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The Biggest Carbon Loser
caption: KUOW's Juan Pablo Chiquiza poses in a Biggest Carbon Loser t-shirt.
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KUOW's Juan Pablo Chiquiza poses in a Biggest Carbon Loser t-shirt.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Biggest Carbon Loser: KUOW launches reality-radio contest

Update! Meet our contestants!

We’re looking for contestants! KUOW is launching a new reality-radio contest where three listeners will compete to reduce their carbon footprint and help save the climate.

We especially want to hear from folks who are NOT already living a green and clean lifestyle.

Do you drive your car (or SUV) every day? Great. Is red meat usually on the menu? Fantastic. Frequent flyer? You're perfect!


WHAT: Three brave contestants (individuals or households) will vie to reduce their per-person climate impact the most.

Using an online carbon footprint calculator that we’ll provide, and with advice from a "carbon coach" we'll hook you up with, you’ll keep tabs on your travel, diet and energy use for a month. Then you'll spend a month doing what you can to heat the planet less... and become the Biggest Carbon Loser.

KUOW radio and digital stories will track your progress and struggles along the way.

WHEN: Applications are due Dec. 15, 2019, at 5 p.m. The contest will take place in January and February 2020. We estimate your time commitment will average 1-2 hours per week.

Are you up to the challenge? Click here to apply.

WHERE: Contestants must live within roughly 50 miles of Seattle and be willing to have a reporter and photographer visit their home. The contest will mostly take place in your home as you track your progress and check-in with KUOW. Contestants will also participate in a live KUOW event where the contest winner will be revealed.

WHY: Climate change is the defining challenge of our century, and we all, to varying degrees, contribute to the problem—and we can all contribute to solutions. Tracking contestants’ efforts, and the systemic forces that help or hinder them from achieving a more climate-friendly way of life, can point our region in a cleaner direction.

WHO SHOULD APPLY? Anyone who is over 18 and is curious about reducing the carbon footprint they’re leaving on the world. Households and families that live under the same roof can compete as a team. Youth can compete as long as one member of the team is 18+.

We are especially interested in hearing from folks who are not already living a green and clean lifestyle. We’re looking for contestants with room to learn and a lot of carbon to lose!

Listeners who are underrepresented in the media such as people of color, differently abled folks, and LGBTQ community members are encouraged to apply.


We know you’re in it for the earth and not the perks, but we’ll tell you anyway: One lucky contestant will walk (or bike or take transit) away with an irreplaceable gift basket overflowing with public radio swag, a pair of tickets to the Seattle Art Museum, a voucher for full tuition for classes at Bike Works in Seattle, a family Pod membership at the Burke Museum and a year-long digital subscription to the New York Times.

Our runners-up will also receive bags of KUOW swag, pairs of tickets to the Seattle Art Museum, and family Pod memberships at the Burke Museum. All three contestants will receive a complimentary in-home carbon footprint assessment and public radio fame.

QUESTIONS? Send 'em to:

Or click here to apply!