“Button Up” Your Home for the Winter

Vermont communities have embraced the annual spring Green Up Day to promote roadside cleanup and beautification. A newer tradition, Button Up Day, takes place each fall to encourage homeowners to winterize their homes.

Homes that are not buttoned up before snowfall will not only be drafty and frigid but also become black holes that suck up your hard earned money! Many Vermonters waste heat — and a ton of money — because our buildings leak air and are not properly insulated. Button Up Day, sponsored by a coalition of statewide groups, aims to build public awareness and mobilize more people to take steps to weatherize their homes.

Even if you’re not so concerned about the cost of wasted heat, we have to keep in mind that generating heat by burning fossil fuels adds carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, worsening the impact of global climate change. A house that is properly insulated and sealed up requires less heat production and hence emits less carbon. Each weatherized house represents a small but meaningful step in the right direction. If we all participate, we can prevent the release of thousands of tons of carbon.

This year, Button Up Vermont Day of Action takes place on Saturday, November 7, and Sustainable Woodstock urges you to participate with us at a “Button Up” workshop with presenter Jane Pekol of Energy Smart, an energy renovation contractor founded by Capstone Community Action in Barre. This workshop will help homeowners better understand the steps they can take to make their homes more energy efficient and comfortable.

In very clear language and simple steps, the presentation will explain the way your house works as a system to move air through the building, and explain how proper air-sealing and insulation can work to reduce your home’s energy needs.

Join us for this FREE workshop! It takes place this Saturday from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. in the second floor meeting room of Woodstock Town Hall. For more information contact Zach Ralph at Zach@sustainablewoodstock.org or call our office at 457-2911.

Zach remarks that “scraping frost off the car windshield and lighting up the woodstove are some of the many indicators that the cold winter months are nearly upon us. As we start to button up our jackets, the proximity to the bone chilling months of winter reminds us that we must also “Button-Up” our homes!”

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin has pointed out that “Vermonters spend hundreds of millions of dollars every single year by letting oil and fossil fuel driven heat leak out of our old buildings, forcing us to reach into our pockets to pay for oil at high prices.” He asserted that “there are two reasons why Button Up Vermont is so important and why we need your help. First, it puts money in your pockets. Second it makes our planet more livable for future generations.”

Learn more about weatherization on this website:  Under the “Our Programs / Energy” tab, you’ll find pages that provide a step-by-step guide for weatherizing your home, a survey to help you determine how energy efficient your home is now, and a list of resources, including contractors who are certified to conduct energy audits and sources of financial assistance for weatherization projects.

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