- You've been a green guy for 40 years. What was your initial impetus for exercising conservation?
- Ed: Living in smoggy L.A. After 20 years of it, I felt I had had enough and wanted to do my small part to make a change.
- What are the most recent examples of green living that you've integrated into your lifestyle?
- Ed: My recent changes that have worked well have been:
1) Separate power strips for un-needed "vampire power" -- I turn them off at night, or when I go to bed, and save a lot of power and money!
2) A 550-gallon underground rainwater storage tank. It gives me a fair amount of water for my garden after a rain.
- I once read that if you want toast, you get on a bike to generate enough power to toast it. How much do you love toast?
- Ed: I rarely eat toast. The bike is hooked up to the solar batteries. I could toast a piece of toast or run a computer or light bulb all day after 15 minutes on the bike.
- One of the common perceptions about "going green" is that it's too expensive. What are your thoughts on that take?
- Ed: Do what I did when I started. Pick the low hanging fruit first. Energy saving light bulbs. Energy saving thermostat. Weather stripping. Bike riding, when weather and fitness permit. Public transportation if it's near you. Home gardening and home composting. Community garden if you don't have a home.
- How does it feel to be the most recognizable figurehead of the environmental movement?
- Ed: I don't know if that's true, but I'm happy to have played my small part.
- In your opinion, what is the biggest threat to our planet at the moment?
- Ed: Over-consumption. Those who are doing well need to live simply so that others may simply live.
- What eco-friendly trend do you see picking up some carbon-free steam in the next few years?
- Ed: Cheaper solar and wind.
- What do you say to people still skeptical that climate change is a real thing?
- Ed: Type in "NASA Climate" in your search engine and read what they think about it. They don't have a dog in this race.
- Which brick-and-mortar businesses do you recommend most highly to people looking to live greener?
- Ed: Three of my friends:
1. A.O. Smith for energy efficient water heaters.
2. LifeSource for water filtration
(LA, Orange County, Las Vegas).
3. Envirolet for composting toilets.
- What are your plans for Earth Day?
- Ed: I intend to stay home for a change and have a zero carbon footprint.
- Want to be the change you hope to see in the world? Have a peek at some green thinking organizations that Ed Begley Jr. recommends and is a member of:
Friends of Earth
Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy
E - The Environmental Magazine
The Thoreau Institute at Walden Woods
Ed Begley Jr.'s Website
Living Greener With Ed Begley, Jr.
It's a rare day in Hollywood when an actor with six Emmy nominations becomes more famous for something else. But really, that's where Ed Begley Jr. finds himself in 2012 -- as one of the most noteworthy environmentalists next to Al Gore and Ralph Nader. Begley Jr. shared with us some of his thoughts on climate change, sustainable living and the energy it takes to eat toast for breakfast.