Monday, July 13, 2009

Aiki Farms and Ed Begley Jr.

My wife and I had the pleasure of meeting one of our heroes yesterday, Ed Begley, Jr.

Ed has been friends with Robert Burns (pictured below demonstrating good composting techniques), of Aiki Farms for years. Robert is an organic farmer in Ledyard, CT and had a small event at the farm to teach some of the practices of organic farming and to get people to come out learn about the challenges small farmers face.

Begley was the star of the event and most participants had seen his show, Living With Ed. He has been an actor since the '60s and has been an environmental activist since 1970.

His show, Living With Ed, is a glance inside the life of he and his tolerant wife, Rachelle. He walks, rides his bike to make toast, she drives a Prius, he cooks in a solar oven, collects rainwater to water the garden, has solar panels, etc.

Why is he one of our heroes? Because he lives among peers who care about big houses, lavish lifestyles, ritz, glamour, and fancy cars. And he has been riding his bike around LA for almost 40 years. I respect that. He is a down to Earth guy who was comfortable chatting with us, answering our questions, and eating fresh vegetables from the farm.

All in all a very memorable, and inspiring Sunday afternoon, if I do say so myself.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Battery-powered lawnmower

I mowed my lawn today.

Historically, this has not been something worth writing about. But today was different. Today was the first time in my life that I cut the grass and could hear myself think. The first time I could smell the fresh-cut grass as it was being shortened without breathing noxious fumes. The first time I didn't spill gas all over the place while filling my carbon dioxide spewing machine.

Enter my new Neuton CE 6 battery-powered lawnmower. It's quiet, maneuverable, and fun-looking. Is it a super powerful manly man beast of a machine? Of course not. I could care less about all that. Then again I am the kind of man that is not impressed by a Hemi, Hummer, or hog.

However, as I mowed under the solar panels that had charged the batteries running this new clean cutting machine, I did have a growing sense of getting somewhere. Lawnmowers are far worse than cars when it comes to polluting, and I am happy to have eliminated that portion of pollution that had been coming out of my yard.

I am so looking forward to the next generation of automobiles that are 100% electric and are charged at peoples' homes, where photovoltaic cells and small wind turbines are commonplace and no longer the exception. It seems that with the right people making the right decisions, that future doesn't have to be too far away.