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What exactly is this Cool It! Climate Challenge?

The Cool It! Challenge is a carbon footprint calculator and online 4-week challenge that calculates your carbon emission reductions as you work through a series of actions in nine different categories.

How does it work?

Your answers in the carbon footprint calculator are used to calculate your carbon emission reductions throughout the challenge. The platform uses recent research and data, including where available, British Columbia-specific resources, to estimate your average reductions in greenhouse gas emissions if you continue your actions for the year.

The platform will show your points, which are based on both the difficulty and climate impact of each action, and your CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions reductions as you take action.

What Do I Do?

1. Create an Account
You can either sign up as a Teacher, a BC school student, or a Citizen (not affiliated with any school)

2. Complete the Carbon Quiz
This will calculate your current Carbon Footprint and compare you to the average British Columbia resident. This must be done before you start the challenge.

3. Start the four-week Climate Challenge
This is a four-week challenge where you complete a range of actions in nine categories to reduce your carbon emissions. By reducing our carbon emissions at a household level we can reduce our contributions to climate change

4. Log your weekly actions

Log these each week or every few days. There are four weeks to enter; after four weeks you have completed the challenge but we encourage you to continue your efforts. We have provided a range of actions so that you can try different ones each week

5. Check My Impact
To see how you are going, compare your entries across different weeks, see your results and compare against your class or group

6. Finish the Challenge
After four weeks you will finish the challenge. If you are part of a school participating in the Cool It! Climate Leadership Training you may win prizes if you reduce your carbon emissions the most!


Thank you to generous support from Environment and Climate Change Canada and the North Family Foundation for helping us to make this platform possible!


How does it all work?

The Cool It! Climate Challenge estimates an individual’s Greenhouse Gas footprint, and the impact of actions taken during the challenge, in kgs of CO2 equivalent per year. Calculations to estimate Greenhouse Gas footprints use emissions factors from the BC Ministry of Environment’s Best Practices Methodology for Quantifying Greenhouse Gas Emissions (2016) document were possible (eg. home energy use, transportation and travel) and other Canadian government sources and peer reviewed academic studies for indirect emissions not covered by this document (eg. consumption and waste, emission factors).

Category level data is used to estimate emissions based on quiz questions, representing typical
emissions associated with various types of behavior, to provide a reasonable approximation of
emissions without requiring detailed data from each person such as utility bills, vehicle odometer
readings, etc. Data sets used include NRCan Comprehensive Energy End Use Database and EnergyStar Calculator, NRCan Vehicle Survey Update Report (2008), Statistics Canada Census Data, as well as many other sources. Baseline footprint calculations are carried out and reported for an individual rather than a full household, however for individual actions that affect a whole household, savings are based on the associated total household emission reduction (eg. retrofits, such as installing a low flow shower head). Savings are calculated assuming actions are continued over a full year.

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