Energy Diet

Alberto and Michelle

We are a young couple from Costa Rica, a small country in Central America. We got married recently and moved to an apartment in west San José, Costa Rica’s capital and main city. Alberto (30) is a civil engineer and owns a construction and design company. Michelle (29) is an industrial engineer and works at a private bank. We are very glad be a part of this energy diet experience and hope this will help us have better practices on living in harmony and responsibility with our planet. Follow us: @goletoavila @michikumpel


Costa Rica Participants

Costa Rica
Your Points Percentile:
Total Country Participants:

At Home (79%)

  • Changed thermostat
  • Changed settings on refrigerator, freezer, water heater and washer
  • Replaced at least one third of light bulbs with CFLs or LEDs
  • Disconnected electronic devices when not in use

Wild Card Items

  • Eliminated second freezer or refrigerator
  • Insulated water heater
  • Replaced appliances with green-certified products
  • Hung clothes up to dry instead of using the dryer
  • Sealed all of the windows and doors
  • My own action: New timer for water heater. NO A/C or heater at home. NO second freezer.

Food (68%)

  • Ate a vegetarian diet one day a week
  • Cut down on take-away meals
  • Limited daily intake of beef to 8 ounces
  • Switched to sustainable seafood

Wild Card Items

  • Started a food-based garden
  • Ate vegan or raw for a certain number of days per week
  • Bought grass-fed beef instead of conventional
  • Gave up at least one processed food
  • My own action: We cook with gas instead of electricity once a week

Transportation (50%)

  • Drove no faster than the posted the speed limit, avoided rapid acceleration or braking
  • Removed extra weight from car, inflated tires
  • Used public transportation instead of driving
  • Reduced your planned air travel by one trip

Wild Card Items

  • Bought carbon offsets for travel
  • Carpooled or found a ride-sharing program
  • Invested in a more fuel-efficient car
  • My own action: Moved closer to work

Waste Disposal And Reduction (81%)

  • Recycled all glass, aluminum, plastic, batteries and paper
  • Eliminated advertising mail
  • Changed to paperless billing
  • Eliminated the use of plastic and paper bags

Wild Card Items

  • Began composting at home
  • Used biodegradable bags for trash or walking the dog
  • Recycled or donated old athletic shoes and clothes
  • Recycled or donated old electronics

Water Use (45%)

  • Gave up bottled water
  • Turned off tap when brushing teeth, scrubbing dishes
  • Shortened showering time
  • Replaced shower head with a low-flow model

Wild Card Items

  • Used xeriscaping for yard
  • Installed a rain barrel to collect water for garden, lawn and plants
  • Installed a low-flow toilet

What You Buy (83%)

  • Tallied stats for water, electricity, natural gas and gasoline use
  • Switched to organic produce
  • Switched to eco-friendly cleaning methods
  • Switched to locally made (non-produce) products where possible

Wild Card Items

  • Cut use of disposable items
  • Repaired or extended use of clothing items
  • Stopped using wrapping paper for gifts
  • Changed Printing Habits
  • Rented or borrowed instead of buying infrequently used items
Total Points: 455

We have reached the end! At the beginning of the 360° Energy Diet we considered two main objectives: 1. Succeed in distribution to our family and friends, by example, good practices to reduce carbon footprint in our homes 2. Of all the actions we took during the challenge, managed to preserve in our daily lives…

As always, there are some habits that are more easily to keep than others. On our 360° Energy Diet, we took some actions naturally to our routine and way of life, facing them without any major difficulty. However, there are some other habits that still need some effort to keep them up and running. We…

Due the amount of annual rainfall in Costa Rica, we have a rich water supply. This is clear when you consider that about 80 percent of electricity consumed in the country is hydroelectric. For households, the public water service supply covers an incredible 97 percent of the population, mainly in the metropolitan areas. A total…

In many countries there is a range of extreme temperatures going from snow to really hot summers. In Costa Rica we have only two seasons: the dry season (December to March) and rainy season (April to November). The temperature in the place where we live ranges between 14 º C and 27 º C (52ºF…

Underdeveloped Transportation

For this week we decided to write about the category that is not going so well: Transportation. As mentioned in our first blog we aren’t regular users of the public transport and today we’ll detail why. First of all, here in Costa Rica public transport is not as robust as in other countries. We have…

The Three R’s

As mentioned in our previous blogs, Costa Ricans in general have not entirely developed a culture of being friendly with the environment. However, one of the issues that they are conscious about is recycling. Although not all families separate their trash totally or partially, it is a fact that each day, there are more people…

Definitely the most enriching experience of the week was the visit to the supermarket. How amazing it is when you do something that is part of the routine, but you see it with a new perspective. What you can find is truly incredible!  Almost every supermarket in Costa Rica, no matter how big or little…

Costa Rica is a Central American country with an area of 51,100 square kilometers (19,730 square miles) and 4 percent of the world’s biodiversity. We have 112 volcanoes, 13,000 sq km (5,019 square miles) of protected land, and a location with a constant tropical weather so everything is quite green all year long. Even though…