Thursday, April 24, 2008

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

Living Like Ed A Guide to the Eco-Freindly Life by Ed Begley Jr. This book is not your typical celebrity endorsement for the environment. This is a comprehensive guide on how to live a more environmentally freindly life. It covers the Home, Transportation, Recycling, Energy, In The Garden and Kitchen, Clothing and Hair and Skin Care. Ed Begley has been a committed environmentalist for 30 years. It shows in this book. He has an electric car, solar panels and a wind turbine on his roof, is a vegetarian, sells a line of environmental cleaning products, and grows his own fresh produce.

This book is fairly practical in nature. It suggests things buying energy star products for your appliances like air conditioning and refrigerators. In addition it gives numerous examples of small things which you can do everyday like; cleaning your refrigerator coils, putting trees and awnings around your house, using a broom not a hose to clean your sidewalk, buy milk or juice in glass containers, get a time of use meter and similar things.

Some of the suggestions are surprising. He describes some interesting companies that can help home owners like PacWind which sells a noiseless 500 watt vertical axis wind turbine that can be installed in urban environments or Phoenix Motorcars where he bought his all electric car.

Ed also describes hierarchies in choice for environmental decisions. For example with transportation, first he walks, then he bikes, then he drives a car as a last resort, and very rarely does he fly in airplane. When he does he buys carbon offset credits from a company called Terrapass.

There are some examples that are a little bit odd, like keeping a solar oven in the back yard instead of a barbecue, and his iZip electric powered bicycle. I think at times the book can go to extremes, but mostly his ideas are fairly practical.

He covers some material on green living which I haven't seen before. Suggestions like buying in bulk to reduce the amount of packaging which you purchase and look for products with less packaging were a surpsise to me. He also covers organic and natural fiber clothing. Things like hemp shoes, natural silk, organic cotton, and recycled clothing. There is also a discussion on peak usage for energy. That the best time to use energy and the cheapest time is between 8 p.m. and 10 a.m.

The book is very easy to follow. It has a checklist of things which you can do in the back for energy savings and water savings. There is also a recycling crib sheet. The back of the book has an index.

The book is written in an informal style which makes it a quick read. I read it in three hours. There are numerous black and white photographs and simple diagrams throughout the book.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I love the show; I'll bet the book is equally entertaining!