Actress Lucy Hale has kept busy during the pandemic — the Pretty Little Liars star has filmed more than one new project, she adopted a new dog, and she took on several new sustainable living habits, including thrifting, using less single-use plastics, reducing her meat intake, and more.
Most recently, Hale made a change to reduce the impact of her dogs’ diets — she started feeding them Karma’s new “plant-first” dog food, which is composed of 60 percent plant-based protein and 40 percent animal-based protein, and features packaging that is recyclable through TerraCycle. “It was just a partnership that seemed so perfect for me because I love my dogs,” she tells Green Matters exclusively.
Switching to a plant-based diet is one of most impactful changes we can make for the environment and for animals — whether you’re a human or a dog. Many experts agree that most dogs can thrive on a vegan diet, but Karma’s new 60/40 dog food could serve as a stepping stone for those hesitant to make the full switch for their pups. And of course, always check with your veterinarian before making any major changes to your dog’s diet.
Taking a break from filming an upcoming movie in London, Hale recently caught up with Green Matters via Zoom to share her Green Routine — as well as the story of how she adopted her newest rescue dog Ethel (who joined her other rescue pup, Elvis) during quarantine, an inside look at her upcoming film The Hating Game, and more.
This interview has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.
GREEN MATTERS: Can you tell us more about why you were inspired to partner with a plant-first dog food that is working to reduce its environmental impact?
LUCY HALE: The last couple of years, definitely the last year, I've made the conscious choice that I have to start living a more sustainable life, and that can be so overwhelming for certain people. I think it's important to just do those small things until you figure out something that works for you, so in the last year I’ve been recycling, really making recycling a priority, using less single use plastics, and driving less — so New York and London make it really easy. You walk everywhere.
The fashion industry is [unsustainable] — I've been trying to buy from thrift stores. There’s all these little things you can do to be more eco-friendly. I heard about lot of people who were doing more vegan diets, vegetarian, or just reducing their meat intake, which I've definitely done. Because as we know, so many documentaries have come out about the meat industry and what it actually does to the environment, so I made that step. And then I heard about Karma.
GM: Do you have any other sustainable living habit changes you’ve made?
LH: What I've actually noticed in London is they use a lot less plastic here, like even everywhere I've noticed the paper straws, whereas in America, I feel like it's slowly getting rid of that.
On the set here, it's a no-plastic set. They give you like a glass water bottle. I think about how many plastic water bottles I used to go through, and once plastic is here, it's here forever. So just little choices like that, like even my little snack bags, I have like reusable snack bags — and I think it's finding where your products are made, what they're made of.
It is not a one size fits all. I never want to appear preachy to people, but I think that there are so many documentaries out there, there's so much online that you can really educate yourself and find what works for you, and find what works for your lifestyle. You might live in a city where you can bike everywhere or you can walk more. Like I said, it's a mold that not everything fits into, so I think it's just finding the little ways that work for you and your life.
GM: And what inspires you to make these changes and care about the planet?
LH: You just go outside. I love being outside. I love hiking in LA and the beach. The world is marvelous. Long story short, we live on such a beautiful planet that that it's really heartbreaking to see what where we're at, and we can't reverse a lot of what we've done, but we certainly can help slow what's happening.
You have to find what speaks to you, because each person has their part and plays their part, and that's why I loved this partnership with Karma, because it is my little part in trying to make the world a little better.
GM: You adopted a dog from Melissa Bacelar’s Wagmor Pets during the pandemic. What was that adoption process like?
LH: Melissa is the best. She's the reason I have Ethel, actually. I, for years, have followed the local LA rescues — there are all these just amazing, amazing rescues, and I feel like all of my friends have rescued at this point, especially this last year, I feel like everyone got a dog, which is amazing because I think at one point all the rescues were empty, which is unheard of.
I wasn't planning on getting Ethel when I did, but I’d reached out to Melissa and I said, “Hey, if you ever see, another dog like Elvis, a Maltipoo, any age, please let me know,” because I just love the breed, they’re so sweet. And she messaged me, and they had gone to rescue Ethel and her siblings from a home in Bakersfield that just couldn't care for them anymore. She said, “Do you want one?” and I said, well, I guess I'm getting another dog! And I went over and I met her and said, “Oh she's mine, she was meant to be mine.”
GM: I’d love to hear a little about your new movie The Hating Game, coming out later this year.
LH: The Hating Game is based on the book. And it's this rivalry between my character, Lucy — I got to play another Lucy — and this character Josh. The way they interact is almost childlike because there's an underlying feeling of they're madly in love with each other, but it's this competitiveness against each other that keeps them going towards their goals, and it definitely is your classic romcom rivalry movie kind of like you've seen in You've Got Mail — they hate each other, but they love each other, but they know that they bring out the best in each other.
So yes it is a rivalry movie, but at the end, they realize, oh, you make me better, I make you better. And it was really fun. I worked with my friend Austin [Stowell] who played Josh. There are a lot of themes in the movie about strong women, and my character makes really strong choices for herself, which— more so now, there are a lot of really strong female characters. But I like the way she was portrayed. I like that she didn't take crap from anyone, especially not the men at the workplace. She really stood her own, and didn't apologize for it, which I think is cool.
"Green Routine" is a series from Green Matters that invites notable people in the environmental space to share the efforts they make to live more sustainably.