Is the "Energy Diet" 2011's Best New Trend?
Don't get too excited, fad dieters. National Geographic's Energy Diet Challenge isn't about fitting into your favorite pair of jeans by reducing your waistline. It's about reducing your carbon footprint by consuming less energy. But trimming your fossil-fuel dependence can be a lot like shedding extra pounds.
The organizers are looking for six households around the world that are committed to achieving an ideal "energy weight" by following a 12-week, step-by-step approach toward a healthier lifestyle. "Dieters" will aim to drop as much excess as they can by making changes in areas such as home efficiency, transportation, purchases, water use, and reducing waste.
The more changes a household makes, the more points it'll earn. And don't worry: If you find yourself flipping on the lights more than you should, or cranking up the thermostat, you'll have a virtual coach (an expert in conserving energy) to keep you on track.
The deadline to join the challenge is Jan. 12. And while it'll last just 12 weeks, that doesn't mean you have to stop "dieting" after having admired your slimmed-down carbon footprint.