Actor and environmental activist Ed Begley Jr. shared his ideas about the environment with local businesses as the keynote speaker at the Kern Economic Development Corporation's Second Annual Renewable Energy Summit, Bakersfield television news station KERO reported.
Begley is perhaps best known for his portrayal of Dr. Victor Ehrlich on the hit television series "St. Elsewhere," and he has spent nearly four decades living green.
Begley, along with other renewable energy experts, informed the 150 attendees about new advances in renewable energy, how they can incorporate new technologies in their day-to-day operations and how energy laws may affect their businesses.
Begley has been known to ride his bicycle to Hollywood events, and he got a laugh out of the crowd by telling them he spent only $5 in gas because he drove his wife's hybrid to the event.
Begley said he became involved in environmental issues after growing up in smoggy Los Angeles.
"By 1970, I'd had enough. I had lived through the '50s and '60s in smoggy L.A., so I wanted to do something," Begley said. "I got involved in the first Earth Day in 1970, started recycling and composting. [I] bought my first electric car in 1970, and quickly learned it was not only good for the environment but good for my pocketbook."
Begley has taken his fight to reduce his carbon footprint to the small screen. He and his wife are the stars of the hit HGTV series "Living With Ed," which shows their day-to-day efforts to live green.
Begley recently published a book that coordinates with the television series, offering eco-friendly living tips to both homeowners and renters.
Begley said starting small — like replacing regular light light bulbs with energy efficient light bulbs and weather stripping your windows and doors — is a good way to start saving money and the environment.