Energy Diet

Zupan Family

We are a family of four in Slovenia: Mateja (46), Janez (45), Tilen (15) and Krištof (10). We live in a private house in the suburb of Ljubljana, Slovenia's capital.

My husband Janez and I, Mateja, both work in the governmental offices. He’s mechanical engineer and he works on the Ministry of Defense as an expert for logistics and NATO codification. I’m an architect and I work in the Ministry of Culture as an inspector for cultural heritage in Slovenia.

Tilen and Krištof are both teenagers. Tilen attends secondary school at College Poljane and he’s at the first class this year. Krištof attends primary school at Koseze and he’s at 5th class already. Tilen’s hobby is swimming and Krištof’s hobby is basketball, but he also swims once a week.

We all like skiing a lot, we love mountaineering and we love to travel as much as we can within our financial means.


Slovenia Participants

Your Points Percentile:
Total Country Participants:

At Home (91%)

  • 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: upgraded heating system, installed heat-protection screens

At the Store (73%)

  • 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

Transportation (65%)

  • 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: riding a bike instead of driving a car

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 (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
  • Insulated water heater
  • My own action: changed old toilet flusher
Total Points: 385

In Closing…

Yeah, and we’ve succeeded in coming to the end. It was fun at the beginning, a duty in the middle and a huge satisfaction at the end :-). There were days I did not believe that we would find enough time to prepare posts in time. But with the effort of all the family, we…

Our Dream House

As I said in our second post, the largest part of our energy consumption comes from two energy consumers: both cars and our house. I will talk about our wishes and desires for how to improve our energy footprint for our house and what our dreams are for a new solar passive house. First something…

When We Feel Most ‘At Home’

When considering the category of “at home” on the diet this week, I decided to skip writing about the check boxes, because I’ve touched on many of those topics, and we’ve already checked almost all of them off (except of the usage of green-certified products). But, when I was going through our photo archive, I…

The Best Way to Save Gas

Let’s talk about the mode of transport that creates the most emissions: airplanes. In Slovenia, ordinary people usually don’t travel much by air, because distances are not very long and we only take a plane when we go abroad in more distant areas of Europe or the world. In our family, we travel by plane…

‘No Thanks’ to Gardening

There are at least three checkboxes on the energy diet that we won’t be checking, and they all have to do with gardening. First of all, we do not like gardening, none of us in the family. Secondly, we don’t need to do it, because as I already mentioned in our previous posts, we get…

The Picture of a Sustainable Diet

As I’ve mentioned, my family has some very good sources of sustainable food where we live: a milk machine on the nearby farm, Slovenian regions for olive oil and potatoes where we can stock up on a year’s worth of basics, and a food garden tended by my husband’s parents — apples and grapes are…

A Simple Key to Shopping Wisely

Nowadays, we live in a consumer society in which we buy and buy and buy, all the time. In Slovenia each year there are more and newer stores, big markets, etc. And sometimes I ask myself how all these markets and stores can survive. Who buys goods on such a large scale that each and…

Finding New Boxes to Check

Addressing the subject of “wild card” tasks is one the hardest for us. It’s kind of difficult to invent something that was not already a part of your prearranged boxes. Maybe we are just not creative enough. Well! We’ll give it a chance and try it anyway. At the store, we tend to reduce buying…

An Innovative Trash System in Slovenia

We are trying to minimize the quantity of our waste, but it is a difficult task. When we are shopping, we find that almost all products have lots of packaging, and this is one of the reasons for unnecessary waste. Another one, for example, is empty plastic bottles. When we stopped drinking bottled water, the…

Changing the Way We See Tap Water

In Slovenia, as in most parts of Europe, we don’t have problems with potable water, so we usually didn’t pay a lot of attention to its use. But every year we are more and more aware that we don’t live alone on this planet, and somebody else’s problems are problems of us all. There are…