green book review

Living Like Ed - Green Books on Eco-Libris blog


Living Like Ed - A Guide to the Eco-Friendly Life by Ed Begley, Jr.

Today on our green books series we present a new book of Ed Begley, Jr., who was dubbed "the star of climate change" by Newsweek magazine.

Our book for today is:

Living Like Ed: A Guide to the Eco-Friendly Life

Author: Ed Begley, Jr.

Ed Begley, Jr., became a star for his convincing portrayal of the obsequious, socially awkward Dr. Erlich on the acclaimed television series "St. Elsewhere," a performance which earned him an Emmy nomination. The son of distinguished radio, television, and screen actor Ed Begley, the younger Begley made his acting debut at age 17 in an episode of "My Three Sons."

Later, he worked on the college and nightclub circuit as a standup comedian and then was a TV cameraman for a short while. During the '70s, Begley returned to acting and guest starred on several series, including "Happy Days" and "Starsky and Hutch." In film, he made his debut in the Disney comedy "Now You See Him, Now You Don't," and went on to play small roles in a couple more Walt Disney comedies.

Steadily employed in Hollywood as a supporting actor and occasional lead in television and feature films, Begley has displayed a broad range of talent that has allowed him to play anything from hippies to deadly villains in a variety of genres.

When not acting, Begley is a tireless promoter of environmental causes. He has also served as the Environmental Affairs Commissioner for the City of Los Angeles and on the boards of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, the Environmental Research Foundation, The Coalition for Clean Air, and the American Oceans Campaign. Begley's environmental efforts have earned him awards from the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Coalition for Clean Air.

As of 2007, Begley and his wife Rachelle Carson star in their own reality television series, Living With Ed, on the Home & Garden Television, focusing on their pursuits of sustainable living.

Furthering Begley’s pursuit of sustainability is his line of natural home cleaning products, Begley’s Best, "a terrific all-purpose cleaner designed to replace all other household cleaning products...made from extracts of pine, palm extract, de-acified citrus, maize, fermented sugar cane roots, and olive seeds. The ingredients are all natural, non-toxic and totally biodegradable in just 3 to 7 days."

Publisher: Clarkson Potter

Published in: February 2008

What it is about: Begley Jr., an actor and a committed environmentalist, presents a do-it-yourself guide to green living that explains how to incorporate eco-friendly products and practices into one's everyday life. The book is covering areas such as the home, transportation, recycling, energy, food, gardening, clothing and furnishing. Begley shares his experiences on what works, what doesn't, and what will save you money!

From the book description: "And if you think living green has to mean compromising on aesthetics or comfort, fear not; Ed's wife, Rachelle, insists on style - with a conscience. In Living Like Ed, his environmentalism and her design savvy combine to create a guide to going green that keeps the chic in eco-chic. From recycling more materials than you ever thought possible to composting without raising a stink to buying an electric car, Living Like Ed is packed with ideas - from obvious to ingenious–that will help you live green, live responsibly, live well. Like Ed."

Why you should get it:
1. I always in favor of such guides that give you advice how to go green from first-hand experience.

2. I like the book's approach that as far as I understand is led by Rachelle, Ed's wife, which is that going green does not mean you have to compromise on quality, comfort, style, etc. Many people afraid that going green means trade-offs and this book means to show them it ain't necessarily so.

3. Ed Begley became green many years before being green became popular or even understandable. As described on, Begley has been recycling since before many other eco-celebs were born and has owned a wind turbine since the ’80s. Even in the '90s many saw him, as his wife explains, some kind of green freak, which then may also even cost him a little bit in his career.

I think it's kind of historical justice that Begley Jr. enjoys now the fruits of being loyal all of these years to his green beliefs. I also believe that this is the exact kind of person you would like to receive advice from about how to green up your life.

What others say on the book:
“Filled with sound advice and first-hand experience from someone who has been walking the walk for more than 38 years, Living Like Ed provides a wide array of practical options for anyone who wants to make his life a little-or a lot-greener. Ed Begley is more than a beloved Hollywood figure; he¹s an all-American hero, and Living Like Ed is a comprehensive yet accessible guide to becoming more environmentally savvy that light greens and bright greens alike will find themselves dog-earing for years to come.” -

This green book review was originally posted on Eco-Libris blog.

More resources:

1. The book on

2. Browse inside the book

3. Interview with Ed on Crunchy Chicken

4. New York Times environment reporter Andrew C. Revkin talks with Ed Begley Jr. about living green.

Back to Eco-Libris green books page


Living Like Ed

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