To say that I’m ashamed that the U.S. pulled out of the Paris Climate Agreement would be an understatement. We are the biggest power in the world, with the best in high-tech technology and there’s no excuse for de-regulating environmental protections that will keep our world safe for our kid’s grandchildren, and beyond.
Remembering the smog
When I think back on the thick smog we had Los Angeles in the 70’s and early 80s it was suffocating. Downtown Burbank became a joke on Laugh-In because it was hard to see through the brown, yucky haze. Just before the 1984 Olympics were held in LA, things started to change. Suddenly we could see the mountains and the ocean because the city had worked feverously to regulate car emissions. We were moving toward becoming eco-friendly.
Now, as I go for my walk in the morning I see blue skies and sunshine and want to keep it that way. I feel proud to live in California where we have an environmentally friendly governor, recycling centers, and many organizations dedicated to eco-friendly causes. Even our former Republican governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger is a champion for a clean environment, proving that it has nothing to do with a political party but rather with greed and ignorance.
A must see documentary film
I went to a screening of An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power produced by former Vice President Al Gore. 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 a film everyone should see that has been well-researched and is eye-opening. Gore was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, along with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for informing the world of its dangers.
You can watch his Ted Talk here.
How to live an eco-friendly life
We celebrated Earth Day in Toluca Lake over the weekend. The official 2018 date is April 22. Our keynote speaker was actor Ed Begley Jr. He is a long-time advocate of clean living and has written a book called Living Like Ed: A Guide to the Eco-Friendly Life. I did a scene with him many moons ago on St. Elsewhere that helped me get my SAG card. He had a booth at the event and I went over to talk to him. During his keynote, he pointed me out in the crowd to remind people of what the smog was like when he was doing St. Elsewhere in the early 80s.
Ed lives in Studio City and has completely transformed his home into an eco-friendly environment. He’s almost fanatical about it. In an article in Toluca Lake Magazine, 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, buy biodegradable soaps and detergent and was one of the first 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 and 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 ended up building a 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 1,000lbs you purchase destroys greenhouse gases equivalent to 1,000lbs of carbon dioxide, or burning 51 gallons of gasoline!
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
Cut through the noise
With all the scandal and corruption going on in the government these days, it’s easy to forget that the environmental protections we have in place are being eroded rapidly. Reject deregulation when it comes to protecting our planet. Email and call Congressmembers, protest, get rid of our anti-environment EPA and Interior secretaries.
Educate young people on why environmental protection is important
As we saw with the Parkland students, our 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.