Guest Opinion on Low Carbon Diet

Lexington Minuteman, November 1, 2007

A new diet craze is invading Lexington households! Follow it and you are guaranteed to lose pounds without a single hunger pang. Join Lexington GWAC’s Low Carbon Diet Challenge, lose 5000 pounds in your household and help Lexington meet the goal of a losing one million pound of greenhouse gasses that are warming the atmosphere and causing global warming.

It is amazing how easy it is for most of us in Lexington to quickly take actions that will shave off at least 5000 pounds of carbon emissions in a year. (It is estimated that an average Lexington household emits approximately 55,000 pounds of greenhouse gases over the course of a year.)

What is the Low Carbon Diet? It is an easy-to-follow program, based on the user-friendly workbook “The Low Carbon Diet: a Thirty Day Program to Lose 5000 Pounds,” written by David Gershon of the Empowerment Institute and available at a discounted price of $11 at Sundial Bookstore in Lexington Center, or on-line through We hear from people that they want to do something about global warming, as well as reduce their energy bills, but don’t know where to start.

The Low Carbon Diet program offers a three-step process to show you how to make changes that will do both. First, you determine your household’s current level of carbon usage. Then you learn about actions to take to reduce those emissions, using the workbook and the GWAC website. Third, you decide which actions to take, both immediately and over time, and you are on your way to reducing your personal contribution to global warming.

How does one start? The program was designed to be most effective with small groups of four to eight people, meeting together in four sessions over four weeks. In a group one gets support and shares learning and know-how. However, it is very easy to do it on your own.

Start by measuring your carbon footprint. It is a very quick and easy process. Use LexGwac’s carbon calculator on our website or find one on many other websites. What you need: one electric bill and one fuel bill, the approximate number of miles you drive and your vehicle(s) gas mileage rating (our website helps you find it if you don’t know it.) The utilities include 12 months of usage on the bill and many oil companies do too. Just add up the kilowatts or therms and you have a year’s total. Enter these numbers, answer a few questions, and you get your carbon footprint. Takes no time at all.

Now you are ready to make changes. Your family can go step by step through the “Low Carbon Diet” workbook as a guide, or visit the LexGwac or other web sites for comprehensive information to show you where small and big energy savings are to be found in your household. This is a wonderful way to engage the whole family in an educational process to make us all aware of how we live, how our actions affect our world, how relatively easy it is to do things differently. As an added bonus, many of these changes save the family money!

The LexGwac Low Carbon Diet Challenge is seeking at least 200 families to sign up to take the pledge of making the effort to shed 5000 pounds this year, to reach the grand challenge of a one million pound loss for our town! Sign up on our website to pledge. If prefer anonymity, that’s okay, just sign in as “anonymous.”

LexGwac is offering opportunities for you to get some help with this. One-session free introductory meetings are being held on the following Monday nights in the library (downstairs): November 19, 26 and Dec 3. Classes will be offered through Lexington Community Ed in the winter and spring. Many houses of worship are starting groups and LexGwac is available to come to give talks to any groups in town. Gather some of your neighbors, enlist your PTA group, book or bridge club, tennis and golf buddies, soccer moms, work colleagues, etc., to do the Low Carbon Diet together.

Let’s show our children, who hear about global warming every day, that we care about the kind of world they will inherit and are taking actions to make it better. Get started on the Low Carbon Diet today! There’s no time to lose!

Brought to you by Lexington Global Warming Action Coalition. Contact us at