Sophie Uliano, Julia Roberts and Oprah

Oscar®-winning actress Julia Roberts takes her movie roles to heart, but she takes one offscreen role much more seriously—her role as a global citizen. Julia says she's always been environmentally conscious but became "more focused" after having three children. "You realize we do have a responsibility of our impact in every way to our kids, the way we talk to them and the example that we offer them and the things to teach them," she says. "There's such a wealth of knowledge now that we can educate ourselves with, and it's our responsibility."

One person who helped educate Julia is friend and green guru Sophie Uliano, author of Gorgeously Green . Everyone can become environmentally conscious just by taking small steps, Sophie says. "For me, green isn't extreme," she says. "There's shades of green. … You pick your shade."

Sophie says you can take your first step in the grocery store by purchasing organic foods. "Organic means that it's grown without the use of herbicides, pesticides. It's not genetically modified; it's not irradiated," Sophie says. "Organic farming protects the planet, so it's a win-win. It's healthier for us, and it's healthier for the planet."
Organic baby food is great for your children's health.

When it comes to eating organically, Sophie says you don't need to run out and replace everything in your fridge at once. "The first thing I say to people is to think about what you eat the most of," Sophie says.

Families with young children consume a lot of baby food, so Sophie suggests starting there. "I am recommending organic baby food because babies are much more vulnerable to the effects of pesticides, and there's a lot of pesticide residue on all food," Sophie says.

Julia says she feeds her youngest son, Henry, organic baby food. "I make some of my own, I'm happy to say ," she says. "He's doing great."
Sophie Uliano recommends organic dairy products.

Milk and cheese are household staples for many families, and Sophie says it's important to think about switching over to organic brands.

"Some farmers use growth hormones and antibiotics, and this can affect human health," she says. Organic dairy products mean the cows are fed a specific diet.

Sophie says the organic labels on dairy products aren't just a marketing ploy. "It's very hard to become certified as an [organic] farmer."
Sophie Uliano recommends organic protein products.

Protein—such as pork, beef, chicken and eggs—is similar to dairy, Sophie says. The next time you're at the butcher, check to see if organic meat is an option. "Again, some conventional farmers use these growth hormones and antibiotics," Sophie says
Sophie Uliano recommends organic rice.

Rice appears to be a simple food, but there could be more to it than meets the eye, Sophie says. "Some rice—brown, white and wild rice—are grown with a tremendous amount of pesticide," Sophie says.

Many grocery stores now offer a variety of organic rice options, as shown above.
Sophie Uliano talks about organic grains.

Harmful chemicals may be lurking in a snack or bread aisle near you, which is why Sophie says it's important to make sure the corn, wheat and oats you feed your family are organic. Look for products like the ones above that call out organic ingredients.

"They have found tremendous amounts of organophosphate pesticides in processed foods like corn chips and popcorn, things that our kids eat a lot of," Sophie says. "So, again, if you can go organic with that, great idea."
Eat organic peanut butter.

Think about making your next PB&J a little healthier with organic peanut butter. "Some peanut farms use chemicals to treat mold and they use fungicides," Sophie says.
Clean your organic fruits and vegetables.

One of the major myths of going green is that you have to buy all organic fruits and vegetables. It's not true—and sometimes it's just not always possible. Still, Sophie says there are a few items you want to buy organic as often as you can "because they're the most heavily sprayed."

Look for organic raisins, potatoes, green beans, cucumbers and strawberries. Can't find them organically? Make your own veggie spray with grapefruit seed extract—found at your local health food store—to help wash away any chemicals that could be on your fruit. Rinsing simply isn't enough. "All you do is spray it on the vegetables, leave it for 5 or 10 minutes and rinse them off, and you've got rid of a lot of pesticide residue," Sophie says.

Make Sophie's veggie spray.

If you want to make a change but can't find what you need at your local store, speak up! "We as women, we are powerful. We have a voice," Sophie says. "Go to the manager and say to him, 'I want to see more organic here.'"