Neighbors Save Money, Build Relationships with Transition Streets Program

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (NEWSPLEX) -- A new change project is firing people up about energy use.

"I thought I have no time for this, who has time for these things," said Wendy Roberman, a pilot participant. "I was asked again and thought well at least I'll get to know some of the neighbors a little bit better."

Turns out it was worth it.

Roberman of the Woolen Mills neighborhood and Logan Blanco of the Little High neighborhood signed up to participate in the Transition Streets pilot program in Charlottesville.

They spent seven sessions along with about six other neighbors going through a workbook.

"What we're doing is talking about how we can save money," said Blanco. "How we can have a lighter footprint on the earth."

They tackled water conservation, transportation, energy usage and local food all while building stronger relationships.

"It was fun. We decided to rotate the meetings at individual households and we found we just loved seeing everybody else's houses and the things that they've done in their houses to make them more comfortable make them more energy efficient," said Blanco.

"It doesn't take much work to notice that how many appliances around your house that even when you're not using them, they're still on," said Roberman.

Roberman unplugs her microwave at night, uses an attic fan to keep her house cool during the summer, makes sure to close the drapes during the day and her family doesn't use a dryer.

She says these are just a few little things anyone can do and Transition Streets can help. It's all in order for the city win to a Georgetown University energy prize of $5 million, which is part of the two-year campaign Energize Charlottesville.

There are Transition Streets projects all over the country.

Transition Streets Charlottesville is launching the project Wednesday at Ecovillage Charlottesville (480 Rio Road East) at 6 p.m.

To learn how to bring Transition Streets to your neighborhood contact or click the link on the side of the page.

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