BOOK REVIEW: The Low Carbon Diet by David Gershon

March 31, 2010

Today we have a guest blog by HSC volunteer Emily Kropp. Thanks to Emily for this great book review!

LCD_cover If you’ve been thinking that it’s time to start evaluating your carbon output, but you’re not sure where to start, the Low Carbon Diet: A 30-Day Program to Lose 5000 Pounds is the perfect tool for you. A user-friendly workbook designed to take you through the lifestyle adjustments and home-improvement projects to reduce your CO2 emissions by up to 5,000 pounds, The Low Carbon Diet features handy worksheets that help you calculate your CO2 reduction with each activity.

From reducing your weekly garbage waste through recycling, purchasing items with the least packaging, and requesting to be removed from direct mail lists, to unplugging all of your appliances when not in use to avoid home energy leaks, Section One – “Cool Lifestyle Practices” lists the sometimes surprising impact of simple changes of habit. 

Section Two – “Cool Household Systems” takes on the common ways homes lose energy and ways to maximize your household energy efficiency. Did you know that replacing incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs saves 100 pounds of CO2 annually per bulb? Facts like these helped me really understand the importance of making these changes and can be a powerful motivator. 

In Section Three – “Empowering Others to Lose Unwanted Pounds,” there are instructions for helping children and youth adopt environmentally sustainable lifestyles through the use of a similar workbook geared towards a younger audience. All of the steps in the book can be easily transferred from the home to a school setting, and some – such as switching to a vegetarian, locally-grown diet, or replacing trips in the car with bicycling or walking – can be elements of a healthy lifestyle for kids. 

The instructions are peppered with amusing cartoons, and author David Gershon conveys genuine enthusiasm that helps to build momentum and excitement. The action plans and checklists help to create a concrete sense of your carbon “footprint,” making this workbook a valuable resource for anyone looking to shed extra carbon pounds.