Canadian Geographic launches Live Net Zero 2023

The Marsh family of Etobicoke, Ont., one of eight families competing in the 2023 Live Net Zero competition.

Canadian Geographic selects 8 Canadian families to compete for $50,000 cash prize to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions

Tuesday, September 5, 2023, OTTAWA – It is the only challenge of its kind in the country, a national competition between eight Canadian families to reduce their energy consumption, shrink their carbon footprint, and reduce their spending on energy, with the goal of becoming carbon neutral to save the planet.

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 and their consumption of food and consumer goods.

Developed by Canadian Geographic to help Canadians understand how they can make practical changes in their lives to protect the environment, the competition begins with the first of five two-week-long challenges this week.

● Challenge 1: Commuting Sept 4-Sept 17
● Challenge 2: Home Envelope Sept 25-Oct 8
● Challenge 3: Heating and Cooling Oct 16-Oct 29
● Challenge 4: Electricity Nov 6-Nov 19
● Challenge 5: Holiday Nov 27-Dec 10

Judging will take place in February for the announcement of the winner in 2024. In its second year, Live Net Zero has expanded to Quebec, and has recruited more families and partners than ever before.

Canadian Geographic’s Live Net Zero program plays an important role in providing Canadians information and inspiration on how to reduce their personal carbon footprint through improvements in energy efficiency at home and tips on energy efficient travel and commuting,” said Susannah Pierce, President and Country Chair, Shell Canada. “I wish all the families participating in the program good luck and I look forward to following this year’s challenges on-

“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, Quebec
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 lives 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 a baby on the way lives in an old home built in 1936. They have a good understanding of home energy assessments 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 five 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 old home built in 1928. They recently purchased an electric vehicle, and they want to build a better future for their child. They 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.

Marsh Family – Etobicoke, Ontario
This multi-generation household of five has a deep appreciation of nature and enjoys spending time outdoors, including camping, swimming, skiing, and hiking (especially the Grouse Grind in Vancouver when they visit family). The Marshes already have a rather low-carbon lifestyle, and big ideas on how to make their homes less carbon intensive. Yes, homes: for the Challenges, the Marshes will make their current home as close to net zero as possible, but they will also be sharing their experiences planning and building a brand new green multi-gen home that they will move into when completed.

Reid Family – Dundas, Ontario
This family of six lives in a single detached home built in 1964. Mom 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.