North Cowichan’s Household Challenge an eye-opener, say winners

And the winner is….the environment.

But seriously, of the five households that have been participating to see just how low they could go in energy usage and environmental footprint, the winner of the first Community for Climate Household Challenge is the Mills family.

Tyrone and Agnes Mills and their children Emilia, six, and Alan, six months, reduced their consumption by 56 per cent to take the top prize.

The family went above and beyond in setting up a dog feces septic system as well as composting part of their son’s diapers, along with walking and carpooling.

"We thought we were doing all that we could, but participating in the challenge opened our eyes," said Tyrone. "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."

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.

The other participating families were three-person family Franya Jedwab, Tamara Leigh and son Gabriel in fourth place and single-person family Sheila Jones in fifth.

Taylor and Tousignant reduced their energy use by almost 80 per cent and plan to install a ductless heat pump in the future.

In terms of water usage they were also winners.

Ladysmith leads the way in the Valley using on average 246 litres per person per day.

Taylor and Tousignant handily beat that, reducing their use to between just 90 and 118 litres per day.

"The household challenge may be over, but certainly the work and the challenge to just continue doing what we’ve been doing is ongoing," said Taylor.

She also said she hopes the municipality does the challenge again next year.

Since 17 families applied, it’s not out of the question, but both Mayor Jon Lefebure and climate change advisory committee chair Kate Marsh said it will depend on the new council.

The Battyes are both teachers and have brought what they’ve learned into their classrooms. They also have plans to install solar panels.

"It’s been an amazing learning process," said Lefebure. "I don’t think we knew what to expect."

Marsh heard from people in the challenge that they were getting responses from community members.

"They’ve become kind of ambassadors," she said.

Marsh said she’s impressed with how the challenge has brought people together into a community around important issues.

"I hope that that will grow," she said. "I’m very excited about it."

Just Posted

Vintage Flyers honor Broncos

Fuller Lake team takes tribute to Whistler tournament

Lake Cowichan resident petitioning for free hospital Wi-Fi

A medical condition has Sarah Gibson in and out of hospital regularly

LMG eyes Nanaimo after 2-1 win over ‘classy’ West Van side

Cowichan a step closer to provincial final

Hospital hero wins international honour for disarming knife wielding man

Charles Kraeling is the first Island Health employee to receive an International Award of Valour

May is the month of the rhododendron

The Cowichan Valley Rhododendron Society is holding its annual Garden Fair

Toronto van attack suspect faces 10 counts of first-degree murder

The suspect in the Toronto van attack that killed 10 people and injured 15 others on Monday is a 25-year-old man named Alek Minassian

Take the opportunity for some toad talk in Duncan Thursday

Cowichan Watershed Board is welcomes Elke Wind

Doctor sees healing power in psychedelic plant as Peru investigates death of B.C. man

Peru’s attorney general has ordered the arrest of two suspects in the killing of 41-year-old Sebastian Woodroffe

Toronto police officer ‘gave himself the space and time’ in van attack

Footage shows officer standing up, turning off his siren and talking clearly to the suspect

$1.18 to $1.58 a litre: Are you paying the most for gas in B.C.?

Gas prices across B.C. vary, with lowest in Vernon and highest in – you guessed it – Metro Vancouver

Inquest set 10 years after B.C. woman shot, left to die

Lisa Dudley, and her partner, Guthrie McKay were shot in their Mission home in September 2008

B.C. hockey team to retire Humboldt Bronco victim’s number

BCHL’s Surrey Eagles to retire Jaxon Joseph’s No. 10 in light of bus tragedy

B.C. Hells Angels invited to rally by anti-SOGI organizer

The Culture Guard group has helped Hells Angels in the past, said its executive director.

B.C. bill aims to keep Indigenous kids in communities, out of care

Changes to Child, Family and Community Service Act could connect MCFD, Indigenous communities

Most Read