Announcing the Community for Climate Household Challenge Winner

(November 6, 2014, North Cowichan) - For the winners of the North Cowichan Community for Climate Household ChallengeTyrone and Agnes Mills and their children, Emilia (6) and Alan (6 months)the challenge has become choice. After five weeks of working towards reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, what started as a competition has become a lifestyle.

We thought we were doing all that we could, but participating in the challenge opened our eyes, shared Mr. Mills. By spending time with our Transition Cowichan mentors, Sandy McPherson and Alan Philips, we learned new ways of doing things and have made changes without impacting our lifestyle a whole lot. In the spring, we plan to go ahead with solar for the house and are transforming our front yard into a permaculture garden.

Launched on September 18, the Community for Climate Household Challenge involved five North Cowichan families. They competed to see who could make the biggest changes in five areas: eating more locally-produced foods; and reducing energy, waste, water consumption, and greenhouse gas emissions.

For their efforts, the winning family received a six-month food supply from Makaria Farms.  The second prize, a three-month food supply from Tatlo Farms, went to Heather Taylor and James Tousignant, and third prize winners, the Battye family, received a gift basket with a variety of goods including a $100 certificate from Makaria Farms.

I think all involved were winners, shared Mayor Jon Lefebure.   The competition was fun and educational, and thanks to mentors from Transition Cowichan, participants learned about conserving, and saved some money in the process.

In 2011, the Municipality of North Cowichan approved the Official Community Plan, which among other priorities, identified the need to develop a climate change plan.  Two years later, the Climate Action and Energy Plan (CAEP), focused on opportunities to reduce North Cowichan's energy consumption and emissions, was adopted by Council.

In 2013, the CAEP won the Community Energy Associations award for Community Planning and Development. This year, the plan received the Silver Award of Excellence in Policy Planning Small Town and Rural Areas from the Planning Institute of British Columbia. The Community for Climate Household Challenge is part of the CAEP implementation.