By Brittany Risher
October 17, 2012

Actress, voice of Gossip Girl, Neutrogena spokesperson, and environmental activist Kristen Bell has a message for you: Take shorter showers.

She's partnering with Neutrogena Naturals for the "Jump in, Jump out, Join in" campaign, which encourages people to help save a million gallons of water by adopting easy water-conserving habits. Below she opens up about why she's so green, her advice for staying healthy, her favorite vegan recipes, and her love of sloths.

SHAPE: Why is water conservation important to you?

Kristen Bell (KB): Environmental causes, including water conservation, have been a passion of mine for years. I recently visited Ethiopia with an organization called Charity Water and saw the water crisis firsthand, which inspired me to take a closer look at where my own water came. Not having clean water is often thought of as a problem within the rest of the world, but people don't realize how close to home it hits until they investigate our resources and how they are diminishing. Clean water and water in general is not an endless resource. I want to make people aware of that, which is why I am thrilled that Neutrogena Naturals has partnered with The Nature Conservancy to bring awareness to domestic water issues in order to educate people on how they can make a difference.

SHAPE: You're in great shape. What's your No. 1 rule or piece of advice for staying fit and healthy?

KB: I would pass on to the next generation the importance of taking care of your body both inside and out. It's all about being respectful to yourself because long-term you will feel and see the difference, and everyone else will see it too. Know that you always deserve to feel good and that that can happen by taking good care of yourself. I make it a priority to look after my skin and health because things can get very chaotic. When I feel and look healthy, it actually helps me manage a busy schedule better.

SHAPE: What fitness achievement or ability are you proudest of?

KB: I'm most proud of how much my cardio has improved. A few years ago, I could barely hike up half the mountain without passing out and having to turn back. With just a little consistent practice, I can now walk at a swift pace to get my heart rate up and still enjoy a beautiful long hike in the mountains.

SHAPE: Have you ever tried a gym class and afterward gone, "Never again!"?

KB: The first time I tried SoulCycle, I honestly thought I'd never walk again. It was SO hard. But the challenge was so intense that my stubbornness brought me back. The second time was almost as hard, but I really enjoyed it. Now I like going because of how much it makes me sweat!

SHAPE: Being vegan, which non-vegan food do you miss most? What do you eat now to satisfy that craving?

KB: The first month or so I really missed cheese. But then I discovered Daiya, which melts just like regular cheese. It certainly doesn't taste exactly like real cheese, but it's really, really good. When I order vegan pizza now, I am glad that the Daiya is so yummy but lacks that heavy feeling a lot of cheeses can give you. And honestly, there are so many good substitutes available now that I really don't miss anything!

SHAPE: What's your favorite source for vegan recipes?

KB: I really like to experiment and whip up my own recipes, but when I need inspiration, I usually turn to or

SHAPE: On a busy night when you want something quick, what's your go-to recipe for dinner?

KB: I have my own garden where I grow vegetables, so it really depends on the season. Right now, I'm roasting a lot of squash. They're loaded with vitamins and anyone can make them. Just pop them in the oven at 375 degrees until tender, about 30 to 45 minutes. I add a little Earth Balance vegan butter and brown sugar for a treat.

SHAPE: We heard you have a Vitamix. What are some unusual things you do with veggies with it?

KB: I think everyone deserves to indulge on sweets, but I try to maintain a healthy diet during the week so I can splurge on the weekends. I love to pop in berries; an apple or banana; any kale, romaine, or spinach; some lemon; and coconut water for a smoothie. When I have a smoothie in the morning, I feel so good the rest of the day.

SHAPE: We've also read your favorite splurge is salted chocolates. Would you never eat salted chocolates again if it meant you could have a pet sloth?

KB: Hmmm, that's a tough one. I'd probably have to say no, but only because I don't support the exotic animal trade. Now, if the exchange had been to give up salted chocolates or never be able to Google another sloth video...

SHAPE: As a face for Neutrogena, what is your biggest beauty mistake or regret?

KB: Thankfully I cannot think of anything major. If I had to choose to forget something though, I'd probably say my lip-liner phase could go.