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nerd with formulas on blackboards and title, Obsessive-Compulsive's Guide to Cutting Your Carbon Footprint

Obsessive-Compulsive’s Guide to Cutting Your Carbon Footprint

Chickens, Tomatoes and Cars: The Wonky Numbers Behind Your Carbon Footprint

nerd with formulas on blackboards and title, Obsessive-Compulsive's Guide to Cutting Your Carbon FootprintWe NEED to be obsessed with shrinking our footprint, and Lloyd Alter did the research, the spreadsheet, and the book to help us all do our part. Did you know you can cut your carbon footprint from food in half? In a continuation of last episode’s conversation, Lloyd Alter, author of Living the 1.5 Degree Lifestyle: Why Individual Climate Action Matters More than Ever, shares what matters most from what he learned while shrinking his annual carbon footprint to meet the carbon budget allowed to meet 1.5°C goals.

Don’t Miss: Stephanie makes a shocking confession about her 2019 lifestyle and carbon footprint. And Lloyd raised quite a stir with this tweet: “I was shocked when I e-biked past the gas station, the price is twice as high as when I last filled the car two years ago.”

Some of the Revelations:

  • Tomatoes have an unusually large carbon footprint.
  • Eating food in season tastes better!
  • He introduces us to the term “climatarian” – a person who chooses what to eat according to what is least harmful to the environment.
  • We engage in “portion distortion” – we put too much on the plate and either eat too much or toss the excess
  • The delivery of a take-out order emits twice the carbon of producing that food.
  • Embodied energy or carbon, or upfront carbon emissions, are a big part of our consumption footprint
  • We’d be well-served to focus on “sufficiency.” What is enough? What do you need?


Living the 1.5 Degree Lifestyle – by Lloyd Alter

TreeHugger – one of the world’s leading sustainability information websites

Take the JumpLess consuming but more creativity, care, comedy, camaraderie, contentment, craft, connection, celebration, culture and community

Lettuce is Stupid

Pilot project and spreadsheet

Hot or Cool Institute

Global Footprint Network ecological footprint calculator

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The GrowthBusters theme song was written and produced by Jake Fader and sung by Carlos Jones.

On the GrowthBusters podcast, we come to terms with the limits to growth, explore the joy of sustainable living, and provide a recovery program from our society’s growth addiction (economic/consumption and population). This podcast is part of the GrowthBusters project to raise awareness of overshoot and end our culture’s obsession with, and pursuit of, growth.

Dave Gardner directed the documentary GrowthBusters: Hooked on Growth, which Stanford Biologist Paul Ehrlich declared “could be the most important film ever made.” Co-host Stephanie Gardner has degrees in Environmental Studies and Environmental Law & Policy.

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Comments (2)

  • Avatar

    Joan Philips


    Hi all,
    I just want to say how much I loved the recent podcast. I listened to it while walking to the grocery store, and declined to purchase some out-of-season fruit because of it. I see reducing my consumption not as a sacrifice but as a fun challenge. And a big benefit of it is that I am not a slave to an employer because my limited spending means I can afford to not work.


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