When it comes to green initiatives, we tend to hear the most about large cities like Portland or San Francisco making sustainable choices. We don’t frequently hear about small towns making big changes, though, and often we hear people lament the decline of small town America. But many small towns defy this assumption and prove that small places can make a difference when it comes to positive environmental change. Recycling, green building and sustainable energy accomplishments aren’t just limited to large cities. Earth911 has rounded up a list of small towns and cities across the country that have made green choices – some large, some small – worth paying attention to.
In May of 2007, Greensburg, Kan., a town of 775 people, was destroyed by a tornado. Since then, the residents of Greensburg have been rebuilding their town as a “GreenTown”. In addition to developing community programs such as a farmers’ market and a reclaimed lumber project, the town has put much time and effort into making their new buildings eco-friendly and energy efficient. The town boasts the most LEED certified buildings per capita in the world, according to their website.
Visitors to Greensburg can take a tour of green sites around town, and if they’re interested in experiencing what living in a green building is like firsthand, they can stay in the Silo Eco-Home. The Silo Eco-Home, which is part of the town’s Chain of Eco-Homes Project to help people understand how eco-homes work, was built using the same principles used to construct a silo or grain elevator. The reason for this is that after the F5 tornado flattened the town, one of the few structures still standing was the local grain elevator.