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City Announces Climate Idols for Environmental Challenge

February 5, 2011 – EarthWise Thunder Bay has recruited four local families as Climate Idols to participate in a variety of quarterly challenges in the areas of Energy, Transportation, Food, and Lifestyle during 2011.

The Climate Idols project is a partnership between EarthWise Thunder Bay and Duluth Sister Cities International as part of Thunder Bay’s Sister Cities program. Each community has selected four families to participate in the challenge, with coaching support being provided by families in Växjö, Duluth’s Sister City in Sweden, which has been dubbed as the “greenest city in Europe.”

“I was excited to meet the Idols and I commend them for participating, as they are raising awareness in the community about sustainable living practices, as well as increasing their own knowledge,” said Mayor Keith Hobbs. “I encourage community members to follow their journey through the website and associated media over the next ten months. This is an excellent opportunity to learn what steps we can all take to lead a lower impact lifestyle.”

The four Climate Idol families include thirteen people, one dog, one cat and two rats:

  • Climate Idol Family 1: Emily and Mat are local educators living with their dog, and two pet rats in Current River. After hiking the Appalachian Trail and realizing they could carry everything they need on their backs, they are gung-ho to minimize the “stuff” in their lives while simultaneously reducing their carbon footprint.
  • Climate Idol Family 2: Krista is a single-parent with a seven-year-old son who is part of the “Green-Team” at his school. They live in the Wesfort Ward and want to learn more about what they can do to lessen their impact. They are excited to share their learning with their large extended family.
  • Climate Idol Family 3: Chris and Karen are parents to Kiishatay, age five, and Lotus, age three, as well as to Ronin, their nine-year-old cat. They live in the Intercity area and are looking forward to working together as a family to make their home a healthier environment for themselves, their children and the earth.
  • Climate Idol Family 4: Todd and Begona manage a busy household with Olivia, age nine, Mitchell, age 7, and Gabriel, age two, in NorthWood. While they have the best intentions to live green, they feel they need to develop the skills necessary to implement meaningful change into their busy lives.

The Idols are today participating in an education session where they will learn about energy use, potential solutions, and be directed to resources available in the community. The three main Energy Challenge areas include the creation of a home energy use baseline, undertaking a home energy audit, and examining water-use within the household. The Idols will receive expert guidance from Thunder Bay Hydro, EcoSuperior, and Superior Inspections, as well as participate in a tour of Thunder Bay’s Water Treatment systems over the next two months.

“Our four families represent a variety of lifestyles and neighbourhoods across Thunder Bay,” said Sarah Kerton, EarthWise Thunder Bay Community Environmental Action Plan Coordinator. “I am very pleased to see the interest we have received in this program, and look forward to engaging with both the Idols and the community on ways we can all live and learn green in Thunder Bay!” 

For more information, visit: and to read more about the Idols and the challenges, visit after Feb.5.

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Contact: Sarah Kerton, Community Environmental Action Plan Coordinator, 625-2411

              Melissa Kadlec, Executive Director, Duluth Sister Cities International, (218) 727-8375