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Leading by Example: Living with Ed
By Arden Miller, CZM
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“As environmental issues become more pressing, there are two possible responses: forget about it and hope that government and corporations will figure it out, or take action yourself.”
To the millions of weekly viewers who tuned in to watch the Emmy Award winning drama St. Elsewhere (ABC, 1982-1988), Ed Begley Jr. is probably best known for his role as Dr. Victor Ehrlich. Since then, Begley has been seen in a variety of popular film and television shows, including Six Feet Under, Best in Show, and Batman Forever. But elsewhere, he is best known for his environmental activism. Long before the Prius was a glint in the automotive industry’s eyes, Begley was tooling around Hollywood in an electric car (when he had to travel a distance too far to bike, that is).
“As environmental issues become more pressing, there are two possible responses: forget about it and hope that government and corporations will figure it out, or take action yourself,” has been Ed’s call to action. And take action he does. In addition to driving his electric car (a converted VW Rabbit), he lives in a house powered by solar panels and has further reduce his energy consumption with a variety of energy-efficient measures, including compact fluorescent light bulbs, a timed energy-saving thermometer, and double-pane windows for installation.
Since 2006, he’s had an eco-reality show on Home and Garden Television (HGTV) [HGTV no longer carries Living with Ed. It is now on the Planet Green Network (see links below)], Living with Ed, where he shares information about energy-reducing, earth-enhancing things people can do on a range of budgets. In this eco-reality show, he covers topics such as: keeping cool without air conditioning, growing your own organic produce, using water-powered garbage disposals, building with recycled materials, cleaning with products that don’t harm the environment, finding flooring materials made from sustainable and recycled materials, and more. Following each episode, Planet Green’s website lists product and contact information to help home owners everywhere embrace greener, healthier living. Like Ed and his electric car, it looks like eco-trends are here to stay...
For More Information
Living with Ed: Planet Green Network (check local cable listings for showtimes)
Tips and Resources
Living Like Ed (Random House, 2008) available at local book stores