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Living Like Ed: One Man's Guide to Living an Environmentally Friendly Life
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Living Like Ed: One Man's Guide to Living an Environmentally Friendly Life

3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  346 Ratings  ·  74 Reviews

A committed environmentalist for more than thirty years, Ed Begley, Jr., has always tried to “live simply so others may simply live.” Now, as more and more of us are looking for ways to reduce our impact on the planet and live a better, greener life, Ed shares his experiences on what works, what doesn't–and what will save you money!

Paperback, 240 pages
Published February 19th 2008 by Clarkson Potter (first published January 1st 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Apr 09, 2016 LibraryCin rated it really liked it
Ed Begley, Jr. has been living eco-consciously since the 1970s. In this book, he brings lots of ideas and suggestions at various levels (marked by images for cost) to help other people try some of the green things he already does. Chapters include Home, Transportation, Recycling, Energy, In the Gardens and Kitchen, and Clothing and Hair and Skin Care.

I thought this was really good. Even with all the things I have read and already do, I still learned other things. I have just purchased my first h
Perryville Library
Have you noticed that lately it’s “in” to be “green”? It seems like nearly every product has jumped on the bandwagon, advertising itself as having some vague benefit for the environment, whether or not it is truly beneficial. (This reminds me of the syrup I had in the refrigerator years ago which proudly announced that it contained “real artificial chocolate flavor!”)

Ed Begley, Jr., the actor, is not interested in bandwagons. He got involved with the environmental movement back in 1970, the yea
Jun 16, 2008 Natalie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library, green-living
I really liked this. Possibly even more than all of the other green books I've been reading. He breaks things into small manageable things and labels them in one of 3 groups. Anyone can change a light bulb to a CFL or clean the coils on the fridge. It's more $/work to install a programmer thermostat. Replacing your windows is a big project.

Lots of tips, lots of reasons and examples, and a balanced view from his wife, who's not as green, to talk about how to incorporate some changes into a less o
May 08, 2008 Morgan rated it it was amazing
So excited about this book. Just happened to pick it up on Earth Day too. Ed admits that he is over the top on being green, but his wife has little excerpts that really make it a fun read. It is well written and there are tips in this book that you can do that will cost you a little or absolutely nothing.

READ: This book has changed my life.....just wait and see!
Oct 02, 2008 Tish rated it it was amazing
Not only do you learn to live a greener life, you enjoy the read. It is set up in a way so there are things for people at any income level to green up a bit. Ed rates every project in the book like fruit on a tree, low hanging being the easiest and the high fruit for those with a little more money to go green.
D Books
Sep 29, 2011 D Books rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Really good eco-friendly guide! There were things in this book that I would have never thought of to save energy as well as money. The first few things that we did that was easy to do and cheap were cleaning the coils on the refrigerator, washing clothes during off-peak or low-peak hours, keeping the blinds closed during the day that directly shines light on the refrigerator, and changed the light bulbs to CFL's (got these in bulk from Sam's: 3 for the price of 2). Things that we are planning to ...more
Feb 27, 2008 Sara rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone dawning on the importance of eco-friendly living
I found Ed Begley Jr.'s guide to green living very accessible to people getting more into this lifestyle. The overall tone of the book was very positive - Ed's enthusiasm for all things eco-friendly is pervasive. He shares his approach to energy saving or recycling, and gives good explanations for the why this each is a useful conservation habit.

I found that I liked the additional voices included in the book, Ed's wife Rachelle chimes in occasionally and "Ed's Green Friends" have sections where
Lisa Janda
May 08, 2009 Lisa Janda rated it really liked it
Got this after I watched the show and I admit I was a little fearful that it would be a bit naggy and irksome. I'm glad I was disappointed because it's an entertaining book, full of very useful information, presented in a format that actually encourages the reader to make the small changes (the "low hanging fruit" as Begley calls it) in an effort to see almost immediate results. We all cannot go the electric car/solar panel route nor does he insist that we should. Each small change we make contr ...more
Jennifer Crispin
Feb 02, 2013 Jennifer Crispin rated it it was ok
Shelves: library-book
I loved Ed Begley Jr.'s television show about his lifestyle and have always liked him as an actor. If he had been the only contributor to this book, I might have rated it higher. Unfortunately, someone felt the need to include his wife's reflection on their lifestyle, perhaps to appeal to the ladies? She contributes such insight as "With what we save on the electric bill, I get to buy more shoes!" (p. 24) and a random rant on people who paint their homes canary yellow. The editors helpfully mark ...more
Feb 22, 2016 Mistelle rated it liked it
I do admire his commitment to the environment. He seems very down to earth, especially for a celebrity. A lot of his suggestions cost a good bit of money. Would have liked a contact list in the index/end of the book for companies that he recommends.
May 13, 2008 Tamar rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
There are certainly some good ideas in this book, and I appreciated its recognition that not all readers have a great deal of disposable income, even for an excellent cause. (There was also good coverage of more involved, and expensive, measures to take for those able to.)

At the same time, I felt there was a lack of recognition for individual preferences. It was pretty clear to me that this book was written by someone living in a warm and sunny climate. And even though I see the practical value
Jun 11, 2008 Diane rated it really liked it
Shelves: environment
This is a good primer of various ways you can live a more eco-friendly life. The chapter I appreciated most was about the different kinds of green power, specifically the econimics of solar and wind power. Granted, I don't have $35,000 to spend on a stand-alone solar power system, but Begley points out some less expensive ways to tap into green power, such as renting solar panels, investing in a wind farm or even buying green power from your utility company.

A lot of these tips you can see on his
Nov 23, 2008 Alissa rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction, 2008
The book is broken down into Home, Transportation, Recycling, Energy, In the Garden & Kitchen, Clothing/Hair & Skin Care. The book also includes a workbook at the end so you can try out Ed’s different suggestions and see how much you save (both money and energy). This was a good practical book of how Ed & his family live green. I appreciated his wife Rachelle’s asides which added some reality/practically since while I’m interested in being more environmentally conscious, I’m not quit ...more
Mar 22, 2008 Bob rated it really liked it
This book is great. It offers really practical ways to alter your life in a more 'green' direction. The best part is, he's not some high and mighty Hollywood activist. Instead, he's warm and kind and funny. Most importantly he realizes that everyone isn't as crazy about this stuff as he is...but he encourages you to take steps in the right direction, even if you don't go all the way. Every little bit helps, and he recognizes that for some folks reading the book, a little bit is all they'll chang ...more
Kimberly Polichak
Jul 06, 2015 Kimberly Polichak rated it it was amazing
The breakdown of an Eco friendly life makes understanding and possibly implementing less daunting
Apr 26, 2008 Margi rated it liked it
If you are at all inclined to be more environmentally responsible...this is the book to have. I love how he includes sections dealing with home, transportation, recycling, clothing and skin care etc...He has tips that are free, low cost, and a bit more of an investment (like solar panels). Choose one change at a time. His style is not preachy or over the top...entirely accessible. A hero of sorts. He has been living the green life long before it was the thing to do. Can it now be the thing to do ...more
Aug 28, 2008 Heather rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: greenies, wanna be greenies, yuppy-now-crunchy-granola types.
Shelves: non-fiction
Ed (with asides from his wife) tell you about green-ifying your home, your work and your life. Surprising things: Get rid of your lawn, because it is a stinky use of water. Plant a garden, instead, of things that grow well in your climate. Ed's wife, Rachelle, explains her commitment to the enviornment in a more selfish(?) way, such as using organic shampoos and lotions to get rid of all the petroleum and parabens. It was interesting if you're interested in the subject, and you want to know why ...more
Dec 09, 2015 Kristina rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-collection
This is the first eco-friendly-related book I've read and it's really inspired me to change my lifestyle.
Sep 13, 2008 Dioscita rated it liked it
I never expected to like a "celebrity" book nor did I think E.B. Jr. had much to teach me. I was wrong on both counts (and am really glad about that). Two highlights for me were the idea of a "green switch" for the home (to turn off the outlets that not-in-use-appliances are plugged in to while keeping the other ones on/running) and a "terra pass" which invests in green or alternative fuel providers to offset ways we have to sometimes be fuel hogs (i.e. if we must fly someplace).
Mar 26, 2013 Latasha rated it liked it
This book was funny in the sense that it's Ed Begley showing you around his house and his life like it's MTV Cribs "Eco Houses." The stuff in this book is mostly stuff I have read before, but he talks a lot about bigger projects, like solar panels, small wind turbines, gardens, electric cars. It'd be nice to be rich and choose to do all these things, but I'm not rich so I can't use all the tools he talked about. His wife's commentary cracked me up though.
Aug 26, 2008 Robyn rated it liked it
Shelves: library-book
With a minimum of politics and preaching, this book was much more practical than I expected.

Tips ranged from "turn the heat down and wear a sweater" in the winter to "install a vertical-axis wind tubine" on the roof of your house. Even though the author has plenty of money to install the more expensive items, he expects that normal people do not and so he has categorized the tips in terms of initial financial impact. Unexpectedly useful.
Oct 16, 2008 Steve rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-for-nls
A great primer for starting to think and live green. Ed's manner is very practical, informal and fun. He comes at it from the dual stand of helping the environment AND saving money, which is a great two-pronged attack. Some of his suggestions might be a bit much for a beginner (like me) and I'm sure certain things were easier for him to do on a Hollywood salary, but the basics are straightforward enough for anyone to follow.
Jul 10, 2008 Chris rated it liked it
Some neat ideas and more info on them, but overall, I was disappointed that there wasn't a resource guide included. Most of his green goods must be ordered online, but few names or websites were offered. I know he's writing from his own experience in SoCal, but not all of us live there, so it would have been nice to have websites and company names. The Ed's Green Friend segments were nice, though.
Aug 05, 2008 SoAmy rated it liked it
Same advice you'd get from any basic eco-friendly how-to book. The blocks written by his wife were interesting and kept me going through the book -- they pretty much exemplified the whole idea of having a comfortably (Hollywood), eco-friendly lifestyle. Good to grab from the library, but not necessarily worth the money to buy unless you're truly just starting to toy with the idea of green.
Mar 02, 2008 Dora marked it as to-read
Shelves: gifts
Cool and entertaining book. Ed Begley Jr. wrote most of it, but his wife Rachelle wrote the intro and jumps in periodically. I like the fact that it offers alternatives if you can't take the best, most energy-efficient measure. I do many of the things they write about, but I've learned a few things just skimming. Bought this for my little brother; figured I'd read it before I hand it over.
Apr 08, 2008 Molly rated it liked it
Shelves: adult-nonfiction
I agree with one of the other reviewers. This is a good accessible book for those interested in a 'green' lifestyle. But, if you are at least a little familiar with the concept, most of this will be repetitive. However, I think whatever it takes to get people motivated is great. That's why I gave this three stars, I didn't personally get a whole lot out of it but I'm sure others will!
Apr 21, 2008 Tamara rated it liked it
Shelves: green, non-fiction
Though I appreciate trying to save resources and everything, the black and white pictures in this book were REALLY bad. Like 80’s bad.

Other than the interest in Ed Begley himself and his nearly four-decade long dedication to vegetarianism and the environment, this was just like every other green book. Same “easy, hard, harder” formula of how to go green.
Sep 23, 2008 Rita added it
. Ed Begley Jr has been and enviormental since the 1960s when it was first cool. The book reads just like his TV show of the same name. His wife Rachelle makes comments about his ideas in the book, just like she does on the show. It has lots of good information. There again some of his ideas are worth trying but some were a little to radical for me.
Jun 25, 2009 Elisa rated it it was amazing
This is really a GREAT book to read as a FIRST green book. Not only is he amusing, he never shoves his thoughts down your throat. He basically says "this is what i do and why i do it" He doesn't run around sticking every study that was ever done to prove a point. I love that. Whe needs another study?
I highly recommend this book.
Heather Hay
May 23, 2011 Heather Hay rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I can't say that I can incorporate everything in the book into my house, but I loved how I can easily see which tasks are quick and easy. The book may be worth buying for me so I can fill in the worksheets for myself.

I didn't expect the book to be so easy to read since I know nothing about cars or home construction.
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Play Book Tag: Living Like Ed / Ed Begley, Jr. - 4 stars 3 8 Apr 06, 2016 02:51AM  
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Inspired by the works of his Academy Award-winning father, Ed Begley, Jr. became an actor. He first came to audiences’ attention for his portrayal of Dr. Victor Ehrlich on the long-running hit television series, “St. Elsewhere,” for which he received six Emmy nominations. Since then Begley has moved easily between feature, television and theatre projects.

Ed can currently be seen in the hit Seth R
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