Photograph by Jim Richardson, National Geographic
Published October 11, 2011
What it is
National Geographic's 360º Energy Diet features households around the world as they attempt to reduce their carbon footprints. For eight weeks, participants will try to drop as much excess "weight" as they can by making measurable changes in six areas of their lives: home efficiency, transportation, store purchases, water use, waste reduction and general lifestyle. Each household will be featured in a blog about the challenge at The Great Energy Challenge website, part of NationalGeographic.com.
How the challenge works
Households will receive a set of action items in six different areas, each worth a certain number of points. The more changes a household can make, the more points it can earn. Examples of tasks include, but are not limited to:
· Tallying stats for water, electricity and gas usage
· Changing the thermostat at home
· Using alternate means of transportation instead of driving
· Swapping out conventional foods for local, organic foods
· Recycling all glass, aluminum and paper
· Giving up bottled water for tap water
Each week, participants will self-report their progress with a short blog post (with photos, if applicable). National Geographic's coaches will consult with them on any questions and will offer ideas for additional "wild card" ways they can earn points. At the end of the challenge, the household(s) with the most points will be featured on NationalGeographic.com and may be invited to appear on a live panel about the experience.
Who can participate
All households should be willing and able to participate in the diet for eight weeks, starting in October 2011, and be able to contribute at least one post (300-500 words) per week about it, as well as a self-portrait image and other photos documenting the challenge as needed. Participants will also need Internet access and proficiency in English.
When it's happening
Deadline to join as a participant is October 18, 2011.
Blog posts will begin publication October 26, 2011.
The diet concludes December 15, 2011.
How to apply
Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org telling us where you live and why you want to be part of this challenge. If you have a blog or other online presence to share, please include that as well.
Recent Energy News
Russia presses Ukraine on natural gas debt and threatens price hike. Past cutoffs affected all of Europe, but a changed transit landscape leaves Ukraine far more isolated today.
An environmental review paves the way for seismic oil and gas exploration off the U.S. Atlantic coast. Some areas will be closed to air guns to protect marine mammals and turtles.
World policymakers need to acknowledge that the world is already on track for global warming beyond 2°C, and prepare for drastic impacts, scientists say in a new commentary.
The Big Energy Question
As shipping and energy activity increase in the region, what do we urgently need to learn more about? Vote and comment on the list.
Rate the ideas and comment with your own.
Given a few examples of proposed next energy directions, how do you rate these ideas, and why?
The Great Energy Challenge
The Great Energy Challenge is an important National Geographic initiative designed to help all of us better understand the breadth and depth of our current energy situation.
Special Ad Section
Video of the Day
Tigers are secretive by nature, making it difficult to estimate their populations. See how the Wildlife Conservation Society employs an ingenious solution.