In the heart of Los Angeles, actress, author, and activist Alicia Silverstone has transformed her once-modest home into a sustainable vegan food paradise. For nearly three decades, Silverstone’s commitment to the environment has driven her to create an eco-friendly haven that reflects her values and aspirations.
The journey began 27 years ago when a 19-year-old Silverstone stumbled upon the unassuming house nestled in a winding canyon road above the bustling city. Far from the glamorous hideaways of Hollywood stars, the house evoked a sense of enchantment. Despite its overgrown and wild appearance, she saw the potential for perfection. And so, the transformation began.
Today, Silverstone’s home garden is thriving as she lives in harmony with the surrounding natural world, indulging in the simple pleasure of plucking massive avocados from a fruit-laden tree, filling her breakfast bowl with berries from her own backyard, sharing persimmons with the squirrels, or harvesting lettuce and herbs for a salad.
But her sustainable garden is not merely a picturesque backdrop; it is a testament to her dedication to treading lightly on the Earth.
Indeed, her home is a testament to this ethos. Solar panels line the roof, harnessing the California sunshine to power the household. Plus, a clever gray water system ensures that every drop of water counts, including wastewater from sinks and showers that is collected and redirected to provide passive irrigation for her flourishing fruit trees.
“When I take a bath or a shower or I wash my hands in the sink upstairs in my bathroom, all that water feeds plants,” Silverstone explains on her Youtube channel, The Kind Life. “And it saves 40,000 gallons of water using gray water, which is a really good investment for the Earth.”
Alicia Silverstone’s commitment to sustainability
Silverstone’s commitment to sustainability doesn’t stop at the exterior. In 1998, Silverstone went vegan after learning about the gruesome realities of animal agriculture—a move that, she later learned, came with environmental benefits, too. Silverstone has also passed on her knowledge about the plant-based lifestyle to her son, Bear Blu Jarecki, who has been vegan since birth.
While she leads by example when it comes to sustainable living, Silverstone also advocates for the animals. For Mother’s Day last year, the actress partnered with non-profit organization Farm Sanctuary to raise awareness about the cruelty inherent in factory farms—where mothers and their children are routinely separated.
“Mother’s Day can be bittersweet when we think of the other species who just want to love their babies and are robbed of the opportunity to exercise their maternal instinct because of human greed and exploitation in factory farming,” Silverstone wrote in a letter posted to the animal sanctuary’s website.
As part of the campaign, Silverstone also urged readers to join her in “adopting” Hayes, a calf who was born into the dairy industry and lost his mother at a young age; goat Olive and her daughter Maggie, who was born shortly after Olive’s arrival at Farm Sanctuary; and sheep Amari and her daughters Laura and Bailey, born just 10 days after Amari was rescued from slaughter.
In 2020, Silverstone and her then eight-year-old son joined forces with People for the Ethical Treat of Animals (PETA) to recreate Paul and Linda McCartney’s iconic 30-year-old PETA advertisement. The ad bears a striking resemblance to the original, but instead of sending the “Go Veggie” message shown on Linda McCartney’s T-shirt, Silverstone wears an updated “Go Vegan” slogan.
Dropping the Starbucks vegan milk charge
Silverstone’s activism also challenged Starbucks to drop its vegan milk surcharge. In a letter posted in 2021 to her blog The Kind Life, the actress explained that she, along with other celebrity activists such as Alan Cumming, has been asking the coffee giant to drop its vegan milk surcharge. The extra charge, Silverstone noted, makes it difficult—and even inaccessible—for customers to make environmentally and animal-friendly choices.
“These charges may seem small, but they penalize customers who are making humane and environmentally friendly choices,” she wrote. “It also penalizes people for issues they can’t control, like being lactose intolerant, which affects 65 percent of the population, predominantly people of color.”
The longtime vegan actress also debunked an argument Starbucks has made about charging extra for all modifications, explaining that the lack of standard vegan options on the permanent menu penalizes customers for modifying their drinks with plant-based alternatives.
“If Starbucks hopes to meet its goal of reducing 50 percent of its carbon emissions, water use, and waste by 2030, then an obvious first step is to ensure that the environmentally friendly options are accessible to everyone by lowering the price of their non-dairy options, and not penalizing those of us who are already choosing the sustainable, kind products,” Silverstone concluded.