By Delaney Gilbride

We all know Alysia Reiner as ex-assistant warden Natalie “Fig” Figueroa from the smash hit Netflix show Orange Is the New Black (OITNB), but did you know she’s also a passionate environmental advocate? The actress is adamant about spreading knowledge and awareness concerning the damages done to our Earth day after day, which is why she joined Cool Effect, a non-profit environmental group that allows individuals to create a tangible impact on climate change through a digital platform. In our celebrity interview with the star, she shares her best Earth-saving tips and also opens up about what’s next on OITNB.

Celebrity Interview with Alysia Reiner

Talking about her passion for protecting our planet, Reiner believes that right now is a “very crucial time” when it comes to saving our only home – Earth. When the actress asked herself what she could do as only one person to save our environment, she decided to focus on taking small steps. She became a member of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA); she began using public transportation; and she started carrying her drinks around in travel mugs rather than plastic cups. She says that, on an individual level, it’s important to begin with the little things like buying your groceries locally, eating less meat, and being aware of the clothes you buy. “I’m wearing, right now, a piece of clothing that uses waste [and] scraps from other pieces of clothing,” she shares. “It’s called ‘Zero-Waste.'”

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Reiner states that “we have to become aware” that there are ways to cool down our environment. This, among many others, is one of the reasons why she teamed up with Cool Effect’s new “Tons of Reasons” carbon-reducing projects campaign. This campaign is actively perusing new ways to eliminate the use of carbon, which is heating up our world at a steady rate.

The OITNB actress also talks about how Cool Effect is reaching its way to India, where individuals are turning their waste into clean, usable energy. “Take action in a way that gives [us] hope,” she encourages in our celebrity interview. Taking the simple step of joining organizations such as Cool Effect will help our planet in a huge way.

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Lucky for us, Reiner didn’t forget about the return of OITNB on Friday, June 9th (although that date may change given the recent hacker release of the first 10 episodes). “Yes, Fig is back,” she says, “and [the season] takes place in three days.” We can’t help but love Fig and her continual returns to Litchfield Penitentiary in order to twist the knife just a smidgen more to make life hell for those who have wronged her.

Reiner is also working on season 2 of the FX show Better Things with comedian Louis C.K. and actress Pamela Adlon.

To help make the world a better place, please visit CoolEffect.org and TonOfReasons.org now. You can follow Alysia on Twitter @alysiareiner.