Energy Diet


My name is Samanta and I am a Geography graduate currently living in Penryn, Cornwall with my fiancé James. Our flat is a little unconventional being situated inside a marina, on the first floor above a sailing school, unusual perhaps but not when compared to my father’s vardo (horse-drawn gypsy wagon) that I spent a large percentage of my childhood in. I have two dreams in life: One is to become a successful wildlife documentary filmmaker and the other is to build myself a sustainable ecohome complete with permaculture garden.


United Kingdom Participants

United Kingdom
Your Points Percentile:
Total Country Participants:

At Home (50%)

  • 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 (54%)

  • 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: Ate Vegan 7 days a week.

Transportation (100%)

  • 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: Own a motorbike but mainly walk everywhere.

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
  • My own action: I always take my own bags shopping.

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 (70%)

  • 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: 450

I found myself tracking the COP17 climate talks this year with a heavy heart. It is shameful the way world leaders have acted to stall and block any meaningful progression on a solid, legally binding global plan to cut carbon emissions. It is completely unacceptable that world leaders still lack the political will to acknowledge…

Green Recreational Time

Within my lifetime, the amount of gadgets inside the average U.K. family home has quadrupled; we have gone from dusty old cathode ray televisions and wireless to HD/3D televisions in every room, computers, laptops, Playstations, iPhones and iPads. A continuous stream of information media surrounding our very being; is this really good for us, can…

A Return to Retro Adventures

I flick through travel blogs everyday looking for my next adventure, my next opportunity to escape this cage. Yet it worries me, the impact I am having on this earth. My selfish pursuit of instant gratification — the smells of a Moroccan spice market or the sound of freshly fallen snow, from Toronto to Marrakesh,…

Becoming an Ethical Consumer

This week I found myself visiting a Vegan Free Food Fayre and it got me thinking about the issue of ethical consumerism and cosmetics. The cosmetics and perfume industry is internationally important, being worth €67 billion (roughly $90.6 billion) in Europe alone (2010) and is very competitive. People feel the need to always look their best…

Trading My Bike for a Bus

I have never really found owning a car to be necessary. I owned one once when I was 17 and learning to drive but lent it to my mother, on a permanent basis. I know people who claim that they could not live without their car and indeed a means of transportation is very important…

Veganism and Veg Boxes

The beginning of this month was World Vegan Day, and as such, I thought I would share with you an aspect of my life that is every important to me. Unlike most people, I am what you could call a vegan, meaning that I do not consume animal products of any nature (no meat, dairy,…

Winter is coming and with it its own set of energy challenges. Even Cornwall, with its mild, maritime climate winter, can be bitterly cold, so this week I have been looking at ways to help reduce energy consumption whilst trying to keep warm. Unfortunately I have been unable to participate in this week’s opening task,…

A Push in the Right Direction

My name is Samanta and I currently live in Penryn, Cornwall with my fiancé James. Cornwall is a small area of the British Isles; technically it is part of England but don’t tell the locals, we don’t want to upset them. It is an exceedingly beautiful place to live; unfortunately it is relatively poor (European…