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:
- Rock Port, Missouri: This town of 1300 residents is the first 100% wind-powered community in the United States.
- Reynolds, Indiana: Designated “Biotown USA,” Reynolds has set the goal of total energy self-sufficiency (as part of a larger state program).
- Greensburg, Kansas: Greensburg has received a ton of attention for its decision to rebuild to LEED Platinum standards after 95% of the town was destroyed after a tornado.
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…