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August 23, 2014

Ed Begley Jr. Talks Greening Vegas, Renewing Vows and 'Living With Ed'

by Maggie Furlong, posted Oct 21st 2009 6:00PM
Ed Begley Jr. is not just another cause celeb -- he's been a vocal environmental activist for more than 30 years, almost as long as he's been an actor.

After two seasons on HGTV, his eco-friendly reality series 'Living With Ed' is moving to its new channel, Planet Green (season 3 premieres Wed., Oct. 21, 9PM ET). With reusable bags being the latest must-have accessory and the bad economy forcing people to conserve their cash, going green is not just cool -- it's a way of life.

We caught up with Ed to get the dish on his show's new green home, his latest planet-saving endeavors and what we can all be doing to be more eco-conscious. -- By Maggie Furlong Ed Begley Jr. is not just another cause celeb -- he's been a vocal environmental activist for more than 30 years, almost as long as he's been an actor.

After two seasons on HGTV, his eco-friendly reality series 'Living With Ed' is moving to its new channel, Planet Green (season 3 premieres Wed., Oct. 21, 9PM ET). With reusable bags being the latest must-have accessory and the bad economy forcing people to conserve their cash, going green is not just cool -- it's a way of life.

We caught up with Ed to get the dish on his show's new green home, his latest planet-saving endeavors and what we can all be doing to be more eco-conscious. -- By Maggie Furlong

What can we expect from the new season of 'Living With Ed'?
Well we go outside of the home a lot -- before, we were on Home & Garden, so we had to stay around the home and the garden, and now we can travel around and do things in Las Vegas and New York and at a methane recovery facility in Lodi, California.

How do you "green" Vegas?
We weren't able to green Vegas, but we were able to green Pahrump, Nevada -- they had a big solar kick-off there to put solar hot water in a lot of homes, which made good financial sense. People can put solar hot water on their homes for just $50! And so the utility has that program to encourage them, because people there in Pahrump were heating their water with electricity, which is not the most efficient way to heat water. Heating it with the sun is more efficient, and you get a nice payback.

And your wife was along for the ride?
Yes, she's along for the ride. She had a great time in Vegas herself, and we wound up renewing our vows. We went back to the chapel where we got married and decided to do it again -- to re-up. So it was a very productive trip in every way ... it'll all be on the show.

Do you feel a personal responsibility to help make Hollywood more green?
I try to help anybody that wants help -- when people call upon me, I'm happy to share what I've learned about energy efficiency, and living a life that's fiscally responsible, too. That's what I've been doing since 1970 -- I did the cheap and easy stuff in 1970 to save me money right away. Now I can relax and do what I want, because I don't need a lot of money to live.

For people that recycle and drive hybrids and think they're green, what more can they be doing?

I would get a home energy audit -- I did a home energy audit a year ago February, and I found a lot of ways I could further reduce my energy bills. It's possible to do a great deal with the right knowledge and the right technology. Today's home energy audit does it with the best equipment: a thermal imaging device, duct blasting, all this stuff that figures out how much energy you're using and ways that you can conserve. I find a lot of people now want to be resourceful, and want to save energy. They want to do something because it's the right thing to do. But keep in mind the vast majority of people are doing it because they really need to save the money. Energy prices are going up, so they're putting up the weather stripping, putting in the energy-efficient light bulbs, they're getting the energy-saving thermostat ... they're doing all the cheap and easy stuff that really can save a tremendous amount of electricity, natural gas and money.

Want Ed's #1 green tip? Hear it right here.

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