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By Arwa Lodhi
Beautiful, naturally shy and possibly slightly afflicted with Asperger’s Syndrome, Daryl Hannah has always turned to animals and the great outdoors for nurturing and comfort. She has been an enthusiastic runner, hiker and horse rider for years, and is also an ardent protector of the environment.
The star of Blade Runner, Splash, Dancing at the Blue Iguana, Wall Street, Kill Bill and dozens more films has a slow, shy laugh and a direct way of speaking to her listeners, as evidenced in her eco-video blog, which she launched in 2006 to raise awareness of environmental issues. The blog features a series of five-minute films that offer short insights of how people around the world are trying to save the planet.
In one clip, for example, Hannah licks the gas cap of her 1983 biodiesel el Camino to demonstrate how the French fry grease that powers it has such a low toxicity level, you can practically eat it. She also shares an intimate video of her trip to Rwanda, where she travelled to draw attention to the plight of the world’s diminishing mountain gorillas.
The actress is so passionate about her beliefs, she’s willing to not only devote much of her time to them, but also to sacrifice her own freedom: she was arrested in June of 2006 trying to help save the future of a large urban farm in south-central Los Angeles, and was arrested again this year in front of the White House while protesting the Keystone XL pipeline.
Of course, Hannah’s own lifestyle is deeply green: her home is entirely off the grid; as we mentioned, her car runs on old cooking oil; she tries to ‘over carbon-neutralise’ her lifestyle, is a vegetarian, and eats mainly organic. The former girlfriend of John F. Kennedy Jr and Jackson Browne also never had children, and lives in the Rockies, where her house has a greenhouse extension so she can grow her own organic food.
But despite the challenges ahead, and despite being arrested on more than one occasion for speaking up for the environment, she does feel positive about the future:
“I actually do feel hopeful, because I feel like more people are open to this thought process than ever. And I know that the younger generation is doing things that are so ingenious. And for them it’s not a matter of a political belief or an environmental stance. It’s really just common sense. I really think that’s what it should have come down to a long time ago”.