In this final piece we look at a city, region and state that have embarked on a remarkable three-year journey to engage between 25 and 85% of the households of their communities to reduce their carbon footprint by 25% using the tools and strategies I have described previously. They are pioneers for the many communities across America and around the world that will need to follow in their footsteps if they wish to substantially reduce their carbon emissions. We also look at the Cool Community dividends these cities are beginning to accrue of environmental sustainability, low-carbon economic development, and social cohesiveness that will enable them to be more livable and prosperous.
David Gershon @ ChelseaGreen
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The first step of a Cool Community campaign is to enroll as many community organizations as possible as partners and dissemination points. Once partner organizations are enrolled, the challenge is designing a recruitment tool for them that is easy to use, does not demand great expertise on the topic of global warming, and has the potential to start multiple teams at one time. We had solved a similar problem on a smaller scale in our sustainable lifestyle campaign through our block-based, peer-to-peer recruitment process for forming and replicating EcoTeams. This overcame the need for a charismatic enroller, thus enabling the process to be scalable. The design challenge here would be to apply a peer-to-peer approach with much larger numbers of people.
When I found a contact number for the Empowerment Institute on the photocopy, I inquired; this was August of 2006. It turned out that an updated version of the Low Carbon Diet was just getting ready to be printed. I ordered the first copies, scheduled two showings of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth at my church in Burlington, and followed up immediately, while the audience was in full awareness of the urgency about the climate crisis, and formed two EcoTeams at each showing.