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TV Junkie Interview: Ed Begley Jr. - Let's Get With His Program

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Rachelle Carson and Ed Begley Jr. live the green life in "Living With Ed" which airs on Discovery's Planet Green on Wednesday nights at 6:00pm
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Ed Begley Jr. has performed in the most incredible array of stage, film, and television productions over the last 40 years, getting his small screen start in such staples as "My Three Sons" and "Adam-12" to being a face you saw everywhere during the Heyday of Television in "Laverne & Shirley", "Quincy M.E.", "Mannix", and his primary role as Dr. Victor Ehrlich in "St. Elsewhere". Also well known for his work in Christopher Guest's films, Begley has been a massive presence in some of the best contemporary TV out there: "Six Feet Under", "Arrested Development", "Boston Legal", and "Veronica Mars".From the beginning of his professional career in the late 1960s, Begley has been an advocate and activist for the environment, living an energy conscious life, learning as much as he can about technologies and practices to personally reduce one's impact on the planet and spreading that information to as many people as he can. Leveraging the medium he is best known for, Begley is bringing his daily experiences with energy efficiency and smart-living to all of us by helming "Living With Ed", his program on Discovery's Planet Green network (use their channel finder to get hooked up). There is a new episode of "Living With Ed" tonight at 6pm and several times tomorrow (Thanksgiving!), Planet Green will be running this season's episodes back-to-back.

We were thrilled to talk with Ed Begley Jr., one of our favorite TV icons, last week by phone (for the entire interview, listen to the file at the end of the post):

LAist: Could you give us a few pointers, your top 3 suggestions for what people in Southern California could do today or this weekend that would help out the environment or use less energy?

Ed Begley Jr.: Number 1 would be lighting. Get rid of your old little mini-toasters, otherwise known as incandescent bulbs, and replace them with energy-efficient bulbs. That's Number 1, and that's something that's pretty inexpensive to do these days, go to Cosco or Home Depot and get the energy efficient bulbs and they don't break the bank and you get the savings on that right away.

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Number 2 would be to put some weather stripping up around your doors and windows. You get it at Home Depot or a place like that. It has an adhesive backing so you don't need to tack it up anymore like you had to do, you remove the back layer and put it up where you need it and you start saving energy and money right away.

Number 3, get an energy-saving thermostat. Get one of those up, and most importantly, program it. As we go into the cooler months, there's so much energy savings [available]. Who wants to sleep in a hot house at night? I don't! It gets cooler at night now, which is very pleasant for sleeping, and then in the morning it's nice and warm at that hour when I get up because I've programmed the thermostat to do so. With the "Leave/Return" mode [on the thermostat] I make sure that the house isn't unduly warm in the winter and unduly cool in the summer because it's programmed to my schedule. By programming it I save so much more energy and money.