Energy Diet

Catherine and Jean-Denis

We are an urban French Canadian couple, living in an old apartment, in a nice neighborhood of Québec city center. Jean-Denis is a senior advisor for enterprise strategy and Catherine, an IT consultant. We live within walking distance of everything, including work. We recently decided to share one car and sold the second one we had. Though we already made a few changes in our lifestyle, we believe the 360º Energy Diet will encourage us to take further actions!


Canada Participants

Your Points Percentile:
Total Country Participants:

At Home (58%)

  • 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

Food (90%)

  • 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: Give up red tuna

Transportation (85%)

  • 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: Sell one car

Waste Disposal And Reduction (90%)

  • 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 (75%)

  • 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
  • My own action: Design and fabric reycled Christmas Card
Total Points: 490

Canada’s Wrong Choice

This week, Canada withdrew from the Kyoto Protocol. A shame for a country like Canada, once seen as innovative and socially responsible. A shame considering our politicians used an old and false paradigm for their propaganda: reducing greenhouse gas emissions weakens the economy.  One minister even said we would have to get rid of every…

Consumers’ Power

The 360° Energy Diet has compelled us to ponder our impact on the earth and increase our efforts to reduce it. Although the actions are personal above all, we shall not ignore effects we can have on our entourage. Undoubtedly, we can’t dissociate our environmental impacts from those businesses where we get our food, clothes and…

Shopaholic Goes Greener

When I first met Jean-Denis, apart from his business suit, he owned 5 t-shirts, 2 jeans and 2 sweaters. I won’t tell you what I owned then, but I can tell you it’s even more unreasonable now. Jean-Denis’ wardrobe hasn’t changed since. He owns different t-shirts now, but he doesn’t have more of them.  As…

Reducing or Offsetting ?

The other day, as we were planning our travel to Saguenay, we signed up for a car-poll and ride-sharing website. Unfortunately, no one accepted. How can we reduce our carbon footprint – with a solution that would allow us to live our passions like skiing and scuba diving? When public transport is available, we use…

Daily Life Reinvented

As the first snow was falling over Quebec this weekend, Jean-Denis and I decided to happily share with you some of the progress we have made over the last month, while carefully preparing for winter. As you read last week in our going beyond food miles entry, carbon footprint reduction by buying local is not…

Going Beyond Food Miles

During recent years, buying local and its ecological benefits has been on the news a lot, as an opportunity to reduce carbon footprints. Jean-Denis (thanks to his strong ability to question media) slowly noticed that reducing carbon footprints by buying local is much more complex than anticipated… How can we know the real energy consumption for…

To begin with, I have to mention that more than 95 percent of electricity production in our province comes from hydroelectricity. Hydro-Québec, the state-owned utility, controls the electricity supply. Historically, prices have been low, and major energy consumption in houses comes from electricity use. Natural gas and petrol are sometimes used for cooking or heating,…

We are really thrilled to start the 360° Energy Diet today. Jean-Denis and I will both be posting about our personal experience with the Diet. We are native French speakers, established in beautiful Québec City, Canada. Last January, we moved in together into a 1,200 square-foot apartment, in one of the oldest neighborhood of the…