Energy Diet


A third-year photography student in Vancouver, B.C. at Emily Carr University of Art & Design, I'm known to always have a cup of coffee in hand (in a paper cup) and take great pride in eating out on the town. In addition to photography, I practice yoga as a part of my daily routine -- contrary to popular belief, that does not automatically make me have the smallest carbon footprint in the world. I believe it takes much more than just purchasing items that are labeled with the popular stamp of "eco-friendly" to reduce your carbon footprint. I live alone, so the pressure is all on me!


Canada Participants

Your Points Percentile:
Total Country Participants:

At Home (62%)

  • 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: repaired some old jeans and a ripped shirt!

At the Store (89%)

  • 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
  • Rented or borrowed instead of buying infrequently used items

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: increased all organic foods

Transportation (25%)

  • 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: ran somewhere instead of taking the bus!

Waste Disposal And Reduction (0%)

  • 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 walking the dog
  • Recycled 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
  • Insulated water heater
Total Points: 305

The Never-Ending Journey…

Man! I can’t believe we are on our last week of posting. Time flies so quickly. Just because it is over definitely doesn’t mean I will lose my commitment to the habits that I have began since the beginning of the diet. I have learned so many positive lifestyle changes from this diet. I think…

I have been so fortunate in the past year to meet some very talented people within the art community. These people have led me to discover many projects, films and collaborations. A large part of spreading the word on something as good as being great to our planet is communication. The minute I heard a…

Planes, Trains, Automobiles

I have to give Vancouver a lot of credit for their public transit system. Being here at school, I don’t bring my car with me to Vancouver. I live on a very main bus route so it is super easy for me to get myself anywhere on public transit. There are ways to get just…

My Inner Yogi Speaks…

As I mentioned earlier in the challenge, I practice yoga daily. Not only does it get the blood flowing, but it also helps calm the mind in challenging situations. Everyday we are faced with challenges. There is always something new placed in front of us that we have to deal with. The group of us…

Baby Steps Matter

I might lose all of the people that are giving following my blog a shot when I say I read a book by Alicia Silverstone this week, but I like her. I liked her in Clueless, and I’m sure that most of you don’t like to admit you liked her too. Anyways, Alicia is a…

Cutting Back on Packaging

The topic of store purchases, when it comes to being on an energy diet, is a difficult one to consider because it’s fraught with problems. All that packaging can make it hard even to see the product, sometimes. As I mentioned earlier in the challenge, I have stopped using plastic grocery bags. And because I…

A Tale of Two (Canadian) Cities

I’m on reading break this week from university. I’m back in my hometown of Calgary, Alberta. One thing I have to admit that has been added back into my life is my car. I mentioned in an earlier post that the transit system here is fairly unreliable. You are lucky if the bus comes, but…

To be honest, I haven’t been paying that much attention to the “wild card,” or bonus, items on this diet. It’s taken so much energy (pardon the pun) to reduce my carbon footprint in the ways I always thought were simple. The ideas that I’ve already blogged about, like the elimination of plastic bags from…

Drip Drip Drop

As I mentioned in my previous post, I was recommended the documentary, Tapped by my uncle. I sat down last night to watch it. Before watching the documentary, I always knew that buying bottled water was a (for lack of a more educated word) stupid thing to do. I mean if water comes out of…

Water, Water, Everywhere… Inside Plastic!

This week, I got a recommendation to watch the film Tapped. I haven’t had time this week to watch it yet, but I am going to as soon as I can. I did watch the trailer however, and it seems like a really great documentary to watch. I will watch it as soon as I…