Energy Diet


I am an Urban and Regional Planning Student from Adelaide, South Australia. It is a medium sized city, of approximately 1.3 million people, dominated by primarily detached homes and wide roads. I live with a couple who are family friends; our house is a traditional, brick construct home.

Australia Participants

Your Points Percentile:
Total Country Participants:

At Home (20%)

  • 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 (22%)

  • 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

Transportation (55%)

  • 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

Waste Disposal And Reduction (27%)

  • 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 (65%)

  • 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 (33%)

  • 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: 240

At the Store and Food Shopping

My family have always had a rather inefficient way of shopping. We tend to travel to the supermarket and purchase what we need when we need it, rather than do a whole week worth of shopping in one go. This entails constant car trips back and forth, because unfortunately we live in an area where…

Needing to Plan Ahead

I dislike driving, especially in heavy traffic, but sometimes it is the only way to get from A to B as quickly as possible, via the shortest route. My habits have dictated that unless they’re trips to the city, and I have been too lazy to plan ahead and look at transit options to my…

Sustainable Transport Day

Well, I decided to give it a go. On a weekend, during what I thought would be the worst time of the week to try and get anywhere on Mass Transit in Adelaide. I know that my posts seem to focus a lot on transport, but it seems to be a big area in my…

Walking Instead of Driving

Went for a walk a few days ago; something I haven’t done for a while. Thought the dog might like to come along as well. I wanted to try and get a feel for how walkable our neighborhood was; this is around where my grandmother lives. The houses are only about ten years old, or…

Waste is something that I feel our household has always managed quite well. In the northern suburbs of Adelaide, we have what is known as NAWMA; the Northern Adelaide Waste Management Authority. Every residential property across every council north of the city is allocated three different bins; a waste bin (black), a garden and organics…

Transport Options

Reflecting on my transport habits, I have to say that I am already quite proud of my achievements. As mentioned in my previous post, I am already the proud owner of one of Australia’s cleanest petrol cars. As a student, a hybrid was a little out of my price range, but will most definitely be…

Lifestyle Statistics

This is a difficult post to make, as I am sure these statistics are measured quite differently all throughout the world.  Our electricity usage averages about AU$200 per quarter; that’s a home with three people. However, we have solar hot water, which feeds some excess power back into the grid, which in turn not only…

I am a student studying Urban and Regional Planning at the University of South Australia. I am in my third year and am about to commence my work placement. My home, Adelaide, is more of a big country town than a city, despite having a population of approximately 1.3 million people. Constantly voted as Australia’s…