When it comes to eco-living, Jenna Elfman is "always working to improve that area, from recycling to getting rid of products that are toxic and trying to replace them with less toxic products. I work with Healthy Child Healthy World, charity: water. I try to help inspire others but I'm also learning myself, always," she says.
On the set of her new NBC comedy "1600 Penn," she requested a recycling bin to put in her trailer. "I cannot put paper and plastic bottles in the same bin. I'm very determined about recycling. When I'm in hotels, I save my water bottles and take them home to recycle them if I can't find a recycling bin," Elfman says. "I can't stand the idea of putting paper and plastic bottles in the earth when they can be recycled. It's crazy!"
She has also given up eating chicken and red meat, though she still eats some seafood, and always chooses organic. "It really has made a difference. I noticed it in my energy."
After recent turns in "Shameless" and "Damages," the longtime "Dharma & Greg" star has returned to her sitcom roots, playing First Lady Emily Gilchrist — and stepmom to the President's kids — in "1600 Penn," which premieres Jan. 10. While Elfman enjoys doing both comedy and drama, "I love the added task of making people laugh, and being able to do comedy and in the next breath have a genuine emotion, I love that."
Her workday starts early: she's up at 4 a.m. and in the makeup chair at 5:45, but she's home in time to put her sons, ages 5 and 2½, to bed. "It's a total juggle. It's all about time management," says the organized actress, who plans her week's schedule to the hour. The fact that her husband, actor Bodhi Elfman, is working on the same studio lot in "Touch" makes it somewhat easier. "The kids come with me, then go and visit dad for lunch. Fortunately, it's all very kid-friendly."