The Richmond Family
Living in Red Deer, Alta., the Richmond family is near some of the most magnificent landscapes Canada has to offer. It’s no surprise that the family of four enjoys outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, biking and cross-country skiing. But since heading into the backcountry usually requires a vehicle, and since the Richmonds own an outdoor recreation store that requires gear to be transported, completely ditching their hybrid SUV wasn’t a realistic move. Despite this, the family was confident heading into the challenge.
“We moved to Red Deer so we can commute on foot and bike a lot more,” says Ania Richmond. “[This challenge] really puts you to the test. As my husband likes to say, ‘we’re walking the talk.’”
In the second week of the challenge, the Richmonds biked up to 85 kilometres, up from 11 kilometres during their baseline week. Ania says her four-year-old son is biking “off the walls” now and wanting to cycle everywhere.
However, Ania says the most important step in living net zero is to make a plan that’s sustainable. Come winter time, biking won’t be an option for the family, so they instead plan to carpool more and map out the days they’ll need to take a car into Calgary for errands. Come springtime, the family plans on investing in a cargo e-bike.
The Richmonds also plan on getting rid of their second, gas-powered vehicle, which consumes 10-14 litres of gas per 100 kilometres. In the meantime, their older son, seven-year-old Theo, has challenged himself to ride his bike to school everyday until Halloween or the first snowfall—whichever comes first.