The Younger actress and mom of two shares how she's teaching her children to recycle and why it's important to remember to check for recyclables in the bathroom.

By Libby Ryan
September 03, 2019
Photo illustration by Sarina Finkelstein; Getty Images(2)

Childhood icon Hilary Duff wants to inspire a new generation to start recycling—starting with her own family. The Younger actress and mom to two young kids, Luca and Banks, is partnering with Walmart and Unilever to get excited about being environmentally aware. The campaign, called Bring it to the Bin, is all about "teaching our kids to respect the world that we live in and that their kids are going to live in," explains Duff. "We have to take better care of our planet in order to have a home."

"I have two kids and the amount of plastic we use is insane," says the actress and mom of two. "It's time to make some big changes." We talked to the star to see how she keeps her home green and parents a big kid and a new baby while working full time in the television industry.

Her Home

"Something for me that I just started doing—I'm kind of ashamed that it's within the past year—is realizing that products all over the house have to be recycled," says Duff. "I always know when I'm cooking and we're in the kitchen that all of our trash is separate, but we're now really taking into account the number of products that we throw away in the trash can upstairs." So, make sure to check your bathroom for all those shampoos and soaps.

Water Bottles

She and partner Matthew Koma are "teaching the kids that we need to reuse this stuff—I think water bottles are one of the biggest ones in our household." Seven-year-old Luca is taking on more household chores as he gets bigger, Duff says. And water bottles are a good way to get him involved. "He does a few things to help pack his lunch like fill his water bottle up. It's so funny to watch him rip the drawer open and decide which one he wants that day."

Stick to the Rules

"It's crazy that when you're raising children, everything you do counts. Every moment matters. You can't tell them 'no, you can't do this' one day and then turn around the next day and be like, 'I'm tired, I can't deal with that.' Everything matters," says Duff, stressing the need for consistency in household rules. If you recycle one day, you have to recycle the next. "Recycling is a big, huge part of that."

Kids Get It

"When we're in New York, Luca is horrified by the amount of trash on the street. It actually makes him sad," she says. "I can see he's being very thoughtful about what he's seeing and he can't picture why someone would just throw their trash on the ground."

Kids mimic adults, so if they see adults littering or not recycling, they'll think that kind of behavior is acceptable.

On-Set Expert

Duff also brought her mom-expertise to the set of Younger this year, which (spoiler alert) contained a story about a newborn just months after Duff gave birth to her daughter. "I have all the pumping advice and I'm working with a bunch of crew people that don't have kids," the mom says. "I'm like, 'That's not realistic, that's never going to work.'"

She became the fact-checker for all things baby. "It was so funny. The parenting plotline: The things that that child can do...that child is so advanced. She apparently just had the baby, and now the baby can hold his head upright," says Duff. "And I just had a baby, so I know that that's not realistic or true."

Mom on-the-Go

Running from set to school pick-ups to home, Duff packs a full prep kit for her family. "I'm always loading snacks into my bag," she says. "I just feel like I'm constantly dishing out food somehow. And we carry water bottles with us—reusable ones, obviously."

But she says she sometimes gets munchy too. "I'm always finding a cheese stick in my bag that's probably two days old and I'm like, 'Should I eat that? I don't know. No, I probably shouldn't,'" admits Duff. "But I'm tempted."

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