A Yukon family has scrimped and saved their way to a national prize and an energy-efficient car.
The Kitchen-Kuiak family reduced their energy use – even in a Yukon winter – and won a Canadian Geographic Magazine’s Energy Diet contest.
As part of the family’s big win, they will pick up the keys to a brand new Toyota Prius hybrid car.
For the past three months, Brian Kitchen and his family have been on the energy diet.
"We started cutting out wood size down, like the size we burn, so it would burn more efficiently in the stove and then stopping all those drafts and the warm air escaping and the cold air coming in. And we actually set up winter curtains, curtains that are insulated," said Kitchen.
The family, who is from Marsh Lake, Yukon, made a solar-powered oven and learned how to drive efficiently in Toronto. Kitchen said they were forced to change their habits.
"We lose track of the fact that there are other ways of doing things, and that's the experience that the family went through … we had to pay attention to it, and then after doing it for three months, that becomes the habit," he said.
The family’s efforts paid off. Canadian Geographic Magazine publisher Andre Prefontaine says the Kitchen-Kuiak family bested the competition in overall energy reduction.
"I want to extend my most sincere congratulations to Brian, Margarite, Simone and Marika. They have done a splendid job in this contest," said Prefontaine.
The family beat out five other families to win the big prize.