better. After all, what's the alternative?"