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Quebec family aiming to live net zero and inspire others

Click to play video: 'Montreal family selected as a finalist in nation-wide carbon footprint contest'
Montreal family selected as a finalist in nation-wide carbon footprint contest
WATCH: A Montreal family has been chosen as a finalist in a national competition to reduce their carbon footprint. As Gloria henriquez reports, they could win up to $50,000 in the process – Sep 10, 2023

A Pointe-Claire, Que. family has been selected as a finalist in a nation-wide contest to reduce their carbon footprint.

The Proulx family, who live in Montreal’s West Island suburb, are in the running with seven other families to win $50,000.

The Canadian Geographic Live Net Zero challenge aims to lower emissions and to help families find creative ways to do so.

The Proulxs, a family of five, love adventure. They love camping and canoeing. “And the world and the bees and the beach and the nature,” exclaimed 4-year-old Cedric Proulx.

So they say they are trying to protect the planet. “I want to save the Earth and the bees,” said Cedric.

The family is looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint.

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The three children bike to school and to their activities. They also try not to waste.

“Yeah, we made a car,” said Sasha Proulx, who is 11-years-old. “We had this electric tiny jeep for them [her younger siblings] and then it broke.”

Instead of sending it to the landfill, they upcycled it by attaching a skateboard screwed onto a bench.

They have an electric car and for the first time, instead of using two vehicles to go camping, they will only use one, dramatically reducing the amount they can pack and live as simply as they can.

The Proulx family started reviewing the way they did things after they were selected in the challenge.

In its second year, the contest has expanded to Quebec.

The contest aims to show everyone can do their part, just like the Pointe-Claire family.

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“To help Canadians participate in the challenge that we have as a country to reduce our carbon emissions and hit our ambitious targets by 2030 by at least 40 per cent,” said Aran O’Carroll, Canadian Geographic’s National Director of Environment.

For the Proulx family, it was an exciting new challenge to take on.

“Especially having kids and having an older house, there’s just opportunity to learn more and inspire other families,” said Jessica Coll.

The family will have to complete five different challenges which last two weeks each.

They’re starting with the commuting challenge.

“We’re not using our car unless it’s absolutely necessary,” Coll said.

The following challenge will have them look at the energy inefficiencies of their century-old house.

“We already started with an Energuide audit, they come in and look at your whole house,” said Olivier Proulx.

The Proulx children say they hope to create new and lasting habits so they can see their favourite animals thrive on a healthy planet.

The contest closes at the end of the year.

A panel of judges will evaluate which family had the highest impact and will award the prize in 2024.

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