Once you have tackled some of the quick wins, you are ready to develop a low carbon plan. The first thing to do is calculate your footprint (calculator). Then you can use Low Carbon Diet: A 30 Day Program to Lose 5000 Pound, which explains how to determine the carbon footprint of a household and gives 24 easy-to-follow recipes for reducing emissions.
You can use the book on your own, or even better join a group to support each other in the low carbon diet. The City of Davis also provides an online form which you can use to plan out your reductions. Each household chooses which recipes work best for them to implement. The book recommends sessions with representatives of 6-8 other households forming teams. Team meetings can be great fun: with lively discussions and useful exchanges of ideas.
Initial assessments of Davis show that more that 75% of GHG emissions are generated by the daily activities of residents.
The recipes cover:
- Making quick fixes around the house – such as, installing low-flow shower heads, washing clothes with detergent formulated for cold water, setting the thermostat at 65-68, etc.
- Changing habits and lifestyle- such as eating one more vegetarian meal a week, using a bike for errands more and the car less each week, taking five-minute showers, etc.
- Making big-ticket upgrades – such as replacing old appliances with more energy-efficient ones, adding solar hot water or solar panels, landscaping with drought-tolerant plants, etc.
As Susan Steinbach wrote, “I just completed the Low Carbon Diet class offered by the city in a small neighborhood group. What a refreshing, creative way for Davisites to take a look at their energy usage and household habits in order to get a clearer sense of their personal connection to climate change.
1. Do it yourself! Measure your carbon footprint on this website, then read David Gershon’s Low Carbon Diet book (there are plenty of copies in the Yolo County libraries) to find out what actions you can take.
2. Join with others: your friends, church, mosque, community group and meet once a week to go through the book for a month to complete the program
3. Contact Lynne Nittler to see if there are existing or upcoming planned Low Carbon Diet groups you can join by lnittler AT sbcglobal.net or phoning 530-756-8110
When we all do our part, we can work wonders.
- How long does it take to pay for your investments? Useful guide showing how investments can pay for themselves in any time from 1 year to ten years.
- Useful City of Davis Chart of activities that can reduce carbon
- Useful links on energy conservation
- 101 things to do in Davis to reduce your carbon footprint