A carbon diet refers to reducing the impact on climate change by reducing greenhouse gas (principally CO2) production.

Individuals and businesses produce carbon dioxide from daily activities such as driving, heating, and the consumption of products and services. To reduce the effects of climate change, we could reduce our carbon output by going on a carbon diet.

There are references to the use of the term carbon diet in several publications.

The term "carbon diet" is used in the book Gore: A Political Life[1]

"And many scientists and economists maintain that the costs of adapting to any change are both easier to achieve politically and more efficacious scientifically than trying to avoid the problem through a crash carbon diet."

Deborah Jones from The Globe & Mail newspaper writes "It's week two of my family's "carbon diet" -- a Globe and Mail assignment to see how my family of four adults can cut its greenhouse-gas emissions to match the provincial goal of a 33-per-cent reduction..."[2]

This differs from a low carbon diet which refers to making choices about eating that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Key components of a carbon diet

A carbon diet is similar to a food diet. It starts with assessing weight (measured in tonnes of carbon dioxide) and then determining where the ideal weight should be. The following outlines the steps of a carbon diet:

  • Calculate a carbon footprint to understand the amount of carbon dioxide emissions
  • Measure the carbon footprint against peers (e.g., similar company size or for individuals, a national average)
  • Determine the ideal carbon footprint
  • Identify the source of the most significant carbon dioxide emissions [3]
  • Reduce carbon dioxide emissions by starting with the most significant sources first

See also


  1. Zelnick, Robert (1999). Gore: a political life. Washington, DC: Regnery Pub. p. 330. ISBN 0-89526-326-2. 
  2. Deborah Jones, "Stepping Towards Greener Pastures: Part 2 of BC family's carbon diet focuses on transportation," The Globe and Mail, March 30, 2007
  3. Data and studies on CO2 emissions from common goods and services are at

External links

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