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Pardes Yehuda: Some healthy competition

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Some healthy competition

The Huffington Post is reporting a totally new take on "beating the jones'." Neighborly competition may be a highlight of human nature. We've all seen those people who build a bigger extension, put up more Christmas lights, buy a nicer car, anything to out-do the neighbors. But now, Bill Nye (the Science Guy, of former child-TV fame) and Ed Begley, Jr. (with a TV and film resume too long to list) have entered into a friendly, neighborly competition that should serve as a model for that competitive bug that resides in every human. Find out what it is...

Ed Begley, Jr. has long been an activist for clean green living. He is a former owner of the GM EV1 (watch "Who Killed the Electric Car?"), has a line of green cleaning supplies and is one of the more outspoken voices in Hollywood against climate change and has been so for at least two decades, long before the green-fad was upon us. Ed Begley and Bill Nye reside in Studio City, CA and when Bill Nye moved in two years ago the two began a "greener than him" competition. The article at The Huffington Post lists all the specs of each actor's green abode, and it is impressive.

Clearly one needs lots of cash to create such a home in today's world, but they can be a model for us all on rethinking competition. Furthermore, some of their improvements, like collecting rainwater for cleaning and watering plants or growing simple garden foods like herbs and greens, are things we can ALL do to reduce our "carbon footprints."

So, while we may not all have the financial ability to challenge our neighbor to a "greener than thou" spat of competition we can each challenge ourselves to make small changes. Bring your own reusable bags to the store to carry off your locally grown produce, re-use your plastic goods instead of sending them to the recycling plant and assume it's all ok (for a good, but out-dated read on the problems with traditional recycling, look here), use green businesses when you can and there's more.

I, for one, encourage the competition between Mr. Nye and Mr. Begley and encourage us all to reduce our own carbon footprint.

Thank you, Bill Nye and Ed Begley, for being a model of healthy competition.

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