Ten Green Initiatives in New Orleans at Katrina 10th Anniversary
by Global Green
Global Green USA is dedicated to helping the people, the places, and the planet in need through catalytic projects, transformative policy, and cutting-edge research. Global Green USA’s signature programs include greening affordable housing, schools, neighborhoods, and cities.
1. Green Schools
Thanks to Global Green’s leadership and technical assistance and the philanthropic support of the Bush Clinton Katrina Fund, Global Green successfully helped rebuild and improve the environmental and health performance of New Orleans schools while saving hundreds of thousands of dollars on utility expenses. Global Green’s two Model Green Schools, Wilson Charter and L.B. Landry H.S., received LEED Gold and LEED Silver designations, respectively. In addition, our four Green Seed Schools-A.P. Tureaud, MLK Charter, The International School and Gentilly Terrace-are each saving an average of $23,000 annually due to energy efficiency upgrades. Global Green drafted Green Building and Green Schools Resolutions for the City Council, each of which was passed unanimously, in 2006 and 2008, respectively. The Green Building Resolution was elevated to a Green Building Ordinance in 2007, including such requirements as adoption of voluntary, New Orleans-based green standards for buildings.
2. The Holy Cross Project
In the summer of 2006, Global Green hosted an international design competition chaired by actor and activist Brad Pitt for its green model village in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward. The project was created to help demonstrate how green homes and buildings could help rebuild New Orleans better than before. HCP was designed to include five LEED Platinum Homes, and a Community Development and Climate Action Center with rain gardens and shared outdoor space. The project has been featured on The Today Show, CNN, Times Picayune and in countless architectural magazines. More importantly, the Pam Dashiell Visitor Center, named in honor of the community activist who founded the Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development, has educated over 25,000 visitors since it opened in May 2008. The average monthly Entergy bill (including electricity and gas) of Holy Cross Project homeowners is less than $30.
3. Build It Back Green
Build It Back Green (BIBG), a Global Green program from 2008 to 2011, reached over 20,000 New Orleans residents through community workshops and events, one-on-one green building technical consultations, and home energy assessments and weatherizations. BIBG directly assisted over 3,000 New Orleans residents and saved approximately 1,713,500 pounds of CO2 from entering the atmosphere, which is equal to the planting of 35,699 trees or taking 150 cars off the road for a year.
4. NOLA Wise
In 2011, the success of BIBG led to Global Green administering NOLA Wise, a residential energy efficiency and job training program funded through the Department of Energy. NOLA Wise put a total of 42 contractors, veterans, and disadvantaged youth through Building Performance Institute (BPI) training and was the first entity to require BPI certification of its contractors. NOLA Wise completed 170 single-family retrofits that will save a combined total of 763,170 kilowatt hours of energy per year for these families and over $1 million in revenue for local, small business contractors. NOLA Wise continues to serve as an educational resource for New Orleans homeowners providing advice and guidance on implementing energy efficiency in their homes. Residents can visit our Holy Cross Visitor Center to see energy efficiency and green building in action.
5. Wetlands Restoration and Protection
Launched in 2010, Global Green’s Louisiana Wetland Action Program (LWAP) engages landowners, cumulatively owning 180,000 acres of coastal wetlands in Southeastern Louisiana, about opportunities for coastal restoration with a focus on blue carbon, the CO2 sequestered in wetland soils and vegetation. LWAP collaborated with LSU scientists to determine the feasibility of blue carbon projects by monitoring black mangroves in Port Fourchon, and released a blue carbon documentary in 2014.
6. In-School Education
Through a partnership with the Entergy New Orleans’ energy efficiency program, Energy Smart, Global Green New Orleans developed and implemented the “Be Energy Smart” in-school education program from 2013-2015. This program taught students about energy efficiency and helped them be more efficient at home with Energy Kits that contained CFLs, sink aerators, and a low-flow showerhead. Since “Be Energy Smart” was launched in November 2013, the program reached 1566 New Orleans public school students and will save 194,444 kWh annually for the families of the students who participated. Growing from the success of this in-school education model, we have since expanded our Environmental Education programming geographically and conceptually to include the three core sustainability topics that Global Green addresses nationwide: energy, water and waste.
7. Water Wise NOLA
Water Wise NOLA is dedicated to building support for wise water management strategies in neighborhoods that are most affected by chronic flooding. Water Wise NOLA is primarily an educational program that shares information with homeowners about DIY green infrastructure methods for managing water on their property. In addition, the program connects residents with their neighbors to re-envision their neighborhoods with added green infrastructure systems. Since 2014, Water Wise NOLA has attended more than 100 community events and neighborhood association meetings as a means to share resources with residents. Water Wise NOLA has hosted seven workshops in different neighborhoods across the city and has built rain barrels and rain gardens with residents to demonstrate green infrastructure techniques.
8. Green Building Resource Center
Global Green has provided hands-on examples of green building materials, fact sheets and individual consultations since 2006. It was honored as “New Orleans’ Best Recovery Resource” in December 2010 by the Neighborhood Partnership Network. Mini-resources were created by request for the Permits and Planning Departments in City Hall.
9. Solar & Green Policy Initiatives
Global Green was instrumental in creating and leading The Green Collaborative, a group of over 140 businesses, nonprofits, and other entities concerned with developing a green economy, and producing policy documents such as the Green Platform for New Orleans’ Mayor and Council in 2010 and a Declaration of Energy Dependence after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. In addition, Global Green assisted the City of New Orleans in becoming one of 25 Solar American Cities, securing a $200,000 Solar American City grant and technical assistance from the Department of Energy for the City.
10. International Engagement
In October 2007, Global Green USA hosted the Green Cross International General Assembly in New Orleans to show the world the state of the city two years post-Katrina, bringing increased international attention to the region. Green Cross Founder Mikhail Gorbachev and delegates from over 20 countries visited the Lower 9th Ward and other parts of the city, including a stop at The International School.