Frequently Asked Questions

Everything you wanted to know about Save-a-Ton.

Why a ton?

The Roanoke Valley local governments are committed to preserving the environment and natural resources that enhance our quality of life. During the next decade, the City of Roanoke and Roanoke County have committed to 2 and 3% reductions in community-wide carbon dioxide emissions, respectively. Carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas emitted into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels, is increasing in concentration in the atmosphere and warming it. Continued warming is likely to have significant impacts on human and ecosystem health. Fortunately, reducing the use of energy will reduce carbon dioxide emissions and at the same time save money and reduce other hazardous pollutants like mercury.

The carbon dioxide reduction targets in the Roanoke Valley add up to 100,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year. This is a big number and achieving such a target may seem overwhelming to individual citizens and families. But, there are approximately 100,000 households in the Roanoke Valley so the targets can be achieved if each household just saved 1 ton of carbon dioxide emissions each year. And it turns out that this isn't so difficult. This site provides ideas and resources to save your ton of carbon dioxide, and a ton of money at the same time.

There are a ton of websites out there with energy saving tips. What's so special about Save-a-Ton?

There are lots of sources on the web that provide tips, calculators, and links to help you lower your power bills, but Save-a-Ton has a focus on getting you connected to the businesses and organizations in the Roanoke region that can help you take action right away. Information about weatherizing a house abounds on the web, but only Save-a-Ton can make it easy to find local partners like the Community Alliance for Energy Efficiency that can help you with audits and financing. You may find a great site that gives you tons of information about the growing efficiency of solar panels for your home, but Save-a-Ton partner DirectConnect Solar out of Check, VA can recommend the system that's right for you. And it's all well and good to know that carpooling one day a week can cut 20% off your transportation expenses, but only Save-a-Ton can point you to local partner RIDE Solutions and their free regional ridematch database.

The money savings calculator and carbon savings calculator on our site use specific data on the energy mix of our region when determining your energy bill savings and environmental impact, so the information you get here will be more accurate than you will get anywhere else on the web.

How can I promote my business or program through Save-a-Ton?

So long as your business provides a service or product that can help citizens of the Roanoke and New River Valleys cut their energy bills, Save-a-Ton can help! Complete our short parter application and we'll be in touch.

Why is there no information about recycling on your site?

Save-a-Ton's focus is on simple things households can do to cut their energy bills, and connecting citizens to local businesses and organizations that provide products and services that can help them. While recycling is an easy and important step that households can take to be more environmentally friendly, the impact of recycling on energy use has a much smaller local effect than doing things like changing lightbulbs or making energy improvements to your home, such as weatherization or adding insulation.

Generally, the energy impact from recycling happens upstream - that is, recycling materials makes it less energy-intensive to create new stuff than using raw materials. For example, fabricating an aluminum can from recycled materials takes only 5% of the energy that would be required to make that same can from raw ore. And while that does represent a major energy savings, those savings occur at the fabrication plant, not in the Roanoke Valley.

There are a ton of ways in the Roanoke and New River Valleys to recycle and reuse materials. If you're interested in learning more about recycling, we encourage you to visit our partner the Clean Valley Council for more information about where and how to recycle a range of materials.