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: use “Low Carbon Diet: A 30 Day Program to Lose 5000 Pounds” to determine the carbon footprint of your household with 24 easy-to-follow recipes for reducing emissions.
You can use the book on your own, or even better form a group for mutual support. Each household chooses which recipes work best for them. The book recommends groups representing 6-8 households each forming their own team. 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.
Susan Steinbach participated in a Low Carbon Diet class offered by the city in 2010 and commented, “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 the Cool California website, then read David Gershon’s book, “The Low Carbon Diet,” to find out what actions you can take (available at Yolo County libraries).
2. Join with others: meet with friends, nieghbors, church, mosque, or a community group once a week to go through the book for a month to complete the program
When we all do our part, we can work wonders!
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