Since the first Earth Day in the 1970s we as Baby Boomers have become aware of the need to keep our environment clean and for our health and the health of future generations. Eco-friendly living may feel like a hippie term, but it’s more important than ever before due to the Climate Change crisis and other environmental concerns.
Los Angeles in the ’70s and early 80s was under a dim cloud of noxious smog. “Beautiful Downtown Burbank “became a joke on Laugh-In because the studio where it was filmed was located in the worst part of the brown, yucky haze.
The 1984 Olympics changed that because Los Angeles worked hard to make the city more eco-friendly. Suddenly we could see the mountains and the ocean and could breathe without so much fear.
A must-see documentary film
If you haven’t watched the documentary An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power produced by former Vice President Al Gore, you must. He has made it his mission to educate the public about the science of global warming and how it is a man-made phenomenon. It’s been well-researched and is eye-opening. Gore was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, along with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for his work on global warming.
Watch former VP Al Gore’s Ted Talk here.
Living an eco-friendly life
I attended Earth Day festivities in Toluca Lake in 2018. Our keynote speaker was actor Ed Begley Jr, who you may remember starred in the TV show, St. Elsewhere. He has been a long-time advocate of clean living and has written a book called Living Like Ed: A Guide to the Eco-Friendly Life.
I was happy to see him there because I did a part on St. Elsewhere in the early 80s that earned me my SAG card. I talked to him at his booth and during his keynote, he pointed me out in the crowd to remind people of what the smog was like when he was was working on the show.
Ed lives in Studio City and has completely transformed his home into an eco-friendly environment. In fact, he’s almost fanatical about it. Toluca Lake Magazine wrote an article about him and he mentioned that he had to compromise with his wife so that she could have nice things like closet space and still make their home completely energy efficient.
He became involved with the environment when he went to the first Earth Day festival in 1970 as a struggling actor. It inspired him to recycle, compost, and buy biodegradable soaps and detergent. He was one of the first people to drive an electric car. Even though he’s a successful actor now, he still walks or takes a bike or bus instead of a car when he can.
His book covers 6 areas of how you can improve your living environment
- Garden and Kitchen
- Clothing, hair, and skincare – To learn more about harmful ingredients in your skincare and hair products click here.
It goes into meticulous detail on how you can take an older home and retrofit it to be eco-friendly from top to bottom. There are challenges, but it pays off in the end in cheaper energy costs and a healthier lifestyle. After completely redoing a former house, Ed built a new home from scratch to his exact specifications.
In addition to all the tips Ed gives that will save you money on your home energy use, the book includes a workbook where you can fill in tasks that you complete to make your home and life more eco-friendly.
TerraPass carbon offsets
Ed also recommends you visit the TerraPass website to learn more about living sustainably. It takes you step-by-step through the process of optimizing your home energy use. You can also purchase carbon offsets to help reduce greenhouse gases, support clean energy, and help restore our freshwater ecosystems.
TerraPass carbon offsets support emission reduction projects in communities around the United States. Every 1,000 lbs you purchase destroys greenhouse gases equivalent to 1,000 lbs of carbon dioxide, or burning 51 gallons of gasoline!
Learn about Environmental Commodities here. How did they evolve and how are these assets related to clean energy production and consumption.
Every day should be Earth Day
It’s important, now more than ever, that we protect our planet by supporting Clean Energy companies over those that are poisoning our environment. My grandfather was a coal miner but I find it hard to believe that people would rather go into a coal mine, with the danger of contracting a life-threatening respiratory disease, rather than work in the green energy sector. Renewable energy companies provide more jobs, a better chance of advancement, and safer work conditions.
Other ways to protect and enjoy our environment for Earth Day
Donate or volunteer to causes that are dedicated to protecting our planet so that our progeny will have a healthy future.
- Join the Sierra Club
- Purchase your National Park Senior Pass (if you are over 62 – Unfortunately, it’s gone up from $20 to $80 – Boo U.S. Government)
- Support the Climate Reality Project
Educate young people on why environmental protection is important
Young people are capable of making a difference and even those in elementary and high school will be voting sooner than we think. Even simple things like picking up litter are important. Leave a place how you found it. I learned that in Girl Scouts. Yet, I see young people and others drop litter on the street and not think anything of it. No one should ever leave a picnic or event with litter on the ground. That comes from education within the family, school, and community.
Have a happy Earth Day every day.