"We recycle and we don't use Styrofoam packaging at lunch. They use biodegradable or real plates," Lea Thompson says of the eco-policy in place at "Switched at Birth," her ABC family Tuesday night series about two teen girls and their families dealing with the titular mistake. She finds playing her wealthy character, Kathryn Kennish, the ideal job. "I don't have to look for work, and it's an ensemble so I don't have to work all the time," says Thompson, who has two daughters of her own, one of them, Zoey, now appearing on the CW's "Ringer." She'll also be seen this month in "Thin Ice," a dark crime comedy-drama in which she plays "Greg Kinnear's unhappy estranged wife." It opens Feb. 17.


"I think recycling is really important. I'm not as good as I should be. It should be made more available because every little bit helps," says Vanessa Marano, who plays Bay, the daughter Kathryn raised as her own. She drives a Prius she got primarily to save money on gas, she admits, but believes "we all can be better" about green practices like recycling. She's having a blast playing a character with a similar sarcastic sense of humor but a very different outlook, confidence level and way of interacting with people than her own, "and I get to learn a new language," namely American Sign Language. "Bay is a lot better at it than I am," she admits.


Acting since she was seven at the theater her mother runs, the now 19-year-old L.A. native graduated early from high school and has been taking community college courses for five years. "I think education is extremely important," she believes, and hopes to get a degree in classical civilization studies. But she plans to keep acting, possibly direct, and definitely produce one day. "I'd love to get to the point where I can create my own projects." Meanwhile, she'll star in the comedy "The Secret Lives of Dorks" later this year.


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'Switched at Birth' keeps it green
Lea Thompson and Vanessa Marano reduce and recycle, on set and off.