Volunteer for an Energy Efficiency "Barnraising"
No experience needed.
Come help a family in Waltham make their home more energy efficient by caulking window frames,
installing door sweeps, putting in new light bulbs and power strips, and much more!
Learn from an experienced team leader.
WATCH's Healthy Homes program helps Waltham families reduce energy use, save money on water, electric and heating bills, reduce exposure to toxins at home, and help protect our environment! Not only that, but WATCH's energy efficiency barnraiisng events are a lot of fun!
The main part of Healthy Homes is the the energy efficiency barnraising. Picture this:
25 - 30 volunteers gather at a 2 - 4 family home in Waltham. The home is probably over 100 years old. The residents of that home have been struggling to pay their heating and other bills. And they've been pretty cold during the winter. The volunteers and the owners and tenants of the home split into teams and get trained on simple, but important improvements. They learn how to address water use, electricity, leaky doors and windows, a leaky basement and attic -- and anything else that is needed! When it's all done, the whole group gathers for to share lunch.
The work may involve putting in new shower heads, spray foam insulation, compact flourescent light bulbs, new window latches, a programmable thermostat, caulking in key areas and so much more. Weeks before the actual event, WATCH staff audit the home with our technical experts from HEET. At that time, we determine what work we will do and which materials we will need.
At a barnraising, you help protect the environment and you help a local family protect their tight budget. Plus, as a volunteer, you learn how to save money at your own home!
Special thanks to our technical experts at HEET.
Here's what barnraising volunteers have said about these great events:
"I really enjoyed accomplishing something that will make a difference for the people living in that home."
"The leaders did a great job building a sense of community and teamwork among the volunteers."
"I have made improvements on my rented property and my parents' home with the knowledge that I gained from WATCH's barnraisings."
"I was a barnraising recipient. I am forever grateful to all the volunteers who did the work. I would love to be able to do physical work but I have mobility problems. I would love to contribute cake or brownies [in the future] to keep the energy level up!"
"I have LOVED getting to meet new people and work on a shared project together."
volunteers get serious saving water and preventing air leaks in the basement
The second part of the Healthy Homes program is around deeper weatherization and energy efficiency services. WATCH helps local families who qualify for fuel assistance connect to free, more intense weatheriation services like blown in insulation from Menotomy (run through the Town of Arlington, but serving Waltham). Higher income families can access deeply discounted services through Mass Save. If families set up their Mass Save energy audit or solar panel audit through Next Step Living and mention WATCH, we get a small donation and you get more in depth advice about a range of energy saving services - beyond just what the Mass Save program covers.
Want your home to be the site of the next energy efficiency barnraising?
Want to volunteer at a barnraising?
Also: Check out the Healthy Homes Guidebook! It provides recipes for healthy cleaning supplies, directions on how to recycle problem items, information on indoor air quality, and a whole slew of other resources. You can also stop by the WATCH office to get your very own hard copy.
THANKS to Home Depot Waltham
for our volunteer events.