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Start a Green Initiative

Would you like to help your community become more sustainable?

There is no shortage of local sustainability issues. And, equally, there is no shortage of smart approaches to address those problems. So if you have time and inclination to make a difference by tackling a specific need, here are a few suggestions:

1) Know Your Passion: What sustainability issue moves you personally. Even more than expertise (which you can learn from others), passion for the issue will drive you forward and make your initiative successful.

2) See What Others Are Doing Locally: Is someone else trying to address this issue in your community already? Learn from them, and work together, and you might accomplish twice as much!

3)Find Out What Is Working in Other Communities: Connect with people who have tackled a similar need in other towns, and learn from their experience. (These people will also be a great sounding board for you as you grow your initiative in your town.)

4) Reach Out to Other Local Green Leaders: People who care about one sustainability issue are supportive of sustainability in other areas as well. They may be busy, but they are usually happy to support your efforts and to connect you with other potential allies. Also, many towns have Green committees in the government, at the local PTA or otherwise in the community. These are natural partners.

5) Welcome Other Community Leaders: Everybody wants to be green. So if you have a good idea and have established a base of support and credibility with other Green Committees or groups, share your green initiative with community leaders at the school, government or other local institutions. Because of their position, they may not be able to endorse your efforts directly. But once they understanding your goals, they can often connect you with others who might have similar interests. And they are important participants in building a sustainable community.

6) Invite the Whole Community to the Party: Sustainability initiatives are most effective when they are shared, positive efforts that bring people together for common purpose. Invite people to help, in small or big ways, and watch the momentum grow.

7) Celebrate what your group and its volunteers have accomplished: Volunteers and supporters deserve recognition, whether it’s a mention in new or old media, or a private thank you.

You’ll think of lots of ways to excel at each of the above steps. But GreenTowns can help. Use the GreenTowns page for your town to find any similar initiatives in your area, or to contact other local green leaders. Use the GreenTowns category pages to find similar initiatives around the country, or ask the GreenTowns category leaders for suggestions. Reach out to others in your community through the How Green is Your Town page.

GreenTowns also gives you access to free community group tools from AmericanTowns. These tools let you post articles to the AmericanTowns.com community site and simultaneously share the article with the community editors of local newspapers. You can also post events to the AmericanTowns calendar, which is distributed both in an email to local users and through AmericanTowns event distribution partners. You can also list your green group in the AmericanTowns directory of community organizations; if you wish, you can even use a free web page as an initial website for your new organization.

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