Photo contest winner's next challenge? Earn that $75 reward

Tammy Gock has come a long way from the days when her mom constantly reminded her to turn out the lights when she left a room. She has passed that sage advice on to her family, and she's set a new goal — drying her laundry more efficiently.

Despite her family's best efforts, the 2011 Team Power Smart Photo Contest winner fell short of her 10% reduction target. So while she got a great Nikon camera package for winning last year's photo contest, she didn't get the $75 reward that goes along with saving 10% over 12 months.

"I think the biggest hurdle was my dryer running so much," says Gock, who lives in Prince George. "I have three small children and do loads of laundry every day. But I am determined to save the 10% this year."

Gock has already activated another 10% challenge in pursuit of that $75 reward — activating a challenge is essential to qualifying for the reward — and is using a Power Smart tip to reduce her dryer use.

"I learned from BC Hydro that if you put a dry towel in with your clothes in the dryer it dries them more quickly. It really works. I use it all the time now. I'm going to get my husband to put up a clothesline too."

Conservation conversation rolls on

Gock joined Team Power Smart as part of her efforts to teach her children about saving energy. It's a lesson from her mom she feels is worth passing on.

"I remember being a little annoyed if my mother made me go back and turn off a light, but now as an adult I realize the importance of things like that and do the exact same thing as my mom," Gock says. "My kids are getting very good about turning out lights and understand why they need to do it."

Gock's lights out picture was a winner

Gock had never entered a photo contest before submitting what turned out to be the winner — a shot of one of her daughters reaching up to turn off a light — last fall.

"You can imagine how thrilled I was to hear I was a top ten finalist," she recalls. "I thought that was as far as I would go and I was super happy with that. Then they emailed and said I had won the grand prize. I was actually shaking I was so excited."

Working with the contest theme 'This is what I do to be smart with my power', Gock's winning photo was a perfect portrait of what has become a family tradition.

Gock dressed her daughter to work well with the light, and then got her to turn off the switch to a vintage chandelier in her room (a gift from her mother).

Gock's daughter was excited to see herself on a billboard in town, and Gock is thrilled to be a judge for the 2012 photo contest. "Now my oldest daughter wishes she had done the picture and has asked if I could get her on a billboard so she could be famous like her sister," she says.

If you have a Team Power Smart story to share, we'd love to hear it.