Living Well While Living Green

Green has always been one of my favorite colors -- it matches my eyes -- but the thought of "going green" just seemed a bit too granola and Birkenstocks for me.

I don't have time to separate what's in from what's out or which twin is MaryKate and which one is Ashley -- how would I find time to separate my recyclables from trash? Then there's keeping the thermostat at 68 degrees and turning off lights when I leave the room, an act that was so much a part of my teen rebellion.

But over the last decade the collective consciousness about conservation has been on the rise, and yes, fashionistas are a part of it. Buying vintage is a form of recycling and limos are group transport but I admit, they're not fuel efficient. They waste more gas than P. Diddy splurges on Cristal or Dom Perignon.

I know something has hit the mainstream when it becomes a story line on my favorite soap "All My Children," and sure enough, the girls from Fusion have launched an earth-friendly make-up line. If it's good enough for Pine Valley and Erica Canes's clan, it's good enough for me.

We've seen glaciers crumbling on the Discovery Channel for several decades. And as we struggle through the war in Iraq, the perils we face thanks to our insatiable thirst for oil has become clear.

Being a Hollywood activist isn't so much about getting down and dirty as it is about showing up at trendy events to support a cause and using your celeb mojo and notoriety to spread awareness.

The average person can get oversaturated with depressing news but will latch onto a worthy cause that's close to their favorite celebrity's heart. Some memorable environmental moves by celebrities include Cameron Diaz and Leonardo DiCaprio opting for Toyota Prius hybrids (free, of course) as their transport to the 2005 Oscars and Woody Harrelson sporting a Giorgio Armani-designed hemp tux when he was nominated for "The People vs. Larry Flynt" in 1997.

The biggest impact of all was made when Al Gore released an "Inconvenience Truth" for all the world to see. The atmosphere, ocean and planet are not dumping grounds for our hyper-consumerism. We protect our loved ones and our health from harm -- why shouldn't we protect our planet? All three function in unison.

In this week's column, in lieu of fashion tips to save you from this season's style faux pas, I'd like to instill a few environmentally sound and easy tips for keeping our planet looking just as good as you do.

European cities have have opted for alternative solutions to their long time traffic and transport issues.

London imposes tariffs to city drivers, Florence closes city centers to cars, and Paris has implemented a program called the bike sharing project in hopes that people will rent a bike to do their errands at a cost of about fifty cents per a half hour. (That concept is nothing new to me -- I've been biking around New York City for years.)

Over 10,000 bikes at 750 stations will be available in Paris by summer's end. If you're there, it's a great way to get around town and keep your butt perky at the same time.

Let's face it -- being eco-friendly isn't necessarily easy, so it may take a while before you get the kinks out. But some of you may already be doing it without even trying. Those of you living in a city like New York are likely making less of an ecological impact than their friends in the suburbs.

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