Sustainable Living with Actress, Author, and Activist Bonnie Wright

Last Update: March 10, 2023

Actress and activist Bonnie Wright may be best known for her role as Ginny Weasley in the Harry Potter series, but she’s well aware that there’s no magical cure for climate change. Instead, Wright uses her platform to educate on practical, actionable steps toward living a more sustainable and low-waste lifestyle, including tips for reusing packaging, composting, and even contacting your lawmakers to advocate for more environmentally conscious policies. 

In her new book, “Go Gently: Actionable Steps to Nurture Yourself and the Planet”, Wright compiles a collection of “do’s rather than don’ts” that encourage everyone to get involved in the movement to reverse climate change. 

“[The book] documents the different things I’ve been curious about within the climate movement and how I can be part of the change I want to see,” she told us over Instagram Live. “A lot of the work I was doing with Greenpeace and other organizations [was] looking at larger-scale actions toward government and corporations, but I would come home and feel like my day-to-day life wasn’t in line with the things I cared about. I wanted to see how I could be implementing changes in my life so that I could see a bit more of a tangible change and feel more empowered.”

In honor of Earth Month, we sat down with Wright to talk all things climate, conscious consumerism, and those sustainable at-home habits that help her live her life by her values. Here are a few of her most important tips for starting your own sustainability journey — one small step at a time. 

Bonnie Wright’s Tips for Sustainable Living 

  1. Start slow. “I didn’t want to overhaul my whole life and then burn out in five days,” Wight tells us about beginning her at-home sustainability initiatives. Instead, she recommends identifying a few areas where you can switch to low-waste living, then working your way up to a more all-encompassing lifestyle change. 
  2. Make it relevant to your life. Wright decided to start by removing single-use plastics from her kitchen and cooking routine. “For me, I took an issue that I deeply cared about and I thought, I’m going to start in an area of the home that I love to be in, which is cooking in the kitchen. I intersected that issue with something that I find joy in.” She says, “Find your thing, because if you like doing something, you’re more likely to sustain it.”
  3. Consider your consumption. “When we’re faced with consumer choices, there isn’t any right or wrong, good or bad choice. I think there’s so much more nuance in all the choices we make,” Wright says. “In those moments we should be more informed so our choices can be more intentional.” When deciding where to spend your money, she recommends putting a bit of research and thought into purchasing from companies that are thoughtful about sourcing, prioritize low-waste packaging, and have similarly environmentally conscious values.
  4. Get ahead of things. When switching to a low-waste lifestyle, it helps to put some forethought into your typical daily routine to avoid grabbing a plastic-wrapped sandwich or a single-use water bottle out of convenience. “[If] I’m going to be tight for time that day, maybe I’ll prepare a few things to help me live by my values,” she explains.
  5. Get involved with organizations that align with your beliefs. Wright remembers trawling for microplastics on a ship with Greenpeace for the first time in 2018, and she says that meeting the people involved with the organization inspired her to commit to activism in the long-term. But you don’t have to hop on a ship to get involved: phone banking, writing letters to your representatives, and even joining a beach or highway cleanup are all great ways to get involved with groups who share your values.
  6. Redirect your eco-anxiety. “It’s hard to ignore the science and the facts and the headlines that show the issue as-is, which is pretty scary and can be quite overwhelming,” Wight muses. “It’s a reaction of being compassionate human beings.” While it’s important to feel the broader scope of emotion toward climate change, Wright recommends using those emotions to fuel your activism: try calling a friend and sharing your feelings or spending some time connecting with nature.. “We don’t have to look any further than our own hand to see nature — we don’t have to go to some far off natural landscape; that’s not the reality of everyone living within a city, or wherever people may be.” Simply looking at the sky, taking a deep breath of fresh air, and re-centering yourself in nature just might help you to find yourself in the climate movement. 

For more with Bonnie Wright, watch the recap of our Instagram Live conversation. Follow Bonnie on Instagram at @thisisbwright and Bonnie’s new book, “Go Gently,” is now available for purchase. 

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Amy Roberts

Amy Roberts is Thrive Market's Senior Editorial Writer. She is based in Los Angeles via Pittsburgh, PA.

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