Country-Lite Families
  • 03 May 2021
  • 3 Minutes to read
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Country-Lite Families

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  • PDF

Article Summary

Country-Lite Families


Socially oriented and centrist in their politics, these up-and-coming younger-to-middle-aged families represent a large segment across Nova Scotia and Canada at large, evenly divided between couples and families aged 35 to 55. They live in rustic and suburban areas near medium centres, and despite mixed educations (most will have completed high school and some college or an undergrad), they often earn impressive household incomes from well-paying jobs in materials and manufacturing, nursing, civic or professional service, contractor/construction, trades management and transportation. You could consider them Canada's rural, upwardly mobile middle-class, sometimes found in duplexes or new suburban developments, but more often owning their own single, detached homes beyond the sprawl or on the rural/suburban fringe, with driveways containing large pickups and SUVs. They commute to work, like to get a bargain at Giant Tiger, but don't mind a splurge to travel to the city for events or to visit Costco to do large shopping trips all at once for 2+ children aged 2 to 18. They also love remodeling projects and home improvement, with plans underway for a hot tub, pool or backyard oasis. Active homebodies, they enjoy screen-time most nights, but they can also be found cheering children on at baseball and swimming practice, participating in their own adult sports leagues, or keeping an eye on their fitness tracker as they go running or join a yoga/fitness class on the weekend.

What they think about climate change

You’ll find some families living more sustainably, where they prioritize growing their own produce in their backyard garden, have invested in a hybrid vehicle, or installed solar panels, but this group works hard to earn the comfortable lifestyle they’ve made for themselves and aren’t always prepared to give up those luxuries. Though it’s not always their top priority, they are concerned about climate change and generally respond well to messages related to climate change. Oftentimes it might be at the centre of a political debate among like minded friends, where they conclude, based on sound bites or the headlines they read on social media, that Canada is already leading the way in the fight against climate change. This group knows that climate action is urgent, but they’re not so informed or engaged that they could, for example, name any specific climate policies. They also understand that there is a need to shift to clean energy, but individuals in this group can get bogged down in the specifics of what that actually means and what they’re supposed to be doing about it. They will, however, take action on things that are already embedded in social norms - recycling, conserving water and energy, or switching to easily accessible efficiency upgrades. They would be ok with spending a bit more money for the more sustainable option on occasion, but some added incentives could really help push them along.

Top Issues

  • Energy efficient new homes
  • Residential retrofits
  • Home heat pump retrofits
  • Home water heater retrofits

How to Talk to Them about Climate Change

"Implementing small changes in your lifestyle could save you money and make your home more comfortable. We're a forward-looking community planning for a resilient future where your family can thrive. We want to hear from you on climate issues. Help us make progress together. "


Case Study: ComEd Energy Reports compare energy use among neighbours, using the power of peer pressure to encourage residential utility users to conserve resources. With each bill, customers receive a report that tells them how much energy they used compared to their neighbours. A study conducted found that after receiving these reports, the highest energy users reduce their consumption by an average of 6%.

ComEd Home Energy Reports: comparing energy use among neighbours

Chicago Tribune: Energy Comparisons

Peer Comparisons Reduce Residential Energy Use

Case Study: The City of Nelson’s The Great Escape heat mapping program shows homeowners if heat is escaping from their houses. It is a 1-year initiative implemented by Nelson Hydro to help homeowners discover where heat is escaping and how to improve efficiency, reduce energy consumption and save money.

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