Ed Begley Jr.

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I wish I could be like him. For those of you who don’t know, Mr. Begley Jr. is an actor who lives in California, in a self-sustaining home powered by solar power. His family’s weekly trash fits into the the space of about 3 car glove boxes – one for each member of the family living in the home. He has won numerous awards for his environmentalism and supports the cause in any way he can.
I actually have somewhat mixed feelings, about him. He is doing amazing things in the area of environmentalism and bringing awareness to the fact that it’s possible to live a self-sufficient life. But part of me fells like, “Gee, it must be nice to have enough money to buy enough land for a farm in California (where there’s a lot of support for the green movement), and to build a completely green home from the ground up!”
While I don’t have that kind of money, I’m doing the best I can. Energy efficient appliances, composting, recycling, water conservation on a small scale (turning off the tap when I’m brushing my teeth, taking shorter showers, that sort of thing – when we get gutters back on the house, I’ll put out a rain barrel to collect rainwater for my garden), energy conservation, all are things I can do.
By getting out of debt, I will be giving myself more opportunity to arrange my life in a greener fashion. More energy efficient aplliances, a more efficient heating system powered by solar energy, organic cotton clothing, it all costs more than “regular” products. Ed has the money for it, I don’t. I’m still in hock to the bank. But someday I hope to get there. There’s a lot of saving and paying down debt between here and there. Thrifty choices now will allow me to make the more expensive purchases of big things later. I’ll still be using homemade soap and cleaners, but I’ll be able to save for solar panels.
Ed stands as an example of what can be done. I aspire to his level of green but the up front costs for the major stuff are more than I can afford right now. I am going to have to get there by the thrifty route. It’ll all save me money – and the planet – in the end.

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