Sep 6, 2011

Living Like Ed

A Guide to the Eco-Friendly Life
by Ed Begley

I thought I knew quite a bit about being "green." I thought I was great at recycling, in fact my husband calls me the "recycling nazi" when I chide him for tossing plastic in the trash. But I am nothing like Ed. This guy had so much to teach me. He's been a stickler for recycling and living green in general since the early eighties! He not only has solar panels on his roof, but also a small vertical wind turbine on top of his garage. He has an electric car and a hybrid car, but does most of his transportation via foot, bike or public bus. (His wife - who gets her own sections in the book- says he often refuses to even get into a gas-powered car). This guy also recycles everything you could think of, finds ways to reuse worn-out items (or give them to someone else who will), grows his own veggies in the backyard, buys organic (including clothing) and just in general does every last little thing he can to help the environment. Even when he has to travel by plane he'll buy a TerraPass to offset the carbon used for his air travel.

Granted, not everyone can be like Ed. After all, he's an actor (admit I've never seen his television series, in fact I'd never heard of him until I first read about this book on Both Eyes Book Blog) and can do all the expensive things like buy a car with the newest technology or put solar panels on his roof. But he points out all the things people can do- from the smallest increments like turning down your thermostat or buying those funny-looking twisty lightbulbs to medium-scale improvements such as buying an energy-efficient dishwasher to the big things like making your own solar energy for your home. So I'd bet anyone who reads this book can find dozens of things they could do to live more green. I know I've made a list. Already, these are all the things I could think of that I do in my house to live green:

- recycle
- turn down the heat and wear a sweater
- grow veggies in the backyard
- compost most of my organic waste
- buy those twisty lightbulbs
- walk my kids to school
- walk to the park and most nearby stores
- have an energy-efficient washing machine
- line-dry clothes outside when I can
- potty my baby (cuts my diaper use in half)
- buy organic food when I can
- shop at the farmer's market
- make my own baby food
- buy clothing and books used
- use dishwater / baby bathwater to water my shrubs and flowers
- reuse items (my daughter makes barbie clothes out of worn-out jeans, I rinse out yogurt containers and use them for seedling pots, etc.)

Reading Living Like Ed made me think of so many more things to do. Change the air filter in my furnace/ac more often. Look up where to recycle dead batteries instead of throw them in the trash. Consider putting a water-heater blanket on my old appliance. And of course, I've always dreamed of being able to afford solar panels on the roof or a hybrid car. Someday...

What kinds of things does your household do to live green? I bet Ed could help you come up with some more. This book is highly recommended- by me!

Rating: 4/5 ........ 240 pages, 2008

No comments: