Carbon Diet

Lose 5,000 lbs of your carbon footprint in 6 weeks!

Support “Carbon Diet is a very effective program for helping people achieve real and lasting carbon reduction at the household level. I recommend it to anyone who wants to do their part to reduce their carbon footprint.” – Jenny Clad, Executive Director, “The Climate Project”

Do you want to learn how you can simply loose 10% of your carbon diet?* Do you want to learn from others and see what they are doing? Do you want to be part of fighting climate change in Central Texas? Then we encourage you to sign up for one of our Carbon Diet Groups.

How does it work?

  • You join a group of 8-12 people
  • A Climate Buddy Catalyst will take you through 4 sessions using a practical guide
  • We talk about what we can do as citizens in our private lives and homes
  • We answer any questions you may have, it is free education!
  • You will discover your own carbon footprint
  • You commit to actions you feel are most relevant to you
  • We share experiences and results
  • If we add all savings up, the total will add up to the elimination of the total carbon footprint of one person per group
  • You will be surprised how easy it is to lose 10% of your carbon diet!
  • On completion you will be ordained as a Carbon Diet Champion
Active groups The residents at White Hall Coop
Saint Andrews Presbytarian Church
of Austin’s Energy Action Group
Greg Choban’s neighors in Northwest Hills
Anna Graybeal’s neigbors in Hyde Park

Sign Up Today!

Are there costs involved?

No, but bringing a drink or snacks to the meeting makes for an even better get-together!

How can I help with this initiative?

1. Invite other people to your group or start a new group 2. Help us with the organization and campaign (group registration, social media, etc.) 3. Become a Climate Buddy Catalyst and lead groups through the program

Carbon Diet Champions

Participants speak up! Susan Adams – When my family started the carbon diet program, we felt like we were doing pretty well and had little to learn about improving our carbon footprint. Were we wrong! We lost more than 20,000 pounds on the carbon diet and see the world through different eyes.  The program outlined all kinds of simple ways to reduce our carbon footprint, while reducing our bills at the same time. The meetings were a great way to hear what actions other people were taking and to get their ideas and support. 

Everybody can be a Carbon Diet Champion. Read some of their stories here: Pat and Dale Bulla are retired and have installed solar panels, drive an electric car, have a 100% native garden and much more. They save more than 50% of their Carbon Diet!  Jonathan Lowell is a UT grad student and is taking military showers and bikes all over Austin, he buys his groceries at Wheatsville Coop, an easy way to get many local seasonal products. He saved 15% of his Carbon Diet. Anna Graybeal and her family have insulated their attic, replaced windows and switched out their incandescent light bulbs and buy a weekly bag of vegetables from a CSA. They saved over 15% of their Carbon Diet. What will your story be after you complete the program? A full list of Carbon Diet Champions is presented at the bottom of this page.

Learn more about…

What is a carbon footprint? *

A carbon footprint is a measure of the amount of greenhouse gasses that are put in the atmosphere. A carbon footprint can be done for countries, businesses, products, households and individuals. Our program focuses on households. It is a measure to show the impact on climate change. The average Carbon Footprint of an American is 25 metric tons, or about 55,000 lbs of CO2eq (Carbon Dioxide equivalents). Our program will invite you to shed 10% of this total. You will be learn about your own Carbon Footprint and how can take relevant actions to lower that.

What are important parts of the average US carbon diet?

The graph below show you the make up of the footprint of an average US citizen. The results are different per person and household, but the main topics are: the things we buy (where we put our money), what we eat (food), how we get around (travel), and how we live comfortably (utilities).

What are important sources of emissions in our carbon diet?

Human Emissions of Greenhouse Gasses (GHG) are driving Global Warming, specifically:

  • CO2 ,or, carbon dioxide. This is released from burning of  fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas
  • CH4 ,or, methane, or natural gas. This is mostly released from livestock, and
  • N2O, laughing gas which is mostly released from chemical fertilizer use in agriculture

If 1000 people follow a carbon diet, what is the impact?

  • Not filling your car for 20,000 times with 12 gallons of gas
  • Preventing 6 million miles driven in your car at 25 MPG
  • Switching out 55,000 80 watt light bulbs with 13 watt CFLs that are used 3 hrs per day
  • Negating the use of electricity of 350 average households in Austin

What are strategies that can will help the world the most?

  • Use renewable energy wherever you can. Think about your electricity and switch to a solar or wind based contract. In Austin, switch to GreenChoice
  • Travel less, travel less by air, limit stop overs, make sure your next car has a higher MPG, use the bus, ride a bike, walk
  • Spend money on local experiences, and not on stuff, buy less, buy reused
  • Eat more plant based foods and if you can local, seasonal, organic, join a CSA
  • Use less energy by focusing on energy efficiency of your car, home, HVAC, appliances and lighting
  • If you can, invest your savings or pension funds in the new energy economy, for example a windfarm or community solar
  • Don’t buy waste, if you do make sure to compost it yourself, or recycle it.
  • Did you know that if you qualify for an Austin solar rebate, that you will get a return on investment of about 15% per year? That is about the best deal in the country!

Carbon Diet Champions

(newest to oldest)

Greg Choban Susan Adams
Ty Carter Tony Choban Meaghan Dinan Bill Edelbrock
Anna Graybeal Carrie Holley-Hurt Christina Huizar Jonathan Lowell
Carol Lutz Jonathan Magrum Pat McCray Carolyn and Billy Moore
Tiffany Puet Nancie Roddy Melissa Ruof Will Slade
Vanessa Toro VanNghi Vo John Walewski Rachel Zindler


We are proud to be able to announce our partnership with different organization to deliver this program to align resources and to create synergy.

Office of Sustainability, City of Austin

Zach Baumer, Climate Program Manager, Office of Sustainability, City of Austin – “The City of Austin has a strong commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and minimize our effect on climate change.  The City is taking action to reduce the impact of our energy sources, transportation systems, water conservation, and waste elimination, but we need our residents to be part of the solution.  This grassroots effort to engage on individual action and lose carbon weight is a great idea, program, and we support their efforts to make Austin a leader in the fight against climate change”.

Home Energy Assistance Program, HEAP, for low income customers, Austin Energy