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My Climate Diet

My Climate Diet

By Lisa Pettibone
My Climate Diet follows Lisa Pettibone, a teacher, writer, and sustainability geek, as she goes on a new type of diet. It's all about shedding unwanted pounds -- or tons -- of carbon dioxide and finding a lifestyle that doesn't wreck the planet. Funny, personal, and informative, My Climate Diet provides real-life tips to help you slim down your carbon footprint.
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Introducing My Climate Diet

My Climate Diet

Year 3, Ep. 1: I'm back, baby!
I'm finally back from a long, COVID-lockdown-induced funk. This week I talk about how I reduced my emissions last year and why I'm moving to "Our Climate Diet." Also, I invite you to join a panel organized by friend of the podcast Franziska Elmer related to Scientist Rebellion. For more information, go to
March 22, 2021
Year 2, Ep. 17: Lockdown vs. quarantine
In this episode, I reflect on how personal action and government action can pick up each other's slack in dealing with our biggest problems -- using the examples of coronavirus and climate change. And two Greek women's delicious vegan food is giving me hope.
November 24, 2020
Year 2, Ep. 16: Degrow Your Home
This week I talk about what degrowth can mean at home, and give tips on how to create spaces for "enough" stuff not to morph into "too much." I crunch the climate numbers on living smaller based on a recent article in "Energy Policy" by Immanuel Stiess, Anja Umbach-Daniel, and Corinna Fischer. And my local voting official is giving me hope this week!
October 06, 2020
Year 2, Ep. 15: This Situation
Welcome to "This Situation"! I talk about my time in Tino Sehgal's fascinating installation/performance piece at Gropius Bau this past month, and how it felt to be an often lone voice on climate action. Then I get real about this podcast and promise to get back to my intended focus on positive visions of the future and degrowth.
September 24, 2020
Year 2, Ep. 14 - Too Much Stuff
This week, I complain about cleaning yet MORE junk out of the junk house, the cluttered state of my apartment, and the problem of stuff in general. But there's a silver lining -- I'm taking part in an upcoming exhibition of "This Situation," an art piece that involves talking about current and age-old problems by Berlin-based artist Tino Sehgal, who doesn't use material in his work. Art without stuff, how does that work? More on the exhibition "Down To Earth" here: And don't forget my other project, "Stories From the Future," which will be hosting another public workshop very soon:
August 12, 2020
Year 2, Ep. 13 - Read what you love for the planet
I report back on the media diet I started two weeks ago, and find that it's great reading less and being more mindful about my media consumption. Plus, climate activists boycott Facebook, why the BBC podcast "Forest 404" is making me happy, and what Nick Hornby's reading philosophy could have to do with climate change.
July 14, 2020
Year 2, Ep. 12: My Media Diet
This coming month I'm going on a media diet. That means canceling my last streaming account to take a larger role in curating entertainment media, spending more time on news and analysis relevant to climate change and less on "stories of the moment," and trying out new sources that can help me get more useful perspectives. A shout out to the Guardian, HEATED, and Hot Take, as well as Perspective Daily. Finally, why the rediscovery of a presumably extinct plant species in North Carolina is giving me hope (thanks to the Revelator for sharing this).
June 30, 2020
Year 2, Ep. 11: Take to the Streets
This week I weigh in on Black Lives Matter, connect it to the climate and sustainability crises, and explain why I'm joining Extinction Rebellion's next Rebel Wave from June 12-21. A big shout-out to Osita Nwanevu's excellent February essay "End the GOP" in "The New Republic" ( and thanks to everyone who joined the workshop series "Stories from the Future" that I'm facilitating with Dylan Harris as part of ACUD MACHT NEU's Collective Practices program. Check out the stream of the first workshop while it's on Facebook (
June 11, 2020
Year 2, Ep. 10: Stories from the Future
Today's episode is something special: I talk about the new project I'm working on, a series of workshops called Stories from the Future. In these workshops, organized as part of the "Collective Practices" program at ACUD MACHT NEU, participants will come together to imagine a climate-neutral 2030 and create artifacts to bring back to the present. To talk about these workshops, I am interviewed by ACUD MACHT NEU curator Daniela Silvestrin--in May 2030! For more information, go to or
May 27, 2020
Year 2, Ep. 9: Vegan comfort food with Maria Koimtzoglou
This week I present an interview I did with Maria Koimtzoglou, owner of the Berlin restaurant Maria (, about the connections between food and sustainability and what it's like owning a restaurant in our corona reality. Plus, crashing oil prices are giving me hope, as is seeing corona as an opportunity for us to turn this ship around. Thanks to Maria for chatting and CIEE Berlin ( for letting me use this conversation outside the classroom. #digitallearning
May 07, 2020
Year 2, Ep. 8: Going Vegan
This week, I'm responding to my friend Jason's question: Do you have any tips on going vegan while being cooped up at home because of the coronavirus? I share 8 tips from my 8 months as a vegan (funny how that works out). 
April 23, 2020
Year 2, Ep. 7: Stay Strong with Can-Do Invitations
With corona getting me down, I scrap my original plan of talking about the post-corona degrowth utopia to talk about scaled back ambitions and life in the new corona reality. Inside of giving myself a new challenge, I'm opting for can-do invitations. Plus, a lottery for basic income during the coronavirus crisis ( and more on the DC Environmental Film Festival (
March 31, 2020
Corona announcement: DC Environmental Film Fest is streaming!
Hi everyone, just wanted to tell you that the DC Environmental Film Festival, the largest environmental film festival in the world, has put much of this year's program online for free through the end of March. Check out over 70 films, great for home-schooling or movie night, at Stay safe, and happy viewing! APRIL UPDATE: There are now MORE great environmental films available to stream (over 300), with selections from past years as well.
March 27, 2020
Year 2, Ep. 5: Climate Change and Coronavirus
The news is saturated with coronavirus, so I wanted to put the global pandemic into a climate change context: what this outbreak means for global emissions and short- and long-term climate action. I set some new challenges for myself based on my new coronavirus reality here in Germany, and share some film and book tips for those of you shut up at home the next few weeks. And I invite you to be my book buddy in reading "Was würdest du tun?" For more information, go to:
March 17, 2020
Year 2, Ep. 4: Climate Diet 101 - Green Electricity
I've been on a climate diet for a year now, so I thought I'd take a step back and talk about the first steps you can take to reduce carbon emissions. Today I'm talking about electricity and how important it is to our carbon footprint. I also talk about sustainability at the Berlinale this year, and ask listeners to share this podcast with their friends in Saarland.
March 04, 2020
Year 2, Ep 3: Degrowth and race
Today I introduce the concept of degrowth and start my celebration of Black Future Month by looking for black voices who have written about degrowth or related visions. I look at a 2013 article in "Sustainability" by Brian Gilmore on degrowth and racial inequality, talk about N. K. Jemisin's short story about anti-colonial technological innovation "The Effluent Engine," and read Ta-Nehisi Coates connecting climate change to a history of an American Dream that plunders black bodies and now nature itself in "Between the World and Me." And I admit a major fail that I have read nothing by the legendary Octavia Butler. To be fixed by next time, I promise! Finally, a shout-out to Speculative Futures Berlin and particularly Mathana Stender, Wenzel Mehnert, and Carmen Schmöl for urging me to read Ms. Butler's work.
February 13, 2020
Year 2, Ep. 2: A Book-Buying Ban and Unread Shelves
This week, I talk about my plan with my husband to stop buying books and DVDs for six months, and what this means for the climate (hint: not much). I talk more generally about deprivation as a source of joy and look into the Unread Shelf Project (, which also includes book-buying bans as a way to get reading. And there are shout-outs to BookMooch (, Emily Atkin's HEATED newsletter, the podcast "Drilled: The Mad Men of Climate Change," and the German-language podcast "Sauercrowded," which features me as a guest in this month's episode.
January 28, 2020
Year 2, Ep. 1: Back on the Scales
It’s a new year and I’ve been on a climate diet for 10 months now. So today I step back on the scales and see how my carbon footprint has changed. I find I've lost nearly 2 tons from the challenges I've given myself since starting the podcast, and talk about the impact each thing has made as well as the savings from doing the podcast itself. I then discuss my plans for the year, including a ban on book-buying, and how the vegan bodybuilding documentary The Gamechangers is giving me hope.
January 14, 2020
Episode 28: Clean sheets and a clean slate for Christmas
This week, I have to change my plans for December to gripe about setbacks at the junk house. But I share a great idea for a DIY advent calendar that reduces food waste, cleans out your pantry, and uses stuff you've already got lying around the house. It just needs a better name.
December 18, 2019
Episode 27: Buy Nothing Day
Hey everyone, this Friday, November 29, is Buy Nothing Day and the Global Climate Strike! I talk about Buy Nothing Day, why it's important, and how to get involved. Learn more at and Plus, two stories about divestment--at the European Investment Bank and the Yale-Harvard football game--are giving me hope this week. Happy Thanksgiving, and see you in a few weeks!
November 26, 2019
Episode 26: Go-To Recipes
This week, I challenged myself to cook and eat one type of local,  seasonal vegetable I've never cooked before. Well, I failed, but  primarily because I wanted to cook up vegetables I already had in the  kitchen (just say no to food waste!). In the episode, I share my go-to recipe for carrot soup, my new recipe for roasted vegetables (magali), and mention a recipe for vegan peanut butter cookies that turned out a dream. I also give a shout-out to my fellow sustainability teachers and the German podcast Sauercrowded.
November 20, 2019
Episode 25: Food Miles and Local Produce
What's got a higher transportation footprint, bananas or strawberries? This week I figure out the importance of food miles to our carbon footprint and give some tips on how to reduce our transportation foodprint. I challenge myself to cook some seasonal produce I've never made before and talk about how N. K. Jemisin's Broken Earth trilogy is making me hopeful about the future.
November 12, 2019
Episode 24 - Where's the Beef? Meat and Climate Change
To kick off a month of food-themed episodes, I start by going to the meat of the issue. I look at how important our diet is for climate  change, and what parts of our diet have the highest emissions. The answer: beef is the real climate-killer. Then I salivate over an amazing vegan burger called Leinöl Richie.
November 06, 2019
Episode 23: Plastic
This week, I talk a bit about plastic, drawing heavily from the Guardian's excellent series "The United States of Plastic." I pledge to stop buying beverages in single-use plastic bottles, and complain about unfriendly packaging free supermarkets in Berlin.
October 29, 2019
Episode 22 - Extinction Rebellion Week in Berlin
This past week, I spent most of my free time at Extinction Rebellion's  DelibCamp in Berlin. I spoke with protesters, listened to workshops, and  helped out in my small way. I want to share some information about Extinction Rebellion, Rebellion Week, and particularly the DelibCamp in Berlin. I also talk about the latest government action related to climate change in Germany. Special thanks to XR DelibCamp press contact Carl Fuchs for chatting with me about the camp.
October 15, 2019
Episode 21 - How Bad Are Bananas?
This week is the first meeting of the Climate Book Club, where I talk about "How Bad Are Bananas? The Carbon Footprint of Everything" by Mike Berners-Lee. The book is packed with the climate impacts of loads of everyday things, from text messages, to bananas, to the World Cup. I use the book to calculate how much carbon my husband and I saved cleaning out his parents' house over the summer. And I talk about how we need a "BlacKkKlansman" for sustainability.
October 08, 2019
Episode 20: The magic of yard sales with André Krüger
The second half of conversation with my husband about cleaning out his family's house this summer. He shares his experience holding a yard sale and gives tips on what steps to take to get people to come, and take that junk off your hands. I also talk about the Global Climate Strike and "The Overstory."
October 01, 2019
Episode 19: Talking Junk with André Krüger
I finally talk to my husband about his herculean effort cleaning out his  family's house this summer. He shares tips on how to sort things and  save junk from the landfill. And vegetarianism gives me hope.
September 24, 2019
Episode 18: Upcoming climate actions with Marie Budde
This week I talk with sustainability manager and activist Marie Budde about upcoming climate actions taking place worldwide. She tells me how she stays informed, how she decides what events to go to, and shares information on three big events happening in the next few weeks: the Global Climate Strike on Friday, September 20; World Clean-Up Day this Saturday, September 21; and Extinction Rebellion's international rebellion from October 7 to 20. I also talk about going vegan, and my first media mention, in Siegessäule. Sorry about some of the audio quality: I met Marie in her office, which is apparently busy on a Tuesday morning.
September 17, 2019
Episode 17: A Pest-Proof Pantry for the Planet
Sorry, but I have to break into my own podcast with an important bulletin!! I discovered a moth infestation in my kitchen this past week, forcing me to throw out several packages of flour, grains, and sugar and waste the carbon emissions that went into producing them. So I want to ask you to pest-proof your pantry for the planet and share several tips on how to do so, including a recipe for a magic household spray.
September 10, 2019
Episode 16: Junk and the Circular Economy
This month I’m talking about junk, and how finding it a new home can help save resources--and climate emissions. This week I talk generally about the circular economy, and share some tips from my experience cleaning out a house in northern Germany over the summer. Spoiler alert: you're got to get creative!
September 03, 2019
Episode 15: Food Waste with Emily Stubits
This month I’m focusing on perspective, turning the podcast from My  Climate Diet to Our Climate Diet. This week I talk with a former student about food waste. And I share an article from the Guardian's new series, the United States of Plastic, about not trying so hard.
July 16, 2019
Episode 14: Travel with Eco-Sensibility with Olivia Shoemaker
This month I’m focusing on perspective, turning the podcast from My  Climate Diet to Our Climate Diet. This week I return to the  question of travel, getting some advice from a former student who talks about how to travel with eco-sensibility. And I answer a listener question about homemade deodorant.
July 09, 2019
Episode 13: To Marjorie- Travel and Green Banks
This month I'm looking at perspectives, sharing my thoughts with others and tips from my former students. Today I'm excited to share a letter from a listener packed with questions on issues that have challenged me: how to reduce travel emissions, and how to calculate savings by switching to a green bank.
July 02, 2019
Episode 12: June Wrap-Up – Go Climate Finance!
I talk about what I've learned in covering climate finance for a month: individuals can make a big difference, if they have money, and live somewhere with green banks. And I talk about the recent German documentary "Die rote Linie" (The red line).
June 25, 2019
Episode 11: U.S. Green Mutual Funds Stink
This is the third episode in my month of climate finance. This week I look at the measurements available to evaluate the climate performance of financial investments, check out how green my U.S. mutual fund account is (spoiler: not very) and talk about what to do about it.
June 18, 2019
Episode 10: German Green Banks Rule!
This week, I look into green banks in Germany and open a German checking account! And I find that doing so will save me over 1 ton of carbon dioxide this year.
June 11, 2019
Episode 9: More Money, More Emissions
This week marks the first of a series of four episodes on money and climate change. I start by going back to a classic article by Bill McKibben that looks at how important money is in fueling the extraction of oil and gas. I talk about how the divestment movement is trying to dry up the supply and how changing my bank account can help. Plus: why Harriet Tubman stamps are giving me hope.
June 04, 2019
Episode 8: Cosmetics and Climate Change
This week I look more generally at the effects of cosmetics on the climate. I find that I'm not the only one who knows little about the impact of cosmetics on the climate. And I give one listener tips on how to maximize the climate benefits of cloth diapers.
May 28, 2019
Episode 7: DIY deodorant with Josh Huffman, Part II
This week I share the second half of my chat with my friend Josh Huffman about homemade deodorant. He gives me some tips to perfect my recipe as well as more general advice about making your own cosmetics. And I share a recipe for an exfoliating face mask with only two ingredients. (Note: Josh's language is still a bit salty!)
May 21, 2019
Episode 6: DIY deodorant with Josh Huffman, Part I
This month I'm focusing on cosmetics. This week is the first half of an interview with my friend Josh Huffman, who has made his own deodorant for over six years. He talks about how he got started, and shares his easy recipe for making the best deodorant he's ever used. (Note: There is some salty language this week!)
May 14, 2019
Episode 5: Spargelwoche
This week I'm eating local in Lower Saxony. I talk about the importance of food miles and food groups and buy a kilogram of delicious white asparagus (or Spargel).
May 07, 2019
Episode 4: Potato, potato
My first week of eating local: I talk about what's in season in April, what's always available, and how easy it is to cook potatoes.
April 23, 2019
Episode 3: e-Waste, or, Failure as Success
I totally blew it on my challenge this week -- to properly dispose of a bag of e-waste I've collected over the past year -- but somehow managed to come out ahead anyway.
March 28, 2019
Episode 2: Fridays For Future
This week I talk about my experience at Fridays For Future in Berlin on March 15, 2019, a massive student-organized protest for climate action that took place on six continents with over 1 million demonstrators. I also reflect on the importance of thinking about my carbon handprint, not just my carbon footprint. More information at:
March 21, 2019
Episode 1: The Weigh-In
The first episode of the podcast is up! In this episode, I introduce myself and explain why I'm going on a climate diet (spoiler alert: to reduce my environmental impact!). Then I do my first weigh-in to figure out where I stand, looking at my emissions using a calculator from a German living lab I participated in last year, as well as tools from the Global Footprint Network and the Nature Conservancy. I find I'm better off than I feared, but have a lot of work to do in what I eat. More at:
March 14, 2019
Introducing My Climate Diet
Join Lisa Pettibone as she starts a diet to shed unwanted pounds--of greenhouse gas emissions. Launching March 12, My Climate Diet shares practical tips to do your part in reducing your climate footprint.
February 18, 2019