Brigette DePape and her husband Kari Rodriguez made a New Year’s resolution to reduce their household emissions.
They decided to focus on transportation, home efficiency and composting.
“We wanted to do something together as a family,” DePape said.
DePape, a longtime climate activist, then came across the Live Net Zero Challenge.
“The goal is to get our emissions to zero,” DePape said. “We’re really trying to reduce our household emissions, we’re competing with seven other families across Canada and we’re competing for $50,000. »
The four-month challenge began in September and aims to inspire Canadians to find practical ways to reduce their carbon footprint.
“Meeting this challenge was a motivation for us to move from two gasoline-powered vehicles to an electric vehicle,” DePape said.
They are also considering making changes to their home, such as replacing the insulation and gas heater and adding solar panels.
Their motivation? Their one-year-old daughter Fia.
“We’ve certainly seen some of the predictions that an increase of 1.5 to 2.5 degrees Celsius by 2050 could have detrimental impacts,” Rodriguez said. “It might be when we hit our 50s or 60s, respectfully, but for our daughter, that’s kind of when she’s our age now.”
In addition to limiting their own carbon footprint, DePape and Rodriguez hope to show others how they, too, can limit their emissions, keeping in mind that some improvements can be costly up front.
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“A lot of the changes you can make to your home aren’t just a money sink,” Rodriguez said. “Many changes you can make, whether it’s increased insulation, solar panels or other measures to reduce the thermal envelope of your home, will ultimately save money on your house. »
DePape and Rodriguez hope to one day become a net-zero emissions household while striving to leave a greener future for their daughter.
“It’s really important that we have change on a personal and family level and it’s also really important that we have systemic and political change and I really think those things go hand in hand,” DePape said.
The winner of the Live Net Zero Challenge will be chosen based on a number of criteria, including how well they have reduced their emissions, how they participated in the challenge and how they documented their journey.
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