GreenTown Los Altos

Carbon Bootcamp – Kicking The Environment’s Butt!


Jan 2020


Carbon Bootcamp encourages a sustainable lifestyle through simple, easy daily changes.

Over the summer GreenTown Los Altos sponsored 154 participants in a sustainability encouraging program called Carbon Bootcamp.

Carbon BootCamp’s a fun, text-based, real-time six-week program designed to help participants lower their carbon footprint via small changes in how they live, eat and move.  It featured delivery of boxes containing gifts, tools, goodies and tips, as well as carbon footprint facts and kudos for accomplishments.

Based on comments like these, participants enjoyed the program:


“This was a fantastic program!  Thank you so much!”

  • “Interactive, informative, and encouraging, while remaining non-judgmental.”
  • “I think you are onto something good here. I like the code words, challenges, text-based.”
  • “For the home energy part, I unplugged twenty devices, ten unplugged completely that I had not used in years….. joined Ohm Connect and got smart plugs.  For the transportation part, I walked to do a few errands…….I avoided driving for four days……..For the food part, it was easy to go veggie/vegan for a week………and I chose my foods as locally as possible.  Altogether, I REALLY enjoyed the Carbon Bootcamp. Thank you so much and thank you GreenTown Los Altos for sponsoring.”

Did The Program Truly Work?

To gauge its effectiveness, Carbon Bootcamp measured changes at the end of the participants’ session, then a few weeks later to determine if the changes were likely to stick.  The biggest changes by participants measured were:

  • Purposely shifting electrical use to when electricity is most available and cheaper

  • Increasing walkingwhen running errands

  • Decreasing consumption of red meat, increasing vegetarian meals

The smallest changes were still significant, although a switch to mass transit was tough:

  • Participants implemented some air clothes drying and shorter showers

  • A few participants increased mass transit use

  • Half of respondents chose vegan meal options more frequently

Carbon Bootcamp is a program developed by Anna Michalak, a Los Altos Resident and climate scientist at the Carnegie Institution for Science at Stanford.  Carbon Bootcamp is copyrighted by CrownTheCrowd.

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