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Published on October 23rd, 2008 | by Jeff McIntire-Strasburg

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Building Bridges: What Red Communities are Going Green… from the Grassroots Up?


An artist is captured under the bridge in the Japanese garden at Huntington Gardens, San Marino, California. I wrote my first “Building Bridges” post on a lark: the article I referenced on carbon offsets tied in nicely with ideas about bridging the divide between the environmental community and “Red America” (which tends to distrust, at the very least, environmentalists). Since then, I’ve been digging into existing success stories… and I’d love your input.

For the next round of posts, I’d like to feature “case studies” of “red” communities (and I hate that designation, but it conveys the rights characterization) that are implementing “green” practices. I’m particularly interested in “homegrown” initiatives put forth by local residents, as I think ideas that come from within will get a better reception — we’re all a bit more open-minded about ideas that come from people we know and trust. So far, I know about the following communities:


I’m very interested in learning more about these communities, and the roles residents played in launching these initiatives (and am already reaching out). If you’re a resident of one of these towns, please get in touch: I’d love to talk to you!

Also, I’m sure I’m just scratching the surface here. Do you know of small communities involved in significant green efforts? Again, I’m particularly interested in places that lean rightward for the most part — I think we’ve got a lot to learn from these people. I want to find more about their motivations and values — how does “green” fit into their larger worldview? How do the goals they set align with other values? Do they view these efforts as “green,” or are they primarily interested in other outcomes? I’d be grateful for any information and/or contacts you can pass my way.

Let’s start building those bridges…

Image credit: Randy Son of Robert at Flickr under a Creative Commons license



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About the Author

Jeff McIntire-Strasburg is the founder and editor of sustainablog. You can keep up with all of his writing at Facebook, and at



3 Responses to Building Bridges: What Red Communities are Going Green… from the Grassroots Up?

  1. Anita says:

    Hi! I am a resident of Greensburg, Kansas. My family has been here for 6 generations.
    I now work for a non-profit organization, Greensburg GreenTown (http://greensburggreentown.org)and we help residents learn about green building and green living, and help connect them with resources. Our website has a lot more info!

  2. Anita– Thank you for your comment! I have spent time on the Greensburg GreenTown site, and it’s a wonderful resource. With your permission, I’d like to get in touch and talk more with you…

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