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Vancouverite voted world's second greenest person

Right up until the final weeks, Vancouverite Emily Jubenvill and Malaysia's Matthias Gelber were neck and neck for the title of greenest person on the planet.

The man behind the contest, Simon Fraser University professor Boyd Cohen, said both had low carbon footprints and were active in their communities -- but in the end, Gelber came out ahead with almost 52 per cent of the 3500 online votes.

"Matthias is from Germany but lives in Malaysia," said Cohen.

"He got the global vote."

Cohen launched the contest on his website this past Earth Day, April 22, with 50 profiles of people from around the world vying for the green title.

They were selected from more than 600 applicants, who filled out a multiple choice questionnaire on things like eating habits and transportation.

These, and the answers to several open-ended questions about the kind of impact contestants were trying to have in the wider community, were published on the site.

Boyd said his goal of the contest was to challenge people to "raise the bar" when it comes to green living, but added, "it doesn't mean you have to make that many sacrifices in your lifestyle."

"These are average, ordinary people trying their hardest to be green," said Boyd.

Gelber (aka "Treehugger") appealed to voters with a video, espousing his frugal lifestyle -- he's not going to buy any new clothes or gadgets this year -- and his work in the green building industry.

Jubenvill, said she wasn't disappointed by her second place finish.

"No I don’t think that’s what the contest was about. It was a good way to learn from other people."

It's also a good way to network; Jubenvill was recently hired as senior editor for Cohen's site.

Gelber won some whales - a pod of orcas adopted on his behalf by Defenders of Wildlife.

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