Ed Begley Jr. on Living Simply

Ed Begley Jr. talks with us about sustainable living, public transportation, living simply and Arrested Development.

| May 2013

  • EdBegleyJr

  • EdBegleyJr

What do you call a guy who takes public transportation to work, shops at the local farmers' market, grows much of his own produce, generates most of the electricity in his home, oh, and, has been a household name for more than 40 years? Ed Begley Jr. That's what.  

The son of Academy Award-winning Ed Begley Sr. has been living “green” since 1970, and he’s joining dozens of other speakers at the Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup, Wash. June 1 and 2 to share his story. “I find a lot of likeminded people [at the fairs],” he says. His presentation will include solutions to living sustainably on a budget – things as simple as using energy-efficient lightbulbs, weather stripping doors and windows, and plugging electronics into power strips, so they can be turned off at night and when you’re not home.

Sustainable isn’t a word often associated with Hollywood, but Begley says it’s further along than you might think. “A lot [of celebrities] have done it.” From forgoing limousines to purchasing CO2 offsets for plane flights, residents of Tinseltown are becoming, well, less tinsely. He and Bill Nye even have a running competition to out-green each other.

Begley serves on the board of the Environmental Media Association where TV shows, movies, actors, singers, and others in the entertainment industry are awarded based on their efforts to make their sets, stages, etc. as environmentally friendly as possible. The organization’s mission is to “act as a liaison between the environmental community and entertainment community,” Begley says. “And make sure good information gets out to the public. We can use our window to the world to promote good science. Also, we lead by example.” Last year’s winners included Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax (feature film), Chasing Ice (documentary), an episode of the television show Dallas, and an episode of children’s television show Handy Manny.

Begley doesn’t simply encourage folks to minimize their environmental impact, but his life manifests everything he’ll mention at the Mother Earth News Fair. He installed solar panels on his 1936 North Hollywood home, he’s been driving an electric car since 1970 (he paid a whopping $950 for it), his home is decked out with energy-saving lightbulbs, double paned windows, thick insulation and weather stripping, just to name a few. Soon he’ll complete construction on a new home, which he hopes will be granted LEED Platinum certification, and will be independent of any supplemental electricity over a year’s time. Tune into his web series, On Begley Street, to track the progress.

So what’s lacking from his ultra-efficient lifestyle? “I wish I lived in an area that had more land so I could have a wind turbine.” He says that he probably wouldn’t mind the noise, but his neighbors might have something to say about it. Aside from generating 80 to 85 percent of his current home’s energy from solar power, some of his neighbors have taken note and installed solar panels on their own homes. “When people ask, I respond and give them information. Some just tolerate [the solar panels], but others like them.”

7/31/2015 4:35:07 PM

Sorry, but Ed Begley is a nut and a fool. Another leftist liberal socialist democrat who thinks government should mandate his lifestyle for the rest of us. The purchase of carbon offsets is a scam that preys on those who are most gullible, naive, and/or stupid. If flying really did hurt the environment, buying offsets would help nothing except the consciences of the guilty and the bank account of Al Gore. Manbearpig! I'm super serial!

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