How Low Did You Go?
The weigh-in for your CO2 diet.
What's the "Green Challenge"? Click here.
Over the last eight weeks, 30,033 (and counting) Green Challenge participants have pledged to shed 58,678,436 pounds of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of taking 5,998 cars off the road for a year. Now comes the moment of truth: How many of your pledges have you fulfilled? Did you really cut beef from your diet, inflate your car tires, turn down your thermostat, and take the train instead of flying?
The Green Challenge wrap-up quiz asks you to revisit your pledges. If you haven't quite measured up to your own expectations, don't sweat it. We won't come knocking on your door, and of course you can always get started now. But when you take the wrap-up quiz, be honest. That way, we can get an accurate handle on the success of our collective CO2 diet. (Our total will still be an approximation, because we've had to rely on averages along the way.)
In some cases, you may not yet have had the chance to fulfill your pledge. You might be eager to buy an Energy Star refrigerator but are wisely waiting until the fridge you have now gives out. When you get to those questions on the wrap-up quiz, give yourself credit for future actions if you're sure you'll have a chance to take them within the next year, since we're measuring annual carbon emissions.
Next week, we'll post the total carbon emissions that we've saved together—and whether we've met our goal of a 20 percent reduction. We'll also calculate your personal overall reduction, compare it to the CO2 output you estimated in the baseline quiz eight weeks ago, and the pounds you pledged to shed along the way, and tell you whether you hit your own 20-percent goal. We'll let you know by e-mail as well. And we'd like to hear from you. The Green Challenge was an experiment for Slate and TreeHugger, and we'd like to know what you liked and what you hated, and how you think we could improve the challenge if we did it again. Please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meaghan O'Neill is a freelance writer and founding editor of treehugger.com, an eco-Web site and Slate's partner on the Green Challenge.