Thursday, March 13, 2008

Green to the core

By Sahely Mukerji, managing editor, Glass Magazine/Auto Glass

Word has it that plumb glazing jobs are up for grabs in the Midwest. California is no longer the only state passionately pushing for environmentally sustainable buildings, good old homeland Kansas has joined the movement too.

Latest in the list of small towns to acquire green as its favorite color is Greensburg, Kan., 109 miles west of Wichita, and the county seat of Kiowa County. Main attractions of the town include the world's "largest hand-dug well," 109 feet deep and 32 feet wide, and a 1,000-pound meteorite, according to a USA Today article. Per U.S. Census Bureau figures, 26.4 percent of Greensburg's population was 65 or older in 2000, more than double the national average of 12.4 percent.

The town, heavily hit by a tornado May 4, has decided to build back and live up to its name, according to an article in Time magazine’s March 10 issue. To get the ball rolling, an entrepreneur from a nearby town, Daniel Wallach, formed a nonprofit, Greensburg GreenTown, soon after the storm blustered through.

When everything falls into place, Greensburg will have energy-efficient homes and offices powered by wind and biofuel resources. Residents of the town are busy working with the Department of Energy and the National renewable Energy Laboratory officials to build houses that are 50 percent more energy efficient than the old ones; and in January, the city council approved a resolution that would make all city building projects meet the platinum rating of the USGBC’s LEED standards. That’s a first among American towns.

Read the Time article here. Read about other U.S. cities doing their bits to turn green and fight global warming here.

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