Nadya Hutagalung on Being Green

She may support environmental causes like the reduction of global warming, but let’s face it – temperatures will definitely rise when Nadya Hutagalung is around. When she’s not busy being a supermodel, mother and host of Asia’s Next Top Model, Nadya Hutagalung spends most of her time promoting eco-friendly practices. The Indonesian-Australian beauty has been nominated for Most Responsible Celebrity at the International Green Awards, along with other celebs like George Clooney, Penelope Cruz and Vivienne Westwood. Read on to find out how Nadya Hutagalung goes green, while still looking like a million bucks.

You’re one of the few celebs in Asia who are passionate about being eco-friendly. What first got you interested in going green?

I would have to say it was my mother who inspired me, as she has been talking about these concepts of living off the grid and being self-sustainable before I could even understand what that meant. Since becoming a mother myself, I felt an urgent need to be active in the world we are leaving behind for our children. If I were to do nothing, I would not be able to ease the feeling of guilt deep in my soul.

Most people in Singapore are still kind of apathetic about being green. What are some easy ways people can be eco-friendly at work or at home?

Less meat, less heat – try to adapt a plant-based diet, as the factory farming of meat has a very heavy carbon footprint.

We hear you’ve got an eco-friendly home as well. What green aspects did you try and integrate into your house?

Everything from the facing of the house to cut back on exposure to heat, to the design of the home helps to create a passive house. We have thermal heating for our water supply and a mineral water swimming pool which uses NASA technology to clean the pool (this means we don’t need to use chlorine).

We also use LED lights and don’t use air-conditioning, except when I’m getting ready for work. We used a no-kill, no-poison termite technology during the build as well. Our power bills are about half of what a similar-sized house would be, so we’re saving in the long run.

Tell us more about your eco-living website, Green Kampong. How did you come up with that name?

We first started Green Kampong as a blog about building our green home and it quickly grew into what it is today. I have to admit it was my smart cookie husband Desmond who came up with the name.

What’s one word you’d use to describe the eco-friendly scene in Singapore?

Blossoming.

What do you have to say to people who think it’s just too much of a hassle to be green?

Learning to adapt to the effects of climate change, rising food prices, water shortages, rising sea levels etc. will be more of a hassle than small lifestyle changes – which can actually prove to be cost saving and fun too.

What’s the biggest misconception that people have about being green?

That it’s expensive. The easiest way to be green is to cut back on your consumption.

If you had the chance to completely eliminate any non-eco-friendly thing e.g. plastic/cars/etc. what would it be?

Ignorance.

Put Singapore on the map and vote for Nadya as the Most Responsible International Celebrity at the International Green Awards. Voting closes on 6 August.