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Canadian Geographic's Live Net Zero Holiday Challenge inspires 8 families across the country to reduce their carbon footprint
[November 29, 2023]

Canadian Geographic's Live Net Zero Holiday Challenge inspires 8 families across the country to reduce their carbon footprint

Families are competing for a $50,000 prize

OTTAWA, ON, Nov. 29, 2023 /CNW/ - It is the only challenge of its kind in the country, a national competition between 8 Canadian families to reduce their energy consumption, shrink their carbon footprint, and cut their spending on energy, with the goal of becoming carbon neutral to save the planet.

And now the families are entering the 5th and final challenge of the competition, with the goal of celebrating the holidays and reducing their carbon footprint at the same time.

In its second year, Live Net Zero, has attracted families from across the country who will compete for a cash prize of $50,000 based on their ability to reduce their carbon emissions, by making improvements in energy efficiency in their homes, their commutes, their travel,their consumption of food and consumer goods and how well they engage their fellow Canadians

Developed by Canadian Geographic, to help Canadians understand how they can make practical changes in their lives to protect the environment, the competition will culminate in the Holiday Challenge as the final push to the finish line. Families have already completed four other challenges since September.

?        Final Challenge : Holiday Nov 27-Dec 10

Judging will take place in March for the announcement. In its second year, Live Net Zero has expanded to Québec, and has recruited more families and partners than ever before.

Other challenges the families have already completed include:

  • Challenge 1: Commuting Sept 4-Sept 17, 2023
  • Challenge 2: Home Envelope Sept 25-Oct 8, 2023
  • Challenge 3: Heating and Cooling Oct 16-Oct 29, 2023
  • Challenge 4: Electricity Nov 6-Nov 19, 2023

"Canadians want to do their part to reduce emissions, but often it is hard to take the first step, to know what will work, and how to make a difference. Like the families in the Live Net Zero challenge, Shell Canada has made the commitment to be a net-zero energy emissions business by 2050. It's not easy,but we are making progress by reducing emissions from our own operations, and from the fuels and other energy products we sell to our customers," said Susannah Pierce, President and Country Chair, Shell Canada.

"Scotiabank was proud to see the results from the first year of the challenge, when participating families reduced their emissions by an amazing 40%, meeting Canada"s national objective for 2035. The families showed determination and ingenuity and shared their energy saving lessons broadly through social media and Live Net Zero's website," said Meigan Terry, SVP and Chief Sustainability, Social Impact and Communications Officer for Scotiabank.

"Canadian Geographic wants to drive the change that Canadians desire. We have seen the devastation caused by climate change this summer, with smoke in our cities, and our boreal forest on fire. We believe by engaging some of the most dedicated families across the country, we can all learn together about how each of us as individuals can build a better, and more sustainable future for Canada," said John Geiger, CEO Canadian Geographic. 

Meet the Families:

Proulx Family-Pointe Claire, Québec  

This family of five lives in an older home built in 1927. They want to upgrade their home to reduce their carbon footprint, they love adventures and want to drive an electric car as a family and get their children involved in a lifestyle that will reduce their carbon emissions.

Shannon Family-Airdrie, Alberta

This family of five live in a single detached home built in 1980. They want to upgrade their home to become net zero, and are passionate about being part of a sustainable community.

MacInnis Family-Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

This family of four, with another on the way lives in an older home built in 1936. They have a good understanding of home energy assessment and are ready to install a heat pump as part of the challenge. They are a two car family, but will be getting on their bikes and using transit to change their daily habits. They want to protect the environment and their community.

Foreman Family-Hanwell, New Brunswick

This family of 5 will be doing home improvements as part of the challenge, including installing new doors and windows, and learning together about how to make their home energy efficient. They view the competition as a way to learn together about how they can become more committed to a sustainable lifestyle.

Waddell Family-Windsor, Ontario

This family of four, plus a cat, are involved with carbon reduction initiatives. The family recently moved to Windsor and is looking to upgrade and make improvements to their home and building habits that make an impact on their environment, including not buying anything new and not getting a car.

DePape Family-Winnipeg, Manitoba

This family of three lives in an older home built in 1928. They recently purchased an electric vehicle, and they want to build a better future for their child, and know that climate change is here and want to transition to net zero. They are researching heat pumps, and other ways to make their older home energy efficient.

Amarally Family-Etobicoke, Ontario

This family of five is vegan, likes nature and outdoor activities, and likes to compost. They garden, drive a Tesla, and have a home equipped with a high efficiency furnace and tankless water heater, and they are trying to build a green home to be even more energy efficient.

Reid Family- Dundas, Ontario

This family of six lives in a single detached home built in 1964. Their mother Jen has started a climate justice committee and is a teacher who wants to engage her students about climate change. They would like to go net zero by making improvements to their home.

The Data

Statistics Canada reports that 23.8% of Canada's total energy consumption is used to power our homes, and generates 18.8% of the country's GHG emissions. Households also generate other direct and indirect GHG emissions related to commuting, food, travel, recreation, goods and services. While most Canadians are committed to reducing their carbon footprint, for many it's confusing and difficult to know where to start. That is why Canadian Geographic created Live Net Zero.

SOURCE Royal Canadian Geographical Society

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