Nanaimo family tops first energy challenge

With their faces streaked with yellow paint, the Belbin family of Nanaimo entered the first head-to-head competition in the national Energy Diet Challenge’s first Urban Energy Challenge determined to best the other four families who had all flown to Calgary on the weekend.

With their faces streaked with yellow paint, the Belbin family of Nanaimo entered the first head-to-head competition in the national Energy Diet Challenge’s first Urban Energy Challenge determined to best the other four families who had all flown to Calgary on the weekend.

At the end of a long day, they came out on top, taking home $4,000 in energy-efficient kitchen appliances.

“We came to Calgary prepared to have fun, to compete and to reconnect with the other families,” said Alison, who, with her husband Grant, entered the family in the contest in the spring with the plan to introduce their three children, Drew, Kai and Mara, to the concept of reducing their energy use.

Sponsored by Shell Canada and Canadian Geographic, the competition puts six families from across Canada on a three-month journey not only to reduce their individual energy use, but to also spread the message that every family can have an impact by making some simple changes. The families are blogging and using social media to share their experiences.

On Saturday, the families faced multiple challenges in an Amazing Race meets The Apprentice style competition.

In the first, they travelled to Rona using only foot power and public transit where they had to survey two room mock-ups, a living room and a bathroom, and determine what energy-saving devices were missing and then find them in the store. Points were also awarded for finding additional products to reduce energy in each room.

In the timed event, the Belbins quickly scoured the store and brought the items back to the rooms.

“It was a madhouse trying to include all three kids in the foot race around the store,” said Alison. “But more than once our kids found an item before we did.”

The second part of the challenge was a quiz on energy-saving matters that tested the families’ knowledge of recycling, composting, transportation and household energy use.

After they were finished at Rona, the families moved to a shopping mall where they had an hour to sell a number of energy-saving devices, including LED bulbs, insulators, dual-flush converter units and even a composting toilet.

“All of the money we raised went to our chosen charity, the ChariTREE Foundation. We’re extremely proud of how much we were able to raise in one hour.”

At the end of the afternoon, the Belbins accumulated more points than the other families by a substantial margin.

“It was a lot of work and there were so many different components of this challenge,” said Alison, “But the kids were great and were a big part of our win. We also got to celebrate Kai’s eighth birthday in a way that she’ll remember for a long time because after they announced the winners, the MC had everyone at the mall sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to her.”

Next month, the families will travel to Toronto to take part in a second group challenge to see how far one family member can drive on one litre of gas.

The contest ends in December when the overall winning family will be announced.

For details of the contest and to vote for your favourite family, please go to http://energydiet.canadiangeographic.ca.

 

Just Posted

The Nanaimo Business Awards are accepting nominations now. (Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce image)
Nanaimo Business Awards accepting nominations of worthy winners

This year’s awards aren’t until the fall, but the nomination period ends June 28

Retailers say they’re ready for the ban on single-use plastic checkout bags in Nanaimo when it takes effect July 1. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Retailers report they’re ready for Nanaimo’s single-use checkout bag ban

Business operators say there’s been plenty of time to plan and prepare for bylaw that kicks in July 1

Nanaimo Fire Rescue crews on scene at a boat fire near the boat ramp at Long Lake on Sunday, June 20. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Boat burns up on Nanaimo’s Long Lake, man and child unhurt

Jet skiers attempt to put out fire by circling around to spray water on burning boat

Gabriola singer-songwriter Sarah Osborne, Cowichan Valley duo Heartwood, Vancouver singer Kelly Haigh and Nanaimo bluesman David Gogo (clockwise from top-left) are among the performers in this year’s Cultivate Festival. (Photos submitted)
Gabriola Arts Council presents COVID-conscious Cultivate Festival

Theatre, music and art festival returns to Gabriola Island after 2020 hiatus

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

John A. Read, who was inspired to leave his former career to become a professional astronomer by the purchase of a $13 telescope, will give beginning astronomers key pointers on how to set up and get the best performance from their instruments at Nanaimo Astronomy Society’s meeting June 24. (Photo courtesy Jennifer Read)
Astrophysicist will talk about getting the most out of a telescope at Nanaimo astronomy meeting

John Read’s purchase of a $13 telescope led to a degree in astrophysics and a career in astronomy

Emergency vehicles are parked outside of the Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni RCMP investigate stabbing on Fourth Avenue

Two men were found with ‘significant’ injuries near Wintergreen Apartments

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

Most Read