The Roanoker - September/October 2020 - 48

Local Groups
Work To Save
Environment
Individual groups in the Roanoke
Valley are working consistently and
intelligently to help government
efforts to reduce the footprint of
the localities. Nell Boyle, who helps
coordinate Roanoke's efforts, looks to
these private groups, among others,
for support:
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legislation to transition our economy from fossil
fuels to clean energy over the coming years. Two
weeks later, Virginia shut down in response to
the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the businesses
whose very existence is now in peril are the
energy efficiency companies and solar installers
we will be counting on to get us off fossil fuels.
"Home weatherization and energy efficiency
programs have come to an almost complete
halt in Virginia, including programs run by
Dominion Energy Virginia. Nationwide, the
energy efficiency sector has lost almost 70,000
jobs. Companies that install solar, especially
rooftop systems, report plummeting sales."
Boyle offers specific recommendations for what
each of us can do to shrink the environmental
footprint. "Programmable thermostats can
really help save energy and they can improve the
comfort of your home. The AEP Take Charge
Program [https://app.takechargeamerica.org] will
pay you $50 to install one in your home. The new
LED lights are much better and much cheaper
than just a few years ago. They can save up to
75% of energy compared to the incandescent of
yesteryear."

48

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2020

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Clean Valley Council has
evolved from a recycling group
to environmental activism.
Ride Solutions is Roanoke's
carpooling program that
also emphasizes the use of
bicycles. Most recently, it
coordinated the Earth Day
Online University on Facebook,
which was fabulous!
Virginia Clean Cities is an
expert in alternative clean fuels
and transportation options.
Greater Virginia Green Building
Council promotes green
building.
Sustainable Roanoke has a
recycling drop-off program.
Citizens for Climate Lobby
targets reducing emissions.
Virginia Sierra Club works
consistently for the
environment. It is one
of the original forces in
environmental work.
Mothers Out Front is new
to the Valley and is looking
for ways to promote
environmental stewardship to
protect the planet.
Roanoke Valley Garden Club
promotes environmental
protection, with a focus on
native plants and non-toxic
practices.
RAISE is a faith-based
environmental group, building
on some existing programs.
Carilion Clinic has created
an office headed by Sarah
Wohlford that concentrates
on environmental issues.
Better Buildings Works
combines energy use with
architecture to create
efficient homes in the
Roanoke Valley.
TAP's Weatherization Program
weatherizes hundreds of
homes each year in Roanoke,
and has been doing it for over
20 years. -DS

ABOVE:
Clean water is integral to
environmental sustainability.

She suggests "simple actions like carpooling,
not just for work and school, but for social and
recreational events. When you look to replace a
car, pay attention to the gas mileage. ... Consider
a hybrid or going all electric. Virginia will be
adding chargers across the state in the next two
years, making electric vehicles easier to own.
"Finally, consider using or advocating for clean
energy."
Celeste Delgado-Librero says, "The solution
lies in death by a thousand cuts: People who are
concerned about the environment need to push
for change, working with local and state political
and industry leaders. ... The solutions will come
from the top. ... We need to convince [leaders]
that by accepting [current conditions] we are also
part of the problem, that what we do individually
will not bring about the solution, but that our
actions are key components of that solution."
Polluting the environment was a massive group
effort. It will require the same force to clean it. I

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The Roanoker - September/October 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Roanoker - September/October 2020

The Roanoker - September/October 2020 - Cover1
The Roanoker - September/October 2020 - Cover2
The Roanoker - September/October 2020 - 3
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The Roanoker - September/October 2020 - Cover3
The Roanoker - September/October 2020 - Cover4
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