Amusing Monday: Actor Ed Begley obsesses over food, energy and more

Ed Begley Jr., who has appeared in hundreds of films and television shows, is also widely known for his environmental activism, both in his personal life and his outreach to the public. For years, Ed insisted on riding a bicycle almost everywhere, including to film and TV locations, but that was only the beginning.

In 2007, Ed and his wife Rachelle Carson-Begley launched a reality television show called “Living with Ed,” which demonstrated how people can live more sustainably in their own lives. The show appeared first on HGTV and later on Planet Green, a Discovery channel. Check out the episode “Fruit and Veggie Standoff.”

Ed’s latest project, launched this month, uses his reputation as an extreme environmentalist in a series of amusing videos in which he promotes simple ideas to reduce the human impact on the environment.

“The truth is, you don’t have to be famous or perform eco-heroics to help save the world from often-overlooked — but serious — issues like food waste, energy waste and population growth,” says a promotional piece about the videos.

The short-video project is called “Better than Ed.” As you will see in the three videos on this page, Ed’s antics have a serious message behind them.

Another relatively new project, started earlier this year, is a podcast “Begleyesque” in which Ed and his wife Rachelle interview Hollywood celebrities and environmental experts on various topics. Just last week, the couple interviewed Ashley Ahearn, an environmental reporter for Seattle public radio station KUOW. The free-wheeling interview touched on many subjects close to the hearts of Ed, Rachelle and Ashley. In one segment, Ashley explains why environmental reporters should never hesitate to ask stupid questions. Listen to the half-hour podcast below.

By the way, I should mention that Ashley has her own personal podcast on National Public Radio called “Terrestrial,” which focuses on the choices that we humans make in our lives. Some choices, if made by enough people, can lead to profound changes for our civilization. Ashley’s storytelling and her sense of pacing make for some enjoyable and educational listening.

While talking about Ed Begley, I feel compelled to mention “On Begley Street,” which is an entertaining reality TV program that shows the inspiration and struggle of Ed and Rachelle as they plan and build a new ultra-green home. The first six episodes of the program, originally shown on evox Television, can be seen on YouTube. “It” magazine follows up with a video tour with Ed showing off his house after it is completed.

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