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Ed Begley stops by Whole Foods in Valencia

Actor/environmentalist promoting eco-friendly spot remover

Posted: July 14, 2008 1:28 a.m.
Updated: September 14, 2008 5:04 a.m.
Start off small like a wee green pea shoot and grow to become an oak-sized beacon of green living - that's the Ed Begley Jr., way.

The film and television star who has lived a green environmentally-friendly lifestyle since before he was a celebrity and before he had money, invited Santa Clarita people to follow his example if they want to make a difference.

Begley - star of such films as The Accidental Tourist and Best In Show, as well as host of his own TV show Living with Ed - was signing autographed copies of his green-living book, Living Like Ed, and selling spray bottles of his own non-toxic, non-caustic biodegradable spot remover, Begley's Best, at Whole Foods Market on Valencia Boulevard Sunday.

"I've met a lot of people and a lot of people who really want to make a difference," Begley told The Signal on Sunday as he sat at a table near the cash registers, stopping after almost every sentence to shake hands with fans.

"Some people have expressed an interest in doing something big for the environment like buying a Prius and some who have told me that I had some influence in that decision-making.

"Other people have said ‘Ed, I don't have a lot of money, what can I do?' And, I've told them they can buy an energy-saving light bulb, ride a bike. I try to demonstrate to people, to do what I did in 1970 - all the cheap and easy stuff," he said. "I picked the low-hanging fruit first."

At the top of cheap and easy list is a simple credo: Reduce consumption.

"You have to reduce consumption to that you know what you're up against," he said.

Many of the people who stopped by Begley's booth told him how they admired what he was doing to raise the consciousness of people about adopting environmentally-friendly alternatives to most of the their day-to-day activities.

Many also praised his TV show, "Living Like Ed."

One of the many things that impressed Begley about Sunday's three-hour stop-over in Valencia was that Whole Foods had already been endorsing - and selling - his eviro-friendly wares.

"They just pulled these off the shelves," he said, patting the tops of his Begley's Best bottles colored a familiar white with purple trim.

Begley, now 58, was asked if he, after 38 years of green living, had anything left to learn.

Oh yes, was the simple answer.

"A home energy assessment," he said with animated excitement. "I didn't think I had to do it because I've done so much on my own - I use recycled denim as insulation in my attic - but they did the assessment and found I was leaking energy left, right and center."

One of the many improvements suggested to Begley was the need for inexpensive but effective insulation to fill in the gaps of his existing recycled denim insulation, using a cellulose-based insulation made from recycled newsprint.

Technology used by the home assessors was technology that didn't exist when people first began sizing up Ed Begley Jr., as an environmentalist.

"It's like the way you would have traditionally tried to diagnose a disease before they had a CAT scan machine," he said. "They found a lot of ways I could do things better."

But, even if you could care less about the environment, Begley's book shows you page-by-page how to save money.

For example, flipping through his green-and-white book, the tip on page 159 sums it up: "Get your workout in the garden. Cost: free."

So when he starts talking about how the critical assessment of his own home was somehow tinted in colors less than 100 percent green, Begley begins rattling off all the savings he's made having acted on some the assessor's advice.

Ed advises anyone interested in getting a home energy assessment or home energy audit to punch in those keywords on an Internet search.


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