Energy Diet


Hello everyone, my name is Alicia and I live with my family in a small, rural town in Western New York. I'm a teacher and, after spending three months in living in Alicante, Spain, I'm now back to reality in the States. I keep myself busy with a whole list of activities including running a crafting business, writing across the internet, tending bar in a local restaurant, and occasionally milking, really. You can follow me on Twitter @alicia_writes.


United States Participants

United States
Your Points Percentile:
Total Country Participants:

At Home (37%)

  • 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 (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: Bought direct from farmers

Transportation (40%)

  • 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: Connected a restaurant owner with a biodiesel producer in our area

Waste Disposal And Reduction (72%)

  • 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 (29%)

  • 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: 320

Part of a Whole

It’s hard to believe that I have been dieting for 8 weeks and not seen any results. I’ve been going to the gym and everything. Stupid cookies. Blast you, eggnog. Oh wait, we’re talking about energy dieting, aren’t we? Oh riiiiight. That’s a different story. My bad. Reflecting back on the last couple of months,…

An Inconvenient Truth

After last week’s post encouraging everyone to “green” up their holidays, I’m ashamed to admit that I have not been practicing what I preach. Between all of the Christmas cards written and stamped, the oven working overtime turning out dozens of cookies, the continuous Clark Griswald-esque light display adorning our house and yard, and the…

Mind Over Material

Chestnuts roasting over an open fire. Steaming mugs of hot chocolate waiting to be sipped. Music punctuated by the steady rhythm of jingle bells on every radio station. And a family full of overtired and stressed-out shoppers eventually developing an eye twitch, or worse, from the annual charge to find the perfect gift. The image…

This Land Is Your Land

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the attitudes in my country toward energy and the environment. A quick Google search for non-profits supporting environmental causes will give you around 13 million results, a small sampling showing many that have popped up within the last ten years. Another search, this time for energy conservation initiatives…

The November Funk

It’s week four of the energy diet, and I’d like to say that things are progressing, my energy intake has decreased drastically, and that I’m a new, “green” person. That, however, would be lying. Now that we’re halfway through the diet, I think I’m going through an experience which many people share. It’s that point…

Zen and the Art of Driving the Speed Limit

Confession time. Every once and a while, I have the tendency to drive a little bit over the speed limit. And by ‘every once and a while’ I mean always, and by ‘a little bit,’ I mean a lot. I’m no adrenaline junkie. I don’t race for “pinks” on the weekends with my little Honda…

Down on the Farm

When you think of small town America, New York probably is not the first state that comes to mind. In fact, many people forget that, outside of the 301 square miles that encompass New York City, there’s an additional 46,126 square miles of the actual state of New York. When I lived in Spain, the…

America the Bountiful

You know when you go on a weight-loss diet and you hold on to your initial mindset of excitement regarding all of the pounds you’re going to shed? And then, you’re confronted with a little morsel of temptation and, in your mind, you think, “I’ve been so good about what I eat; just this little…