• The Kitchen-Kuiack family

    The Kitchen-Kuiack family poses with their new hybrid car. From left: Marguerite, Brian, Marika and Simone.

The Kitchen-Kuiack household of Marsh Lake, Y.T., displayed outstanding teamwork, ingenuity and dedication throughout the Energy Diet Challenge, from going stoveless for Thanksgiving to permanently shutting down its hot tub. The reward? A 2012 Toyota Prius v hybrid. The winning household of four reduced their energy, mobility and water consumption by 34 percent over the three-month Canadian Geographic and Shell Canada Limited Energy Diet Challenge, which ended in December. “It was a good experience,” says Brian Kitchen, “and it opened our eyes to an aspect of our culture — the increasing dependence on energy — that people don’t necessarily think about.”

Six households from across Canada participated in the contest, completing a variety of weekly challenges, from ditching their dryer to building a solar oven. By blogging and using social media, each household did its part to encourage Canadians to reduce their energy use.