Low Carbon Diet Project

Reducing My Carbon Emissions By 5,000 Pounds

1:Goal and Hypothesis

  • Statement of Purpose: Climate change is beginning to have a very increased amount of impact on our world. The recent devastating hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, and floods have are the worst recorded storms in decades. Wind turbines and solar panels aren’t enough. None of the green energy available today can compare to the amount of fossil fuels humans are burning into the atmosphere. One class may not save enough carbon emissions to make much of a difference but it is a start.    
  • Research Hypothesis: I will follow at least 10 of the steps in David Gershon’s book, Low Carbon Diet, reducing my CO2 emissions by at least 5000 pounds. I am starting at a level 7 and I hope to end at a level 6 according to the carbon emission calculator.

2:
Reducing My Showers By 10 Minutes

*I have found this first step to the project to be easy. It saves me time in the morning to get ready for school and it saves energy. My only complaint would be that due to the low flow of water I get in my five minute showers, I have to use a very small amount of shampoo in order to get it all out of my hair in that small amount of time.

*According to the Low Carbon Diet book, I can accredit 300 pounds off a yearly CO2 emission amount to each person who reduces there shower time by at least 5 minutes and I can take off another 250 pounds for each low flow shower head. This means that I can credit myself 850 pounds.

3:
Surprise!! The Power Goes Out

This was not planned. The power in the entire village went out for at least three hours. With all of the electricity was off in my entire house, I saved a lot of CO2 emissions from being released.

•I can credit myself with 600 pounds of carbon dioxide reduction for having all of the power in my entire house out for three hours. I am now at 1,500 of my 5,000 lbs. goal.

4:
Unplug All TV’s and DVD players when not in use.

My goal this week was to unplug every TV and DVD player when they are not being used. This will assure that no energy is being sucked from them when they are off. This assures that no electricity will leak out.

•I can now credit myself with 600 pounds of carbon dioxide reduction for completely turning off electronic equipment when not in use. This is according to the low carbon diet project workbook. I have reached 2,100 pounds out of my 5,000 pound goal.

5:
Turn Down the Heat

My week’s goal will be to turn off my heater while I sleep and turn it to only 55 during the day. I tend to get over heated at night already so this should not be too difficult.

•I can now credit myself with 1,400 pounds of carbon dioxide reduction for turning off my heater while I sleep and turning it to only 55 during the day. This is according to the low carbon diet project workbook. I have reached 3,500 pounds out of my 5,000 pound goal.

6: Turn It Cold

This week, I have chosen to wash my family’s clothes using cold water and dry them using automatic moisture settings. The cold water tends to prevent colors to run in the washing machine. In the long run, using cold water to wash clothes does not at all make a difference to the person that wears those clothes.

•I can now credit myself with 500 pounds of carbon dioxide reduction for washing my family’s clothes using cold water and dry them using automatic moisture settings. This is according to the low carbon diet project workbook. I have reached 4,000 pounds out of my 5,000 pound goal.

7: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!!!

This week I will place bins in my kitchen to separate materials and properly recycle them. I chose to do this because even before this project came about recycling was something that I hear about on a daily basis. My family has always recycled cans and bottles, but as far as other ways of recycling, we have never given it a try. My plan is to reduce my house holds amount of weekly waste from 90 gallons to 60 gallons.

I can now credit myself with 3,120 pounds of carbon dioxide reduction for recycling my families waste. My family’s weekly waste went from 90 gallons to 60 gallons. This is according to the low carbon diet project workbook. I have reached 7,120 pounds out of my 5,000 pound goal.

8:
No Meat!

  • This week I did not eat any meat. The carbon emissions from all the processes needed to go from a live animal to the packages of meat that we buy at the store are extremely high. Although I am only one person, a little goes a long way. The more people that save carbon emissions, the better off the environment will be.
  • Eliminating all meet from my diet was the easiest of all my goals. I only eat chicken anyways, therefore, that’s all that I was eliminating. If I were to do this again I would warn my family ahead of time that I am doing it so that they can also cut meat from their diet. Salads, vegetables, fruits, and potatoes were very popular in my house this week which helps not only reducing carbon emissions but also helps me form a healthier diet.

9:
Gardening

  • This week I planted a tree in my mom’s garden, as well as flowers. With the non-predictable weather, ill only plant a few little flowers. Tree’s help very intensely with reducing carbon emissions from other things in the atmosphere.
  • I can now credit myself with 50 pounds of carbon dioxide reduction for planting a tree and flowers in my garden. This is according to the low carbon diet project workbook. I have reached 8,170 pounds out of my 5,000 pound goal.

10:
Carpool  to School

  • I decided as my last act to reduce my carbon emissions that I would start carpooling to and from school. The school is such a short distance away that there is no need for so many cars to drive to the same place at the same time. There are four of us in one car everyday which saves all the carbon emissions that the other three cars would be releasing.
 
  • I can now credit myself with 100 pounds of carbon dioxide reduction for carpooling to and from school each day. This is according to the low carbon diet project workbook. I have reached 7,970 pounds out of my 5,000 pound goal

Conclusion

My hypothesis, that I can reduce my CO2 emissions by at least 5000 pounds by following the steps in my Low Carbon Diet book, was proven true. I lost 7,970 pounds, exceeding my goal by far more than expected. Looking at my family's monthly electric bill, I have saved my parents over one hundred dollars. This project was a fun way to save CO2 emissions. Without being introduced to the Low Carbon Diet I would have never given so much thought to how much energy I actually use in one day. This was a very effective and educating lab. If there was anything I could change it would be to look for more cost effective ways to save carbon emissions.

Works Cited
  • "Low Carbon Diet." Empowerment institute. 2012. Web. 1 Jan. .

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