There are a lot of Hollywood celebrities who have championed green living these days. It is a hip stance to take. But Ed Begley Jr. was doing it far before it was hip.
Begley Jr., of course, is probably just as famous now for his environmentalism as he is for his acting gigs. His showLiving with Ed is a hit on HGTV. But the deal with Ed, as opposed to some celebrities, is sustainable living is not something he only does in front of the cameras.
This guy truly walks the walk.
I got the opportunity to hear Begley Jr. talk about sustainable energy and green living last week at a conference in Detroit. His passion was truly infectious. He gave a brief history on his decision to make green living a focal point of his life (smog in LA, for one reason). But it was one statement he made in his closing remarks that really stuck with me.
Do not focus on the things you cannot afford. Focus on the things you can afford.
Sure, it would be great if everyone could afford electric cars and solar panels for their homes. But even if we cannot, there are so many things we can do to help the environment – and most of them are either free or cost very little.
So here is a list of ideas Begley Jr. gave me.
Replace your light bulbs with energy-efficient bulbs.
Get a programmable thermostat for your AC system and actually use it. (It is one thing to get the thermostat, but make sure it is programmed correctly for the intended use.)
Weather-strip your home.
Grow your own vegetables in the backyard.
Compost at home.
Ride your bike or use public transportation. (Begley Jr. truly practices what he preaches here. He rides his bike everywhere possible, and he takes public transportation when his bike will not do. He proudly showed off his LA bus card to everyone. He said he does own two cars – one electric and one hybrid – but only uses them when absolutely necessary.)
Begley Jr. gets a bad rap by some. He is often dismissed as a crazy hippie. But we should be so lucky if we all cared about our future as much as he does. Not only talking the talk, but walking the walk, as well.