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The Eluxe Interview with Terra Wellington
Terra Wellington is a classically trained American actress who starred on the CBS series Criminal Minds, has been a series regular in the pilot “Rx,” and who has recently appeared in a supporting role in “The Last Days of Toussaint L’Ouverture,” an award-winning short film that was dedicated to the victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Talented at improv and comedy too, she has also spent time at The Second City in Los Angeles.
Terra is also known for her support of the international charity Oxfam; is an advocate of ocean conservation, author and a wellness expert.
Here, Terra tells Eluxe about talking Tuxedos, the wonder of worms, and why your voice counts.
In which ways does nature inspire you?
It helps me breathe. Nature is the one place that you can continually find peace from the hustle of everyday life. I like exercising outdoors whenever possible. It clears my head and reminds me that the sky is just as blue and pretty as when I was in kindergarten. Plus, I get to see our talking stray cat “Tuxedo.” He speaks in cat sentences and tells me about his day. Better than a YouTube cat video!
How do you manage to stay healthy with such a busy schedule?
For working out — the only way I can do it is to think ahead and stick to a plan. Otherwise the day will easily get away from me, and then I’m trying to make up for it with lazy yoga at 11 P.M. Eating right is really more about what you buy than anything else. If I buy a bag of chips, I only have so much discipline! So, better to leave most of the “junk food” at the store and spend more time shopping at the farmer’s market to make my food more produce centric.
What is the earliest memory you have of being in nature?
Upside down under the backyard tree. It was my priority goal at five years old to see how long I could stand on my head. I think I counted to 500 once while doing it. Maybe that says something about me?
What’s the most positive thing you do for the environment in your daily life?
Compost. I love worms. We have lots of grapefruit rinds going in there right now. I’m down to the last five grapefruit on my tree. Sigh.
What’s your greatest eco ‘sin’?
Long, hot showers. I know, it’s terrible! I’ve installed an eco showerhead to cut down on the water use, but I still have guilt as I love the shower sauna.
What would be your eco-friendly dream travel destination?
I would love to spend two weeks travelling through Southern Chile in South America and spend time in the Torres del Paine National Park. I haven’t ever been to South America, and so it would be a wonderful adventure escape. I speak Spanish, so it wouldn’t be difficult to get around.
Do you have any favourite ‘green’ fashion or beauty brands? If so, which?
I’m a natural oil girl. I love avocado oil. Shea butter. Jojoba oil. I use them on my skin and hair. Avocado oil is one of the best oils for helping you to look young – and it’s relatively cheap.
Which spokesperson for the environment do you most admire, and why?
Maybe this isn’t really a hardcore environmental organisation, but I like what they’re doing at Water.org and the celebrity endorsements they have there, specifically Matt Damon. They are fun about their work and appreciate others who help them. A great organisation.
Which eco issues are most important to you?
Ocean conservation work is a top passion. I’ve been a long-time promoter of Seafood Watch, which is run by the generous people at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Have you downloaded their free app? It tells you what to buy and what to avoid to help the oceans and your health. If you want to better understand why sustainable seafood is such a big deal, scare yourself silly with the documentary “The End of the Line.” My colleague, Charles Clover, produced that film and it really changes your mindset about how important it is to protect our oceans. For family fun, go to your local aquarium. The one we have in L.A. is great, though my favourite is still up in Monterey.
How do you think further damage to the planet can be stopped?
Believe that your voice counts! I’m a bit of a geek so I write snail mail letters to public officials when I feel passionate about an issue, as well as sign petitions. Putting pressure on government representatives still remains one of our best tools. Take advantage of this freedom of expression!
Also, truthful public awareness of environmental issues is important. It helps you make better everyday choices. There are a multitude of organizations that are good at keeping you up to date with action campaigns and information. Some of my many favorites are the Natural Resources Defense Council (savebiogems.org is one of their great sites), Oxfam America, Cornucopia Institute, Union of Concerned Scientists, Center for Food Safety, Greenpeace, and Slow Food. I could go on, as there are so many great organisations.
But really, it all begins at home. Little things that you do everyday is where it’s at. Do you try to buy organic food whenever possible? Do you recycle like mad? Do you compost? Are you more conscious about what and how much you buy? Do you try to live like your grandparents and do more with less? All this really makes you more family centric. And family is where it’s at.