Ask Alexandra – May 2007

Question #1:

Hi Alexandra,

This isn’t so much a question, but I wanted to say how much you’ve inspired me. I’ve always been a bit green, but when I watched a show you were on, people marvelled at your dedication to recycling which really made me think. You were also talking about your green lifestyle and electric car, which are things I’ve always aimed for. Since then, I take all my recycling home from work because the waste at work always annoyed me too. My attention to a more green life notched up around that stage as well.

I think you’re sending out an important message, and all people in hollywood with attention being paid to them do the earth a great favour when they lend their influence.

Thanks so much!


Dear Alice,

Thank you for your encouraging email. It makes me feel good that the little things I do have an effect on a larger scale.

There are so many little things we all can do to make the world a better place for future generations, and they don’t have to cost money or take a lot of time. It is wonderful that you are taking your recycling home from work. Offices are often wasteful places because some faceless company foots the bill so employees don’t care, but a lot of resources can be saved with small, easy changes: switching out regular bulbs for compact fluorescents; making sure the toilets are low flow and don’t leak; replacing paper cups and plasticware with mugs and silverware in the office kitchen; making sure there are aerators on all the faucets; turning off computers at night. And what kind of cleaners are being used in the office – highly toxic ones (probably) or earthfriendly ones?

My friend Stephanie talked to her office manager and explained how much money could be saved if these small changes were implemented – perhaps this is possible at your work too?

If there is no interest to become more efficient, then you at least can do what you can. In the end, that is all we can truly do: take responsibility for what we each do.

Let us know if you decide to talk to the powers-that-be at work about a more environmentally conscious and less wasteful office.

Thank you again,


Question #2:

Dear Alexandra,

I just finished watching your movie, Demons From Her Past, and Id like to complete you on how well your acting and the movie was. I thought the storyline was superb, and I’m only 18, and I think this is the first movie I’ve watched with you in it, and I was truly impressed. (I didn’t really watch baywatch when i was younger). You have a wonderful smile, and your acting reminded me a little bit of Hilary Swank, in “Iron Jawed Angels.” (I hope you take that as a compliment). I just read your biography, and how impressive, the protests and the swimming. That is really cool. My only question is, was this movie based on a true story? And if so, where could I get more information on it? I may start looking into these electric cars also mentioned in your biography. The future of the environment depends on us. It would mean a lot to hear a response back from you when your not busy 🙂

Your new fan,

Dan Buckley

Dear Dan,

I loved Hillary Swank in Iron Jawed Angels, and I loved the movie too, so I do take it as a compliment! Her character was the real life voting activist Alice Paul, and several of my friends asked me if we were related (I wish, but I don’t think so). I recommend the movie highly: engrossing and a great history lesson too.

I really enjoyed filming Demons from her Past (which premiered on the Lifetime cable network a couple months ago)- the actors were all wonderful onscreen and off. It was not based on a true story, however, although it does have that feel.

Great that you are considering an electric car. I believe that in the next few years, we will be seeing more and more of them on the road, as full battery electrics or plug in hybrids (cars that run for 40 miles or so on pure electricity and then use a gas tank to go even farther). The more people ask the car companies for these cleaner cars, the more likely they will make them. Go to to get the phone numbers of the big auto companies and ask them to produce electric cars.

I am happy that you are a fan, and I hope you continue to come back to this site for
updates on my career etc.


Question #3:


Not so much a question, just a comment on how inspiring I found your comments on “simple living”. My husband and I own SO much stuff….and I’m ashamed to say that it’s only recently, at the age of 29, that I’ve sat back, taken stock and realised we cannot just keep acquiring. We’ve always bought a lot secondhand..but not enough. For New Year’s Eve 2006 we spent a beautiful evening writing about our goals and aspirations for 2007…some are seeds for the future ie fully researching alternative power options for our home (like solar power)….things we cannot afford now but that we want to fully understand the costs involved so we can plan to save to have it installed. Others are more attainable: composting, trying to avoid things with so much packaging, buying everything possible second hand, starting our vegetable patch. When I write it, I guess it sounds silly, but it fills me with absolute joy to read that list and know that already we’re achieving things from it every day.

Thank you for your inspiration


Dear Elizabeth,

Your goals and aspirations do not sound silly at all – they are inspirational! The first step towards change is to be clear on what you want to do, and it sounds like you and your husband are well on your way.

Owning a lot of stuff is the norm nowadays. I am always surprised at how many people have storage units. 50 years ago, hardly anyone had to rent extra space for belongings they didn’t have room for and thus were not able to appreciate and use. My advice in this area is: be very firm about allowing new things into your house. It is ironic, but it takes vigilance and work to not let stuff accumulate. I try to balance it with when one thing comes in, something else that is already here has to go. Of course, having a revolving door of getting more stuff and throwing other things out (or even giving them away or recycling them) doesn’t really mean you are living a simple and ecological life, so the real goal is to not purchase or throw away much, but to have just what you need and live a life where your family and friends understand that the best gifts are experiences, not possessions.

My hairdryer broke the day before yesterday, and my first thought was to run out and get another one. Then my higher self kicked in and said, “Alexandra, take this to your fix-it guy instead. And wear your hair up for a few days until you can borrow a hair dryer while this one is being fixed”. I felt so much better after making that decision.Yes, there are a few days of inconvenience (and bad hair), but it is worth it because I want to have that hairdryer for years and years and I will appreciate a mundane thing like drying my hair so much more than if I just replaced it without thought. Everything is more precious when there is thought and mindfulness attached.

Keep on doing the little things – they add up! I just found a great website that gives you daily tips on being green: Sign up and receive really helpful hints each day for free.

Best wishes,


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