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Eco-friendly practices earn Airdrie family $50K

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After eight months of reducing their greenhouse gas emissions and embracing sustainable living practices, an Airdrie family has won $50,000.

“We are incredibly honoured, we were not expecting this,” said Samantha and Kevin Shannon.

The Shannon family took part in Live Net Zero, competing against several Canadian families.

“We were very impressed by what the eight families did across the country, and we are proud that our house will be used as a case study by the building services industry on how to reduce carbon emissions in the homes of all Canadians,” said the Shannon family.

Samantha and Kevin made several major changes to their home during the competition including: installing a geothermal heating system, solar panels on their roof and replacing their garage/workshop’s natural gas furnace with a heat pump.

“(It’s) a lot of hard work and once all the works done, you can't see it,” said Samantha.

“It's not like we renovated and we have a new shiny kitchen to show off, it's all under our feet or in the walls and on the backside of our roof.”

The Shannon family also adjusted their lifestyle, working remotely when possible, and using an e-bike and trailer to run errands and transport their three kids.

“The journey itself was incredibly rewarding getting to share our story with other Canadians and the other teams in the challenge,” said Kevin, adding that after just eight months they have seen reductions in their energy bills.

The couple hopes to inspire other middle-class families to improve their energy efficiency, with their advice being to complete projects in phases, and with advice from experts.

"Their outstanding efforts demonstrate the profound impact that individual actions can have on our collective journey towards a greener, more sustainable future,” said Aran O’Carroll, national director government relations and environment of Canadian Geographic.

Kevin and Samantha are planning to use some of the prize money to buy an energy-efficient door.

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