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A Greener Charlottesville: GreenMatters Workshop

By: Myles Henderson Email
By: Myles Henderson Email

When it comes to going green a lot of topics come to mind, like recycling, lowering emissions, or alternative energy sources. A series of workshops in Charlottesville focus on "green" topics to help educate and inform.

When discussing alternative energy, solar power is usually a primary topic. However, there are still a lot of questions when it comes to solar technology and how it can work to save you money. Solar energy was the topic of discussion earlier this week at the GreenMatters workshop.

Fred Oesch, a guest speaker at the workshop, says,"Tonight we talked about solar design both passive an active and just some practical ways that really anyone can incorporate those principals, either for new construction or retrofitting." Passive solar power involves the positioning and design of your house to allow for maximum heat absorption when you need it most. Oesch says, "It doesn't cost anymore money, it's basically free energy just for the taking."

Active solar is the use of technology, like solar panels or tubes, to provide power or to heat a home. Paul Risberg, also a guest speaker at the workshop, says, "Heat a fluid during the day and maybe use that heat that you have store to distribute in your house at night or in your hot water system."

GreenMatters is a two year series of workshops, hosted by the Habitat Store in Charlottesville, designed to educate the public on green building. Ryan Jacoby from the Habitat Store says, "Begin educating the public about the different aspects of green building; the environmental, economic, and social benefits. Also just bring some cenergy into a lot of the really wonderful efforts taking place locally."

If you missed the workshop on October 8th, both Fred Oesch and Paul Risberg will be back on November 12th to talk about ways you can try to reduce your energy consumption and use both active and passive solar power to make your home more energy efficient.

For a complete list of upcoming GreenMatters workshops just visit

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