The Live Net Zero process has been both enlightening and affirming—we are learning lots of things while also recognizing that we were already doing some things well. For the Thanksgiving bonus challenge we knew that some of our behaviour wasn’t able to be modified and some was.
We chose to get together at Jen’s brother’s place (Dave), the most central spot to minimize the amount of travel involved to get together. The only vehicles used to get to the family farm outside of Stratford were hybrids. The meal focused on largely vegetarian cuisine, with the primary animal protein being farm-raised chicken from Dave’s house. Other aspects of the meal were made from home-grown, or locally-sourced foods wherever possible. Conversations centered around climate change initiatives and behaviour choices for future holidays with a focus on consumerism reduction and how that can play a role in emissions reductions.
Dave’s house is serviced by a geothermal system so the energy use for heating was already net zero. We recognize that the options for holidays in our home would be less eco-friendly if for no other reason than it would require more driving for more people and the use of a heat pump, which while efficient still uses some fossil fuels.
Overall we feel like holidays are an important thing to single out from everyday life due to the difference in travel and consumption so this challenge was a great way to reinforce that as we continue to shift our approach and behaviour.