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Title Page




1                  Home

2                  Transportation

3                  Recycling

4                  Energy

5                  In the Garden and Kitchen

6                  Clothing and Hair and Skin Care




To my family—my wife, Rachelle, my son, Nicholas, and my daughters, Amanda and Hayden—and to Bruno Kirby and Ingrid Begley



Years ago, I came to Hollywood to follow my dreams, fall in love, become an actress, and live like a queen.

Well, I am an actress and I did fall in love with my prince, Ed Begley, Jr. And now we’re married and I’m living like . . . well, what exactly am I living like? Certainly not the Hollywood royalty of my fantasies.

Yes, my husband’s a star, but he’s decided we won’t live in Beverly Hills. Instead we have a charming little house in Studio City, complete with a white picket fence made entirely of recycled plastic milk jugs. We have a fleet of sporty vehicles: his electric car, my hybrid, and our bicycles.

All of the power for our house is produced on-site. Solar panels pretty much cover the roof, and we have our very own wind turbine.

It’s not quite the palace I imagined as a girl growing up in Atlanta. But let’s face it: I married into a lifestyle.

I like to joke that before I met Ed, I drove a Hummer, but the truth is I’ve always been interested in the environment. My dad had a little farm, and we always had fresh fruit and vegetables. As a child, I would scream “Polluters!” out of the car window at big trucks. And I do remember that when the Chattahoochee River turned blue, and it was not a blue you’d see in nature, I thought, “This is not right.”

So I always had a degree of environmental awareness.

On the other hand, I like fashion. I like nice cars and beautiful homes. I like good food. And while I had always appreciated other people’s dedication to environmental causes, it wasn’t my big thing. I just didn’t have a lot of patience for people who had holier-than-thou attitudes about saving the planet. So when Ed and I started going out, I liked to be sort of provocative with Hollywood types who made a big deal of their environmentalism. On our second or third date, a double date with Don Henley and his now wife, I said something like, “So what’s the deal with the environment? There are so many other issues out there. There are children’s issues. There are women’s issues. There are people dying all over the planet. It seems pretty easy to be into the environment. It’s sort of a safe cause.”

And Don said, “Without the environment, we’d be without the basic human rights of clean air and fresh water.” He made a good point.

But it wasn’t until Ed and I really got serious that my lifestyle began to change in a big way.

That’s not to say it’s been an easy transition. Where Ed sees only the environment—and the financial savings—I can see the other side. I care about the environment, I really do, but I also care about aesthetics. I help our family find some sort of balance.

In this book, I speak for the “average guy,” the one who can’t always remember which kind of plastic can go into the recycling bin—or who can’t understand why a rain barrel has to be big and orange and ugly. Surely there must be an attractive rain barrel out there someplace! Just as, surely, there must be organic clothing that’s flattering and stylish and comfortable, too.

One thing I’ve gotta admit: You can’t accuse Ed of “going green” to be chic or because everyone else around him is doing it. He doesn’t go whichever way the wind blows. He’s not a faddist. He doesn’t follow the trends.

In 1990 it wasn’t trendy to ride a bike for any other purpose than to get fit. No one did it to preserve the environment—or to stay out of a gasoline-powered car—unless they were a granola-head in Humboldt County. In fact, eco-consciousness was so far under the radar at that time that Ed’s environmental efforts were seen as weird. As his wife, it’s been hard to stand by and watch people treat Ed like some kind of green freak.

I think it even cost Ed a little bit in his career. His actions made some people feel uncomfortable or like he was judging them. He’s never been one to judge; he just did what heroes do: He made a sacrifice for something bigger than himself.

But now the attitudes are shifting. There are lots of like-minded people in Hollywood who think, “I like Ed’s commitment to the environment; he’s really a good guy. Wouldn’t it be funny to cast him as the masked murderer in this show?”

That’s the great thing about “hard work finally meets opportunity”—now everyone’s eager to hear what he has to say because it’s become more chic, but he’s just saying what he believes and has believed in for more than three decades. And at least no one’s making fun of him anymore!

I’m glad to see that the focus on the environment has grown to include my biggest causes, too: women’s and children’s health. The health of the environment obviously affects every one of us every single day. What do we feed our children and ourselves? What do we wear? What do we breathe? Is there poison in the air? On our skin? In our food? I know I take it personally, and I hope you will, too. After all, if I can learn to accept and live with and even embrace the lifestyle changes that living with Ed have brought into my world, I bet you can start living like Ed, too. And we’ll all be just a little bit better for it.


A big environmental bandwagon has been rolling through town lately, and a lot of folks inside and outside of Hollywood have hopped on. And I couldn’t be happier! Though sadly it’s taken

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