Forget those “greenest cities” lists: green efforts are sprouting up everywhere. On greentowns.com, 15,000 communities of all sizes log their environmental initiatives in nine categories: building, energy, lifestyle, connections, water, land and conservation, food, transportation and recycling. By clicking on the “How Green is your Town?” icon and typing in a zip code, visitors can discover the environmental improvements happening in their corner of the U.S. Examples include a recreation center that just achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification; a newly launched class on how to become a master gardener; Iraq and Afghanistan veterans building a greenhouse; and an organic farm that’s willing to take compost material from nearby businesses and residences.
Local food is of particular interest, says Daphne Dixon, director of GreenTowns. “Green-Towns is one of the most comprehensive sources for farmers’ markets and features over 4,000 community networks throughout the country,” she says. “It provides the information community members are looking for, including hours of operation, seasonal schedules and descriptions of local food offerings.”
In April, GreenTowns partnered with the nationwide green living experts at Greenopia to create the GreenTowns Guide, a platform that will bring green businesses an online home to advertise and best reach their customer niche. “Our new content, combined with rich social media tools, will make it easy for people to share all of the great information that is available on GreenTowns and will help connect people around both local and national green efforts,” Dixon says. “As we look towards the future, we envision a network that is both engaging and informational where people in towns across America are sharing their successful sustainability initiatives and ideas with people in other towns. This sharing of ideas will help create a more sustainable world for all of us.”