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Entertainment Industry Couple Spotlights "Dark Green Movement"

Environmentalist Role Models Speak On "Green Living."

By Ray Blumhorst | Staff Writer
On November 23, 2009

Valley College alumnus, entertainer, and environmentalist Ed Begley Jr. and his wife, Rachelle Begley were the featured speakers, Thursday in the Main Stage for "The ‘Dark Green' Movement: A Conversation with the Begleys." The event was moderated by former KTLA, Channel 5 host, Ray Gonzales. Valley students and members of the community filled about two thirds of the seating in the main stage to hear the Begleys insights on: conserving water and energy resources, fighting pollution, and recycling.

Before addressing environmental issues, Mr. Begley credited his education from Valley for his ability to earn a living in the entertainment profession.

"There's a great theater arts department here, and a great cinema department here," said Begley. "I learned a trade. I made a living, because of this fine institution."

When Begley was asked what motivated him to become an environmentalist he cited the horrible smog levels present in Los Angeles in the early 1970s as his primary reason.

"It was the smog that really got me involved," said Begley. "It was living 20 years, two decades, in smoggy L.A. I couldn't run from here to the back of the theater on a smoggy day, even though it was indoors. I couldn't catch my breath. It was horrible. Outside it was worse. That was the catalyst. It was the dirty air."

The moderator asked Mr. Begley what he would like if he had a magic wand.

"A home energy audit for every home in America that wanted it," Begley replied. "Today's home energy audit with the blower door, with duct blasting; with an infrared camera so you can really look and see."

The Begley's do have different opinions on how far they are willing to go on some environmental issues. Recycled "grey" water (water recycled mainly from laundry and showers) is used at the Begley home for flushing toilets, but Mrs. Begley insists that one toilet in the home continues to use cleaner looking, less smelly potable water.

"This is the line," said Mrs. Begley. "We'll do it [grey water] in the other bathrooms, but in my bathroom the grey water has to get taken out."

Valley student Jeffrey Meeks said he found the information presented by the Begley's to be practical and potentially useful.

"The energy saving, compact florescent light bulb is a really good idea," said Meeks. "I've been thinking of switching all the light bulbs in my house. This whole seminar has confirmed I should do that. I got some good tips on retrofitting my house to save on lighting and water."

Information on the Begley's environmental reality show, "Living With Ed" can be seen at

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