Living in Northern California has its advantages and one of them is having access to Real Goods Solar Living Center in Hopland, now a division of Gaiam. On a recent visit I was lucky to snatch up a signed first edition of Ed Begley’s new book on greener living. He had recently spoken at the center and is close friends with John Schaeffer, the President and Founder of Real Goods, thus the autographed copies.
The first thing I noticed as I opened the cover was the simplicity of the page design, reminiscent of the grassroots movements of the 70’s. It was refreshing to see information presented in a way that allows the reader to easily pick a starting point that fits their lifestyle. Ed’s wife, Rachelle, wrote the foreword, and her comments appear throughout the book in green (of course) creating a balance between strict adherence to green principals and a more user friendly approach. Let’s face it, as Ed points out, we can’t be expected to make all the changes right off the bat, but we can start small and enjoy the process.
To make it even easier, Ed marks each potential change with a tree icon to indicate easy changes, not-so-big-changes and big changes. The “bigness” of the change is reliant on the effort and more importantly the expense involved. Then, as an appendix, he offers several pages of workbooks to record your progress, allowing you to accurately track results.
The fun part of this book, like the TV show, is the interaction between Ed and Rachelle. There’s a certain amount of tongue in cheek, comedic good humor between them that makes us feel their warmth and commitment to each other and the environment. So, pick up a copy and start getting green.
LIVING LIKE ED
A Guide to the Eco-Friendly Life
By Ed Begley Jr.
Published in the United States by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, 2008