Brigette DePape and her husband Kari Rodriguez made New Year’s resolutions 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 are really trying to reduce our household emissions, we are competing against seven other families across Canada and we are competing for $50,000.”
The four-month challenge started in September and aims to inspire Canadians to figure out practical ways they can reduce their carbon footprint.
“Doing this challenge has been a motivator for us in terms of going from two gas-powered vehicles to the one electric,” DePape said.
They’re also looking to make changes in their home, like replacing insulation and the gas radiator and adding solar panels.
Their motivation? Their one-year-old daughter Fia.
“We definitely have seen some of the forecasts on how that 1.5 to 2.5 degree Celsius increase by 2050 could have detrimental impacts,” Rodriguez said. “That might be the time we are hitting our 50s and 60s, respectfully, but for our daughter, that’s kind of when she is hitting our age now.”
Aside from limiting their own carbon footprint, DePape and Rodriguez hope to show others how they, too, can limit their emissions, while keeping in mind that some upgrades can be expensive upfront.
“A lot of the changes you can make in your home, it’s not just a money sink,” Rodriguez said. “A lot of the changes you can do, whether it’s increasing insulation, solar panels or other things to reduce the heat envelope of your home actually are going to have savings at the end of the day on your home.”
DePape and Rodriguez hope to one day be a net-zero household while working toward leaving a greener future for their daughter.
“It’s really important we have personal and household-level change and it’s also really important that we have systemic and policy change and I really think those things go hand in hand,” DePape said.
The winner of the Live Net Zero Challenge will be picked based on a number of criteria, including how much they reduced their emissions, how they participated in the challenge and how they documented their journey.
© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.