Ross Rademacher, Co-Owner and General Manager of the locally owned and operated Montana Radio Company, awarded over $120,000 of sustainable products to two Missoula, Montana home owners and one Missoula non-profit organization. “Media is a change agent. The challenge in 21st century media is how do we use that power? I believe it’s imperative that we find ways to positively impact our local communities.”
The “Cool Green Home Project” is in its fourth year with over $440,00 of sustainable products awarded. Rademacher started this project with a simple idea; take an existing Missoula home and create a showcase for energy-efficient and sustainable products offered by local businesses. The idea has grown to be the reality for 12 homes. 2012 a local non-profit organization was added. Two more winners will be chosen this May.
Prizes awarded range from landscaping, energy star appliances and water systems to environmental flooring, roofs and solar systems. Not only do the recipients receive the prizes, a professional contractor schedules and oversees the construction.
For each year of the program, 150 to 250 people have applied. The extensive questionnaire asks the applicants to explain why their home should be the “Cool Green Home”. Because Missoula and the surrounding communities are low population areas, “The chances are good you will know many of the applicants.” Rademacher laughs. A numbering system is in place so when the judging panel of four reads the application they only see a number. The list is paired down to around eight finalists. The judging panel and contractor do site visits to determine the potential of each home and ask a few more questions.
The winners are encouraged to spread the message of building and living in a more sustainable manner. The winners are what makes this project such a success. A winner in 2012 came to the door not sure what to expect. What she found was a camera crew, Rademacher and the news that she was the number one home choice for the “2012 Cool Green Home”. “I can’t believe it! I don’t know what to say.” she said with a few tears. “My husband’s parents bought this home from their parents and we bought it from them. It took everything we had to buy it. This is incredible that this is happening. I am so thankful.” Joslyn wanted to know why they were chosen. Rademacher said, “We asked you what would be the first thing you would do if you won. You said, ‘Call my Mom’. That made a difference.”
Rademacher is a marketer for certain. He will express his views on running a successful business as well as triple bottom line business models. He makes no apologies for being in the advertising business and he also makes no apologies for being a believer in building sustainably. With 20 years in the marketing field and a Masters in Environmental Studies, he’s confident he can speak to both. The “Cool Green Home Project” exhibits his belief that these life passions are not mutually exclusive.
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