Ed Begley Jr.
Location: Studio City, Calif.
Favorite Room Mr. Begley and his wife, Rachelle Carson, hired William Hefner, a Los Angeles architect, to design a French-Mediterranean home with the highest green certification, LEED Platinum. Mr. Begley’s favorite room is the kitchen. “I make a very good guacamole,” he said.
Is it difficult to design a green kitchen that’s also functional and attractive?
It can be. But I’ve gotten more reasonable in old age. In the old days, I would have used a little tiny box with no ice maker, no proper racks for sauces. In an effort to make a green fridge, you had this rustic box. This is a full-tilt modern fridge with lots of space that the wife is happy with.
What’s in Ed Begley’s fridge?
I’m a vegan. So I have a soup that I made, a spicy tomato soup from a recipe in “The Moosewood Cookbook”; tofu veggie dogs; coconuts that have the hull removed so you can open them and have a drink.
What’s that curious faucet above the stove?
It’s called a pot filler. I had never heard of it, either. It can go to any one of the six burners. If I need 10 cups of water, it’s much easier than lugging a huge thing of pasta over to the sink. The architect lobbied for it. And I’ve used it a lot.
Everything in here is white. Is that meant to be heat reflective?
The architect and my wife conspired against me. I thought it was a waste to have tall ceilings, all that steel. But it’s spacious and airy. I didn’t fight them on the whites and light grays, though. I ceded control, and I’m glad I did. It turns out I like things that look nice. I didn’t know that I cared.
I noticed your nontoxic Begley’s natural soaps come in plastic bottles. Plastic waste is such a problem. What gives?
I think about that constantly. I try to just buy melon in its own container. I have wonderful glass containers for storing food. Sadly, the people that make the products (I’m the spokesman) say it’s just too expensive to ship glass. It would be $7 a bottle.
Given all the mounting environmental problems we face, how do you keep your spirits up?
When I get down about things, I remember what we have done. I started with the first Earth Day, in 1970. We have millions more people in L.A., but a fraction of the smog. We lobbied for smog devices on cars, clean-fuel buses, all the stuff big and small to clean up the air. It worked. We have to remember to celebrate our success.
Steven Kurutz joined The Times in 2011 and wrote for the City and Home sections before joining Style. He was previously a reporter at The Wall Street Journal and Details. @skurutz
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