Empowering Households to Lower Their Carbon Footprint and Develop Environmentally Sustainable Lifestyle Practices

The purpose of the Low Carbon Diet behavior change program is to empower individuals to reduce their carbon footprint. Originally designed as a successful team approach, it has now been adapted by Empowerment Institute into a coaching program. In this format clients have a coach guide them through the process of identifying, recommending and even implementing actions to help them reduce their carbon footprint.

The Low Carbon Diet Coaching Program is manageable, quickly implemented and has the potential to be a profitable business or addition to an existing business. Its handbook provides a program structure, describes potential clients, offers a pricing framework, and provides strategies for marketing to different audiences. This is complemented by training in the Empowerment Institute’s coaching methodology to enable behavior change. Bringing this behavior change program and coaching methodology together provides a coach with a unique value proposition and opens up a whole new category of green business.


Professional coaches have a unique role when assisting others in achieving their goals. The premise of most coaching models is that individuals know what they want and hires a coach to support them in bringing this desire into reality. However when it comes to the environment it is more complicated. Individuals at best only have a vague sense of what they want—“lower their carbon footprint” or “do less harm to the environment.”

For an individual to lower their carbon footprint they need to identify what their current behaviors are that could be changed, decide which actions to take, implement these actions, and finally establish the structures and habits to sustain these changes over time. That’s a lot to ask of a person wishing to do the right thing but also leading a busy life.

This is where the Low Carbon Diet Coaching Program comes in. It systematically helps individuals identify their carbon footprint, translate this knowledge into action, and sustain these behavior and household system changes over time.

The program combines two proven empowerment tools: the best selling book Low Carbon Diet: A 30 Day Program to Lose 5,000 Pounds by David Gershon and Empowerment Institute’s coaching methodology which empowers individuals to envision and create what they want in their life. Using both of these tools the coach helps the client create and implement an action plan that is motivating, achievable, and sustainable.

Client Description

A key target market for this program is the female heads-of-households with disposable income and financial decision-making authority in the family. She may be familiar with traditional coaching through her workplace. Although she may already recycle paper and plasticware/glassware, she knows that there is much more that she can do. For many, concerns for her children’s future is also a driver.  Because of her busy lifestyle and the tremendous amount of information available on the web regarding lowering one’s carbon footprint, she has felt overwhelmed, not knowing where to start, what to do, or how to do it.

Therefore, she has chosen to hire an expert to help her create a low-carbon and greener lifestyle in her home. Through the Low Carbon Diet Coaching Program, she will develop the knowledge, and with this extra support generate the momentum to become actively engaged in reducing her household carbon footprint and developing environmentally sustainable lifestyle practices.


The key to marketing the Low Carbon Diet Coaching Program is to communicate that it is practical, economical, and effective. Clients should see reductions in their electric, gas, and water bills. They should notice their gasoline bills going down. These tangible outcomes will communicate that their actions are meaningful without significantly challenging both financial and time resources. Further, they will be able to calculate the reduction of their carbon emissions. The combination of personal savings and environmental savings will communicate the value of their actions.


The Low Carbon Diet Coaching Program has the potential to open up a burgeoning new green business field. Empowering individuals to reduce their carbon footprint, so necessary for our planet, and so helpful to environmentally conscious but time challenged people, is also an exciting new career opportunity. It is a win for the client, the coach and our planet!



Low Carbon Diet:
A 30 Day Program to Lose 5,000 Pounds

by David Gershon

The core tool of the Cool Community Campaign.


Learn about the social change framework and research underpinning the Low Carbon Diet program in David Gershon’s award-winning book Social Change 2.0: A Blueprint for Reinventing Our World.Chapter 11 of the book is a case study of the Low Carbon Diet behavior change program and Cool Community empowerment model on which the Low Carbon Diet program is based.


Note: audio files will take a few moments to load into the popup, please be patient.

New-Dimensions-logo 160Low Carbon Diet Lifestyle, What Will It Take?

enlightenNext 220Enlightened Social Action.

npr logo 150Social Change 2.0 on KEXP fm in Seattle


“David Gershon has created a step-by-step program, à la Weight Watchers, designed to reduce a person’s carbon footprint. . . . Replete with checklists and illustrations, this user-friendly guide is a serious attempt at changing American energy-consumption behavior. . . . The timing for a book offering day-to-day solutions to an overwhelming global problem couldn’t be better.”

— The Christian Science Monitor