Radio personality Brad Savage gets some home energy/green makeover tips

(We borrowed this post from the Better World Betty site.)


Tuesday afternoon Laura Fiori of LEAP (the Local Energy Alliance Program) and Teri Kent of Better World Betty descended on Brad Savage’s home with a team of insulation and HVAC contractors from Creative Conservation and Mack Morris with ladders, screwdrivers, recycling bins, and camera in hand! It was sure to be a fun and informative afternoon.

Brad, popular DJ at 1061 the Corner, is a new Albemarle County homeowner and recently took advantage of LEAP’s summer rebate program, the “90 days of Summer,” and received a home energy assessment for a mere $25! From that assessment, Brad received a detailed report of action steps he could take in his home to achieve greater health, comfort and energy savings. If he achieves a %10 energy savings, he qualifies for a $450.00 rebate on the work.

Through the assessment, Brad was happy to learn the downstairs fireplace is not meant to be used as a heat source and that his whole house attic fan, popular in the 80’s, is causing hot warm air in the summer to be pumped into the home and cold air in the winter and therefore overtaxing his HVAC system. Not to mention the large break/hole in the duct work that he didn’t even realize was there!

Tuesday was Brad’s next step after the assessment toward saving energy – having contractors come out to give bids. We thought it would be fun to do a “two-fer” by having Better World Betty come out and do a mini-waste audit and see how we could help Brad recycle at home more to make this home makeover complete. So we sleuthed around and found his trash bin and emptied it on the front lawn. Otherwise known as a mini-waste audit. I highly recommend doing this, especially in front of the neighbors. And kids love it! If you feel oogie, just don some winter gloves and find out what your waste streams are…

This is what we found:

*Brad could be recycling more paper in the form of his bills and junkmail and scrap papers. Paper can be recycled up to 6 times, which means saving on trees and resources and toxins (bleach is used to make most paper white, for example)!

*We found plastic wrap in Brad’s trash that can easily be recycled at your local grocery store. Remember, toilet paper wrapping, paper towel wrapping, and similar types of plastic packaging CAN be recycled. Most grocery stores have the plastic bag recycling conveniently located in the front of the store.

*We found an old bagel in the trash. Brad does have space on his deck for an outdoor composter. He has a beautiful and high-energy dog, Emmett, so I wouldn’t recommend putting a compost area out back in the yard. He could purchase one of these for around $100-150 dollars. This would really cut down on the trash AND he could use it in his urban salsa garden.

*Brad is using what most folks still use, plastic trash bags. I like the biodegradable compostable trash bags. As far as Betty is concerned, the less plastic the mo’ bettah!

*We found an old plastic hanger – not much you can do about that and some candy wrappers – those have to be landfilled. But all-in-all, we found over half of what Brad threw away could be recycled and have another life.

We appreciate Brad opening his home to us and letting us have a little fun in the name of bettering the planet and all. Brad had some ugly eco-guilt surface, but we nipped that in the bud! Better World Betty’s philosophy is about asking “What can I do today that I wasn’t doing yesterday to help the planet” and Brad clearly did a lot today: having us come out and offer lots of great tips and solutions and then talking about it on the radio. And the guys fixed that hole in the ductwork, so Brad’s already saving energy. We’ll find out soon what work he plans to have done, so stay tuned.