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Some call him a radical, some call him an extremist, some call him a freak—I call him a visionary. I'm talking about Ed Begley Jr., TV personality, actor and activist who's one of the most recognizable faces in the "green" movement and has been for 30 years—long before it was cool.

In the July 2008 issue of Log Home Design, Ed chatted with us about building a green log home, but I had the great pleasure to meet him live and in person during the 2008 Earth Day celebration on the Mall in Washington, DC (check out the photos). I have to say, there's nothing freakish about the man (except for maybe his height—he's at least 6'5"), nor does he shove his ideals down people's throats. His belief is that we are all stewards of the planet, and it's up to each of us to determine how responsible we feel for taking care of it. In his case, he's done everything from install a wind turbine on his modest, 1500-square-foot Hollywood home to powering up his toaster with a stationary bike, and he admits his tactics aren't for everybody. He also feels very strongly that building a green home should be for the masses—it should be affordable—and he's working tirelessly to educate the general population about all the ways, large and small, the average homeowner can not only protect the planet we all share, but lower their energy bills and live a richer, more fulfilling life.

Ed gave me a copy of his new book, Living Like Ed (2008, Clarkson Potter/Publishers), which shares some fascinating and simple ideas for having a smart and eco-friendly home. I was pleased to find that I already incorporated some of his suggestions into my everyday life, like choosing Earth-friendly cleaning products. I also got many more ideas I can't wait to try.

There was one statement Ed made that will stick with me for the rest of my life. He said, "If everyone would do just a little, the impact on the environment will be far greater than if just a few do a lot." I'm committed to try. Are you?

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Comment by trace and barbara allen on June 27, 2008 at 10:49am
hello donna peak,
hey, thanks for asking. we have just began acting on our dream to build a log home (with a bike sales, bike maintenance, personal training, snack shop, small concert, etc. business) on or near the rails-to-trails trail. we've been to a couple log home shows and are starting to work on financing. we are renting in our landlords log home the ground-level apartment that he finished for us last fall. so we are blessed to live here in robinson township/pittsburgh.

where and how long did you live in pittsburgh and where do you live now?

trace allen

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