Sustainable Neighborhood Assessments

Global Green USA was awarded a 5-year grant by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)'s Office of Sustainable Communities under the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program to assist 30 communities across the US with sustainable neighborhood planning. The Sustainable Neighborhood Assessments are conducted using a tool built around the LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) standard.


I try to leave a light footprint. I'm involved with Global Green, which aims to educate people about sustainable building and the
greening of schools. I try to be aware about
the consumption of unnecessary things
in a consumptive culture.

– Walton Goggins


It’s been amazing to see the dedication that
this organization has, and that they haven’t given up fighting for the area [New Orleans].

– Sophia Bush

Global Green understands that our most vulnerable communities and countries across the world will be hardest hit by the devastating impacts of climate change. Furthermore, they know that climate change destabilizes countries and regions that may be devastated by floods, famines, hurricanes, or other natural disasters, and create and exacerbate conflicts over increasingly scarce natural resources.

– Archbishop Desmond Tutu



Everybody should have a bit of Global Green
in their life to remember what we cannot forget, and that is that we have to be in love with this planet.

– Salma Hayek



This is not a requirement for tomorrow.
It is a must for today. We cannot continue living by ignoring environmental problems. The planet is overburdened.

– Mikhail Gorbachev

When the City of LA achieves its zero waste goals, everybody should thank Global Green.
Their LA Zero Waste Forum brought together all the right people and ensured
that the city of LA was plugged into the leading expertise on waste diversion.

– Adam Gendell, Project Manager, Sustainable Packaging Coalition



Global Green rocks my socks.

– Zoe Miller, Global Green Intern Who Worked Her @$$ Off On This Website

'Watts: ReImagined' Pop-Up Block Party

On Sunday August 16th, Global Green participated in the Watts: ReImagined Pop-Up Block Party. The block party transformed a vacant lot on the corner of 103rd and South Central in Watts into a vibrant community space complete with performances, food, arts, history, and perhaps most importantly, provided a venue for exploration and discussion about the future of this eclectic and vital neighborhood.

In partnership with Kounkuey Design Initiative, Global Green staff helped design and construct the pop-up structures and site. Global Green also participated in the broader Watts: ReImagined effort by working on a plan alignment / action agenda for affordable housing, transportation and urban design improvements, green infrastructure, and other sustainability interventions.

The event, which was informed through a series of public outreach efforts with members of the neighborhood, gained broad community support and was well attended. Discussions are currently underway to provide regular programing and activation of the site in the future.

From the Field: Resource Recovery in Fiji

Yes, you read that right. Last week, in partnership with Turtle Island Fiji Resort, I spent eight days in a tropical paradise − digging through the trash.

Yes, you read that right. Last week, in partnership with Turtle Island Fiji Resort, I spent eight days in a tropical paradise − digging through the trash.

Turtle Island Fiji has supported Global Green USA for several years with donated vacation packages to their exclusive 14-unit resort on a private island in the Yasawa Islands region of Fiji, which we auction at our galas. This spring, our CEO Les McCabe sat down with Turtle Island staff members to learn if there were any ways in which Global Green could engage further with the resort and include it in our program work. Their response, much to my good fortune was, “We need a zero waste plan!” So a few months later, I packed up my scale, steel-toed boots, and a volunteer, and headed out by jet and then tiny seaplane to Turtle Island, Fiji.

To describe it as paradisiacal is an understatement. Coconut palms, breadfruit trees, and flowering bushes grow everywhere. Coral reefs teem with fish just a few yards off the white sand beaches - for someone who studied the natural sciences, it was an incredible treat to get to see these ecosystems firsthand. At night the silence, except for insects and birds of course, was more profound than anywhere else I had been, and the stars (Southern Hemisphere stars, no less!) were unbelievably clear. The atmosphere of the resort was truly unique as well – the mood was laid-back and welcoming, and the staff and guests were encouraged to mingle and get to know each other. Many of the staff remarked during our stay that Turtle Island was the best resort that they had ever worked at because it was done truly Fijian style.

During our stay, we accomplished three key things: first, we audited the waste on the resort and at the nearby village of Matacawalevu, which is home to some of the resort staff and is fairly representative of the 26 villages scattered across the island chain. Second, we met with key decision makers on both islands and discussed alternative practices and purchases that could help ensure that the disposable items brought onto the islands can be composted or recovered. Finally, we set up a bin system at Turtle Island to help their staff begin separating more of their waste for composting, and eventually also for recycling.

Why eventually? Because right now, there is no readily available transport in that region to bring the waste from the islands to the mainland, where it could be sorted and conveyed to a remanufacturing site. Our next steps over the next few weeks will be to present key leaders at both the villages and the resort with short-, medium-,  and long-term recommendations, as well as plans for achieving them, which can get more waste off the islands and to the places where it can be properly processed. This will help protect their extraordinarily beautiful islands, as well as capture valuable materials that can displace virgin material, thus helping keep other environments around the world beautiful as well. 

Water Wise NOLA: Global Green working with residents and designers & architects to solve critical water issues in New Orleans

Water Wise NOLA is a group of water professionals (Dana Brown and Associates, Hilairie Schackai, Amy Stelly, Water Works) and concerned citizens working together to promote simple solutions to the problem of localized flooding, subsidence and poor water quality.  Global Green is a part of this group and is dedicated to working with residents to tackle water issues in their neighborhoods.  Funding is provided by the New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board, EPA and the Foundation for Louisiana’s Equity Caucus.

As we all know, New Orleans is a unique place and when we speak about 'resiliency,' these unique characteristics can be both challenging and empowering.  The stormwater infrastructure in New Orleans is extensive and since several neighborhoods sit below sea level, it is necessary for keeping us mostly dry.  However, by solely relying on the grey infrastructure alone, we are leaving room for ongoing situations or one-time events that decrease the quality of life.   For example, the drainage system backs up if there is a storm that produces rainfall rates of an inch or more per hour.  Once the drainage system backs up, streets, cars and houses can flood.  Storms like these happen at least once a year in New Orleans.

Flooded bus stop due to a spring time thunderstorm

Flooded bus stop due to a spring time thunderstorm

Other ongoing situations occur with our current method for managing water- neighborhoods sink further below sea level, streets crack and potholes open up, untreated stormwater adds pollutants to Lake Pontchartrain, etc. 

To address these issues, Water Wise NOLA is working in neighborhoods who are feeling the full effects of poor water management.  At its core, Water Wise NOLA is truly dedicated to educating residents about taking action to manage water more wisely by incorporating green infrastructure techniques on their property.   We do this through workshops in different neighborhoods, tabling at community events, presenting at neighborhood association meetings and performing residential stormwater assessments.  It is also critical to demonstrate how to install these techniques.  We have hosted rain barrel builds and even demonstrated how to build a raingarden.  Ultimately, the goal of the program is to develop a cohort of residents who want to take action at their home or in their neighborhood. 

Water Wise NOLA has tabled or presented at 90+ community events. 

Rain Barrel Build at Stallings Playground, May 2015

Rain Barrel Build at Stallings Playground, May 2015

Water Wise NOLA has held a workshop in the following neighborhoods: Pontilly, Hollygrove, Treme/Lafitte, 7th Ward, Gentilly, Central City and the Lower 9th Ward.  By the end of 2015, we will also hold a workshop in Mid-City, Algiers, Broadmoor and another in Gentilly. 

Water Wise NOLA has held 4 rain barrel builds at The Treme Community Gardens, Angela Chalk’s house, Stallings Playground and Global Green’s Holy Cross Project. 

Water Wise NOLA led a demonstration project with 7th Ward resident, Angela Chalk, to install a raingarden on her property.  Cheryl Austin, long time Treme Resident and President of the Greater Treme Consortium, is working with Water Wise NOLA to do a beautification and water management project along N Robertson Street in Treme.

Angela Chalk and her family in front of her raingarden at a celebration party to thank the KIPP Central City Student and Groundworks Green Team for their help on building the garden.

Angela Chalk and her family in front of her raingarden at a celebration party to thank the KIPP Central City Student and Groundworks Green Team for their help on building the garden.

The educational series provided by Global Green and Water Wise NOLA has empowered my neighbors with a better understanding of what is wise water management.  It has spurred neighbors whether homeowner or renter to install planter boxes; install rain gardens or install french drains. My neighbors are now speaking the lingo. They can speak about french drains, bio-swales and water sheds. The importance of managing storm water is no longer an abstract event that occurs somewhere else. It is happening right here in the 7th Ward.
Thanks Global Green!
— Angela M. Chalk; Vice President, 7th Ward Neighborhood Association, New Orleans, LA

Environmental Education NOLA

In the past 10 years Global Green has provided extensive Environmental Education to schools and young people throughout New Orleans. Starting in 2010 when Global Green and the U.S. Green Building Council, with the assistance of teachers, finalized the Sustainable Curriculum Matrix that was developed for science, grades K-12. They distributed the matrix to the Louisiana Recovery School District, the Orleans Parish School Board, and charter organizations to be used as a supplement to existing curriculum. From there, Global Green worked with various schools to bring supplemental environmental education lessons to their classrooms.

In 2013, Global Green was contracted by the Energy Smart New Orleans program to design and implement the “Be Energy Smart” in-school education and efficiency kit distribution program. 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.

I was really impressed with how the program collected and responded feedback from last year. The improvements they made to the curriculum from last year to this year was astounding. It says volumes about an organization that constantly seeks to get better and finds concrete ways to do so. The relevancy this program gives is amazing - especially when students get to know how their actions can affect global warming.
— Nicki Anselmo, 6th grade science teacher, Sci Tech Academy
Ms. Monica and Ms. Robyn were excellent presenters! They were comfortable, knowledgeable and extremely patient and receptive to all kids’ questions and comments. I hope they can come back next year! I will plan for their visit, whenever they can come!
— Juli Raudonis, 6th grade science teacher, Lusher Charter School
My students enjoyed receiving and learning about the energy efficient materials. Some even sent me videos of their installation at home. The next day several were talking about how nice the new shower head was.
— Robyn Adair, 5th/6th grade science teacher, Akili Academy
The program has been very helpful and was not only enlightening and a great learning experience for the students, but the teachers also.
— Marla Watts, 6th grade teacher, Lake Forest Charter

Breeze Bike Share Comes to Santa Monica

It’s summer in Santa Monica and what better time to grab a bike and get outside! Then get ready to ride this fall when Santa Monica launches their new ‘Breeze’ Bike Share program to give people an easy way to travel, keep active and beat the black hole of So-Cal traffic.

You may have already heard about successful Bike Share programs sprouting up across the country. Experts agree increasing ridership combats traffic congestion, air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. But what does Breeze mean for you?

Breeze bikes at the UCLA Medical Center station on the corner of Arizona Ave. and 16th Street

Breeze bikes at the UCLA Medical Center station on the corner of Arizona Ave. and 16th Street

Bike Share programs energize communities and provide a simple, low-cost option for short journeys. Even if you already own a bicycle, Breeze makes cycling the perfect choice for one-way or round-trip rides, wherever your destination.

The Breeze stations are strategically located to access popular areas and connect with existing transit systems. Our membership and daily-ride rates are among the lowest in the nation PLUS students can access special offers to help make biking easy for everyone!

Breeze is a strategic component of the Santa Monica’s innovative Well-Being Project, where Health is a critical dimension of their ‘data-driven’ Well-Being Index. But Bike Share extends across the index to support community connection, greening the built environment and providing opportunities through affordable and equitable access.

Santa Monica is also celebrating the 20th anniversary of being the first to complete a comprehensive Sustainable City Plan. The plan’s guiding principles revolve around the integration of equity, the economy and the environment to drive sustainable policy. Breeze was specially designed to incorporate these elements to ensure access, affordability, increase mobility and reduce ‘vehicle miles traveled’.

Incorporate Breeze into your commute or daily routine to maximize the health benefits of this valuable community resource. Dr. Robert Oppliger with the American College of Medicine says that engaging in ‘active transport’ like cycling is a great way to improve overall well-being and tackle some of the biggest public health issues today. “Bicycling has positive effects on weight and cardio-vascular health - even a couple of times a week is beneficial”.

Learn how to become a Founding Member of the Breeze Bike Share program. Founding memberships are a great way to support Bike Share, engage your local community and improve overall well-being. Head to  to learn more about how soon you’ll be able to #BreezeByTraffic and get pumped for our big launch event in November so you can get up, get out and ride!

The first 100 Founding Members who commit to memberships this summer may be eligible to participate in an exclusive system test going on now through September!

Click here for the official City of Santa Monica Breeze Bike Share system announcement!

Louisiana Wetlands Action Program

In 2010, the state of Louisiana’s Office of Community Development funded Global Green USA to explore ways that wetlands owners can take action in restoring their wetlands.

Incredibly, over 80% of wetlands in Louisiana are privately owned!  Global Green USA worked to create a resource guide for restoration programs offered by state and local governments and philanthropic organizations that wetlands owners could take advantage of to keep their wetlands intact and healthy.  By attending meetings and community gatherings in the coastal parishes, Global Green spread the resource guide with wetland owners.

One tool that was innovative and deserved more attention was the use of blue carbon for restoration financing.  Wetland restoration is costly but wetlands do an excellent job at sequestering carbon.  In fact, wetlands can sequester up to 50 times more carbon than traditional forests.  By connecting the wetlands high carbon sequestration rates to the carbon market, Global Green saw an opportunity to create a new mechanism for restoration financing.

Through the Louisiana Wetlands Action Program, Global Green signed up wetland owners who were interested in exploring blue carbon financing on their landholdings.  We created a portfolio of landowners totaling up to 200,000 acres of wetlands.

In 2013, Global Green took the next step towards developing a feasibility analysis for blue carbon in Louisiana’s Wetlands with the help from the Coypu Foundation.  We partnered with a wetland owner and with Louisiana State University (LSU) professors Dr. Victor Monroy, Dr. Robert Twilley and graduate assistant Asher Williams to capture carbon sequestration rates that are currently occurring in both mangrove wetlands and traditional marsh wetlands in Lafourche Parish.


In 2011, the success of our Build it Back Green program led to Global Green administering NOLA Wise, a residential energy efficiency and job training program funded through the Department of Energy. NOLA Wise was one of the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance’s Consortium of WISE (Worthwhile Investments Save Energy) cities under the national Better Buildings Grant Program.

The program aimed to increase energy efficiency in New Orleans’ existing building stock by providing a low-interest energy efficiency loan product, training local energy raters and contractors, guiding home and business owners through the process of retrofitting their buildings, and providing incentives to homeowners who reached at least 15% energy savings.

Global Green leveraged this opportunity to implement an apprenticeship program in partnership with Louisiana Green Corps (LAGC), to place Corps Members (16-24 year old youths from the Greater New Orleans region) in jobs with NOLA Wise energy efficiency contractors. In total, NOLA Wise provided scholarships to 42 people for Building Performance Institute training, including local contractors, 2 veterans, and 10 LAGC members.

The NOLA Wise program completed 170 single family retrofits that will save a combined total of 763,170 kilowatt hours of energy per year for these families.  These kilowatt hours equate to an average 26% energy reduction in each home and will save a total of $119,606 on the households' utility bills annually. NOLA Wise helped grow the now booming energy efficiency and solar market in New Orleans, before the program began, there were no BPI Certified contractors in the city and the price of energy efficiency improvements was higher than the national average due to lack of expert contractors and materials available in the region.

The successes and lessons learned of the NOLA Wise program also helped shape the now state-wide energy efficiency rebate program. NOLA Wise continues serve as an educational resource for New Orleans area 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.

Build It Back Green

Build It Back Green (BIBG) was one of the first programs launched by Global Green USA in New Orleans after committing to help New Orleans rebuild green following Hurricane Katrina. From 2008 through 2011, the BIBG outreach program provided residents of New Orleans with free and trustworthy technical assistance and education on how to make their homes more energy-efficient, storm-resistant, and healthier -- and to help them save on energy costs and reduce their carbon footprints. 

The program created a comprehensive Green Vendor Directory of green products and where to find them. In addition green building fact sheets included important information about specific materials and techniques as well as statewide and federal incentives for green building.

BIBG also helped low income homeowners through Home Energy Assessments (HEAs),  Technical Assists (TAs), and Weatherizations:

  • HEAs: Consisted of a home walkthrough by Global Green technical staff and review of findings with the homeowner using a prioritized checklist. Staff members completed a visual inspection of the home, including attic and crawlspace, checking a number of factors that determine energy use and loss in the home. The results of the HEA were communicated to the homeowner, along with a copy of the notated checklist. The document suggests prioritized actions the homeowner could take to improve the indoor air quality of the home and lower utility bills. Additionally, the homeowner was provided with a Home Energy Use Manual, which includes tips on behavioral changes that can result in significant energy savings; and a list of local nonprofits that offer various weatherization services and assistance. BIBG completed 162 HEAs from 2010-2011. 
  • TAs:  Technical assists took place when BIBG staff assisted residents with a specific technical question or gave advice on measures the resident could take to save energy, water, and money. A total of 477 TAs were recorded from 2009-2011.
  • Weatherizations: Global Green technical staff completed an HEA before each weatherization project, which identified the measures BIBG staff would take to increase the energy efficiency of the home. Global Green staff completed the installation of those measures, including caulking windows and doors, sealing leaky air ducts, insulating pipes and water heaters, and installing compact fluorescent light bulbs as well as radiant barrier. Twenty-five weatherizations werecompleted 2009-2011.

By 2010 the BIBG program and the Green Building Resource Center had reached more than 20,000 residents through community workshops, events, one-on-one green building technical consultations, and on-site home energy assessments. That same year the Green Building Resource Center was named “Best Recovery Resource” by Neighborhood Partnership Network.


Shirley Johnigan

Shirley Johnigan

Home Weatherization Case Study:

New Orleans homeowner Shirley Johnigan was distraught over high utility bills, which averaged nearly $400 a month, even though her income was 80% below the Area Median Income.

The year before Hurricane Katrina struck and flooded her house with 10 feet of water, Ms. Johnigan lost her husband.  While living in a FEMA trailer next to her home after Katrina, she suffered a minor stroke that left her face partially paralyzed.  On top of all these burdens, she now had to cope with high utility bills.

She sought help from Global Green’s Build it Back Green program.  BIBG team members Andrew Spaulding and Myron Warden visited Ms. Johnigan’s house and performed a Home Energy Assessment.  They also found a total lack of insulation in her attic, and substantial points of air leakage in her attic floor and ductwork.

Using a limited pool of weatherization funding available to assist select low income clients, BIBG performed small scale weatherization upgrades on Ms. Johnigan’s home.

After the work was performed, diagnostic testing showed a 40% average improvement in the energy efficiency of Ms. Johnigan’s home, which will have a significant impact on her ability to manage her monthly finances and live independently.

My kids said I should move into a senior citizens home. I said, well you know, I raised my children here, I love it here, I feel safe here, I love this neighborhood.
It means a lot Global Green would help me be able to stay here.
— Shirley Johnigan

Work Completed

  • Radiant barrier: stapled to the bottom of the roof rafters
  • Duct Sealing: decreased air leakage where the ducts start and end
    using UL 181 Foil-Faced hvac tape and Mastic
  • Air sealing: attic floor, inside home and crawlspace
  • Blocking for interior walls: stopped air Infiltration from the attic
    with duct board and foam 
  • Attic insulation: blown cellulose & fiberglass batts for attic kneewalls

Green Schools

When Global Green expanded its effort in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, schools became a critical component of rebuilding efforts. The goal of this initiative was to create healthier classrooms and more energy efficient schools that in turn improve student performance and save money for school districts, while helping to protect the environment and reducing carbon emissions.

Andrew H. Wilson Charter School before...

Andrew H. Wilson Charter School before...

... and after

... and after

Shortly after the Bush Clinton Katrina Fund (BCKF) grant was announced in 2006, the Louisiana Recovery Authority contacted Global Green and requested that the organization draft a green rebuilding policy for all major school renovations and new schools in Louisiana, whether flood damaged or not. Global Green accepted the State’s request, and worked with green building experts and representatives of the insurance industry to craft a comprehensive green schools policy for Louisiana. In January of 2007, the LRA voted to incorporate Global Green’s policy into its guidelines for schools receiving Community Development Block Grants.

In addition to creating guidelines for the state, Global Green committed to use a portion of its BCKF funds to give three green schools workshops around the state, targeting the regions that were most impacted by the 2005 hurricane season. Workshops were successfully completed in Orleans Parish, Cameron Parish, and East Baton Rouge Parish, which had grown significantly as a result of population migration after the 2005 hurricanes.

Global Green drafted a Green Schools Resolution that was passed unanimously by the City Council in May 2008. Finally, Global Green formally partnered with New Orleans’ Recovery School District (RSD) in 2007, offering guidelines and ongoing technical assistance. The guidelines were incorporated into the master plan for Orleans Parish Public Schools, which supports the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver standard for all of its new school facilities and major renovation projects.

Student at Martin Luther King Elementary School

Student at Martin Luther King Elementary School

Green Seed Schools
The Green Seed Schools program was the first component of the Green Schools Initiative. Four schools were selected and designated as Green Seed Schools: A.P. Tureaud Elementary School, The International School, Dr. Martin Luther King Elementary School, and Gentilly Terrace Elementary School. Each school received up to $75,000 in grant funds toward energy audits, technical assistance, and improvements to increase energy efficiency, indoor air quality, and if feasible, create on-site renewable energy generation. The average annual savings seen by the Green Seed Schools is $23,000.

Green Model Schools
The Model Green Schools program was the second and more ambitious phase of the NOLA Green Schools Initiative. This program has resulted in the creation of high performance showcase green schools including the major rehabilitation of one school and the new construction of another school.

The two Model Green Schools received more than $720,000 (combined) worth of green upgrades and technical assistance with a goal of achieving LEED for Schools Silver certification. The Model Green Schools program allowed for a comprehensive menu of improvements that contributed to model green environmental conditions in the building such as improved acoustics, lighting, and indoor air quality, and greater reductions in water and energy use. The two schools selected for this program were Andrew H. Wilson Elementary School and L.B. Landry High School.

Case Study, Andrew H. Wilson Elementary School:
The Andrew H. Wilson Elementary School sustained significant damage from wind and flood waters due to Hurricane Katrina and the levee failures. It is the only school in the Broadmoor neighborhood and it was designed by E.A. Christy and constructed in 1928. 

Andrew H. Wilson Elementary School

Andrew H. Wilson Elementary School

The Wilson project included a complete restoration of the existing building which is approximately 37,000 sf and two additions totaling 43,000 sf. The new building additions include a gymnasium, cafeteria, and additional art and music classroom space. The existing building was renovated to modern standards while preserving the historical characteristics of the original building.

As a showcase green school, the Wilson Elementary School building incorporates more than 40 specific green measures to enhance the building's energy efficiency and student performance. Among these green technologies are:

  • Solar Hot Water system installed above the kitchen to serve 90% of the hot water demand for the kitchen as well as a 5.04 kW solar electric system.
  • 12,000-gallon above ground cistern to collect and store rainwater for irrigation purposes.
  • Web-based display technology that illustrates energy and water usage. The school will be able to use the data for educational purposes and to monitor carbon offset.
  • Wetland habitat with 90% native species which serves as an outdoor educational classroom and to reduce the quantity and improve the quality of stormwater leaving the site.
  • Interpretive signage posted in and around the school to identify and provide information about the school's green technology.
Solar installation on Wilson Elementary School

Solar installation on Wilson Elementary School

Global Green was proud to take this next step in helping New Orleans build green and feels that the Wilson School will not only serve as an important model for all of the rebuilding of schools in the city, but it will also be a stimulus for rebuilding Broadmoor in a sustainable way.

Holy Cross Project


The Holy Cross Project was born out of a high-profile Sustainable Design Competition that GGUSA held in 2006 with the leadership of jury chair Brad Pitt. GGUSA made the commitment to build the project—unique among the many “in theory only” design competitions. The goal of the Holy Cross Project is to serve as a model of sustainability by demonstrating resilient construction practices and clean energy technologies, and to serve as a catalyst for green workforce development.

Global Green’s sustainable village in the Lower 9th Ward boasts 5 completed LEED Platinum homes. The first home is serving as a Visitor Center and has educated over 25,000 people on a range of green building techniques. These homes were the first to be LEED Platinum Certified in the City of New Orleans. HCP’s homeowners are teachers, architects, and nonprofit professionals, all enthusiastic about living in the evolving Holy Cross Neighborhood. The Visitor Center was named in honor of the late Pam Dashiell, a passionate community advocate who helped make the Holy Cross Project a reality in the Lower Ninth Ward.


The second phase of the Holy Cross Project is currently under construction. The Community Development and Climate Action Center is a 6500 square foot high-performance green facility that will be energy and water efficient and equipped with solar electric panels and a rainwater cistern. The CDCAC will house Global Green’s offices, as well as a visitor center, community meeting space, retail space and passive survivability features (for first responders in case of future storms).

The Lower Ninth Ward is a perfect learning lab, including the Mississippi River, bayou Bienvenue, wetland triangle, industrial canal, etc. Visitors are able to experience many ecosystems within two square miles. The Holy Cross Project not only demonstrates sustainable building practices that save energy and water, but also green infrastructure on site including rain gardens, bioswale, rain barrels, and a green roof.

“One of the things I love is that my house is energy efficient and environmentally friendly which fits my values and New Orleans is short on those values, so I am happy I can contribute to the movement with my home” 

— Rebecca, Holy Cross homeowner

One of our homeowners shared her experience with the City of New Orleans Assessor’s Office when she applied for her homestead exemption.

“One of the things they tell you to bring is your entergy (power) bill to prove that you live in the home and are using electricity. I showed them my bill and the woman was shocked at how low it was. She was suspicious that I didn’t really live in the house if my bill was that low. I told her that I have solar panels, and they keep my bill very low. She said she had never seen a bill that low, and didn’t know if they could accept it as proof that she lived in the house.

"After a little more explanation of my home and solar system, she finally gave in. That story made me laugh, and I immediately share it on Facebook. Sometimes I forget just how much lower my utility bills are than the average homeowner in New Orleans. I have some very jealous friends.”

Rebecca’s highest electric and gas (combined) bill was $29!

Conference Report - A Forum for The City of LA

In April of this year, Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti released the city’s first ever sustainability plan, known as “The pLAn,” which outlines several ambitious objectives for major areas of sustainability, including recycling and composting. Soon after its release, a few of the folks in our network started asking me about it. “Have you seen The pLAn? Is Global Green helping out with this?” After a couple of conversations with a few City officials from LA, I could respond with a resounding “Yes we are! But not alone.”

Front left - Susan Kinsella, Susan Collins, Ron Gonen, and Hays Witt

Front left - Susan Kinsella, Susan Collins, Ron Gonen, and Hays Witt

To help the folks who are tasked with implementing The pLAn, and in particular the parts pertaining to recycling and composting (my specialty), our first step was to bring together experts to discuss some of the top objectives outlined in the “Waste and Landfills” section of the document. Together with several other organizations, including LAANE, the LA Food Policy Council, and the LA Mayor’s Office, we turned the objectives from The pLAn into panel topics, and chose top experts in the field from across the state, and across the country, to share their perspectives on each of these areas.

The primary purpose of the forum was to share diverse knowledge, findings, experiences, and opinions so that the City officials could get a briefing on the state of thought on many of these topics, and then be able to follow up with these experts as they continue to implement The pLAn. We kept the attendance list short – we capped it at 50 – so that the conversation could get a little candid, and it definitely worked. Some difficult questions were brought up,  and some controversial topics debated (in a friendly fashion). Most of the experts we assembled had worked together before, and were familiar with each other. “It’s almost like a reunion,” said one attendee.

A few days after the event, I spoke at the California Resource Recycling Association conference. I met a few folks I know from the Bay Area world of recycling, and a few of them said, “Did you host a forum a few days ago?” When I said yes, they replied, “I heard it was really good! Everyone’s been talking about it!” Sounds like we are doing it right. Stay tuned for more updates on our work helping Los Angeles increase their sustainability, including their recycling and composting!

Here are a few examples of the feedback we got after the event:

"Thanks for a great forum yesterday.  It was actually quite enjoyable and instructive.
In fact, the room - as in the people invited - was perfect."
— Greg Good; Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti, City of Los Angeles

“Thanks a million for the great forum! It was such a good idea to do that for the City of LA.
You brought in a lot of very knowledgeable people.”
— Susan Collins, Container Recycling Institute

“Everyone seemed very engaged and I have been getting lots of follow-up emails about how to continue the conversation and policies that the City could pursue."
— Saira Gandhi; Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti, City of Los Angeles

GHG Reduction Fund Announcement

On June 22nd, the California Strategic Growth Council (SGC) released it's funding recommendations as part of the 2014-2015 Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities program, part of the State's Cap and Trade Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. As part of the application process, Global Green ran customized Greenhouse Gas reduction models for 8 projects, and is happy to see that 6 of the 7 applications submitted were recommended for funding totaling $14,583,000.


Global Green was excited to be involved in SGC's first iteration of the program, and is working with a coalition of groups involved with the Cap and Trade program to help SGC improve the application process and quantification methodology to better reward green building and affordable housing projects.

Projects recommended for funding:

Meta Housing Corporation:
    •    Sylmar Court Apartments
    •    Civic Center 14 TOD Apartments 
    •    Hayward Senior Apartments 
    •    127th Street Apartments
    •    El Segundo Family Apartments
McCormack Baron Salazar:
    •    MacArthur Park Apartments Phase B

Global Green becomes a GREEN CERTIFIED business in support for a sustainable Santa Monica.

Global Green USA is the American affiliate of Green Cross International, founded by President Gorbachev. Their mission is to foster a global value shift toward a sustainable and secure future. Global Green USA has advanced smart solutions for climate change that improves lives and protects our planet. Since 1995, Global Green USA has influenced more than $20 billion dollars worth of building construction by encouraging the integration of green building and sustainability practices.

Their green office incorporates carpet tiles that contain post-consumer recycled content (PCRC) by Interface and zero-VOC paint on the walls. Their translucent plexi glass doors and walls are made of PCRC by Element Designs. Global Greens in-house sustainability practices include diverting approximately 75% of unwanted materials from landfill through reducing, reusing and recycling as much as possible. They stock reusable dishes, silverware, glasses and even commuter mugs for employees to use when purchasing local coffee and hot drinks from various neighboring Green Certified cafes and restaurants on Main Street.

All Global Green events, including their Pre-Oscar party and Millennium Awards, are sustainable zero waste events. They also close the recycling loop with sustainable office purchasing like giving preference to the highest post-consumer content available across the board for paper products from notepads to tissue paper (usually 80 – 100%). Eco-minded receptionist, Sharon Williams, facilitates zero waste staff lunches on the beach by having each staff bring a set of reusables to eat with. Office is cleaned with Staples Sustainable Earth cleaners ordered online. Global Green’s initiatives focus on sustainable solutions not just for our planet--but for people. 


Zero Waste at our Millennium Awards

Let’s face it - trash can be a dirty, messy business. Our waste typically consists of the objects we no longer value or find use for, they are the things we essentially do not want anything to do with; but at this year’s Global Green Millennium Awards, we treated trash like it was top of the list! With the help of our mindful attendees, cooperation from our exquisite host, the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel, and the excited Global Green Zero Waste team, we successfully made our signature awards ceremony a zero waste event for the second year in a row!

  Leftover food ready to be donated


Leftover food ready to be donated

So what’s all the buzz about? As it turns out, many of the objects we automatically refer to as 'waste' actually have an afterlife. All of the waste from the Global Green Millennium Awards was sent to facilities to be either composted, recycled, or donated - as a result, nothing was sent to the landfill! 

We are proud to announce that 70 pounds of food that would have otherwise been sent to sit in a landfill was donated to LA area food banks through the Chefs to End Hunger program. Not only did this food feed hungry Angelenos, but also contributed to decreasing our greenhouse gas emissions. 

  Matt Petersen, Chief Sustainability Officer, Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Global Green board member, doing his part to keep the event Zero Waste


Matt Petersen, Chief Sustainability Officer, Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Global Green board member, doing his part to keep the event Zero Waste

So how did we achieve a zero waste event? First, all of the trash bins were clearly labeled throughout the venue and bathrooms; one for recyclables, one for compostables and napkins, and one for paper towels. All kitchen waste was immediately disposed into an on-site digester, which got mixed with water and sent to the Hyperion Treatment Plant in Playa Del Rey to be anaerobically digested with the city’s wastewater. Next, a Global Green Zero Waste representative trained all the staff from the kitchen, maintenance, janitorial services, and dining services in the most efficient zero waste practices for the remaining recyclables and food scraps that were generated in the front-of-the-house area.

Throughout the ceremony, the Zero Waste team periodically checked that all the waste bins were properly sorted and separated. Lastly, after an inspiring evening of a successful auction, touching performances and speeches by Vandana Shiva, Prince Ea, and others, as well as delicious food and a heartfelt award ceremony, the night concluded with preparing the organics, recyclables, and paper towels to be collected by the waste hauler. The hauler then sent the paper towels to an organics transfer station and the recyclables to a material sorting facility.

  Leia Marsovich, the leader of the 2015 Millennium Awards Zero Waste Team, escorting our waste to its next engagement


Leia Marsovich, the leader of the 2015 Millennium Awards Zero Waste Team, escorting our waste to its next engagement

What actually happens when waste is composted or recycled? The compost, which consists of inedible food scraps and napkins, will be converted into nutrient rich soil that can be used for agriculture or on landscapes. Recyclables such as plastic water bottles, glass containers, paper, etc., will be sent to processors and factories to be turned into new products. Global Green takes pride in considering all aspects of sustainability - even when it comes to the dirty and messy! A big thank you to Briana Wellman at the Hyatt Century Regency Plaza and Judi Gregory at NASA Services for helping make the 2015 Global Green Millennium Awards a truly green event.

Green Books for Kids


The Giving Tree

We asked staff members to recommend good green books for kids, with characters and stories to engage and teach little ones on the topic of the environment.

"The Lorax" by Dr. Seuss

The Dr. Seuss classic includes such lines as "I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues" and "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not." 

"The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein

"This has always been a household favorite. As a child, and even as an adult, this book reminds me just how selfless nature truly is, and how much we lose when we take it for granted." -- Sarah Susson, Development Assistant

"The Little Red Hen" by Paul Galdone

"This was a favorite of mine growing up. It's a true farm-to-table tale about growing the food we eat -- and how we need to work together to reap the rewards." -- Stef McDonald, Managing Editor of Online Content

"The Great Kapok Tree" by Lynne Cherry

"This classic children's book is about respecting the earth and taking personal responsibility." -- Paul Walker, Director of Environmental Security and Sustainability

"Little House on the Prairie" series by Laura Ingalls Wilder

"These were not intended to be environmental books but they described Laura Ingalls Wilder's  life growing up in the prairie and woods and how they managed to grow food, used what they found, and didn't waste a thing." -- Linda Stone, Program and Operations Director in our New Orleans office

"Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain" by Verna Aardema

"It has wonderful illustrations of the Savannah and shows how the Masai people are closely connected with their animals and the environment." -- Hagu Solomon, Green Urbanism Program Associate

"Green My Parents" by Jordan Howard and Adora Svitak 

"It’s designed to empower youths to seed the green economy and help save the planet. With fun simple assignments that save energy, water and other resources." -- Sharon Williams, Receptionist

"Dolphin Baby" by Nicola Davies

"This is my all-time favorite book. One, because I love dolphins; and two, because it narrates a baby dolphin’s journey in the sea. The book takes you through the baby dolphin’s first breath as well as his experiences with life under the sea with the help of his mother to guide him along the way." -- Iman Douglas, Accounting Assistant

"The Wump World" by Bill Peet

Whoa: The pristine world inhabited by the wumps is invaded by Pollutians from the planet Pollutus.

Even more recommended green books for kids:

"Aesop’s Fables"

The "Winnie the Pooh" series by A. A. Milne

"Flush" by Carl Hiaasen

"The Green Mother Goose" by Jan Peck and David Davis

"The Magic School Bus on the Ocean Floor" by Joanna Cole

New Orleans Regional Council


GLOBAL GREEN USA is the American affiliate of President Gorbachev’s Green Cross International, which seeks to foster a global value shift toward a sustainable and secure future by reconnecting humanity with the environment. In the U.S., Global Green focuses on mitigating climate change by demonstrating the value of green buildings and sustainable neighborhoods.

Global Green opened our New Orleans office shortly after Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, and on the 4th anniversary of the hurricane, its work on affordable housing, schools and energy policy earned national critical acclaim.

New Orleans Programs

Holy Cross Project: Global Green’s sustainable village in the Lower 9th Ward boasts 5 completed LEED Platinum homes surrounded by rain gardens. The first home is serving as a visitors’ center and has educated over 20,000 people on a range of green building techniques.

Coming next is the Holy Cross Community Development & Climate Action Center, a large community and conference center that will provide a corner grocery store and credit union, and will house Global Green’s permanent green education center and staff.  

The center will advance the green rebuilding of the Gulf Coast, making sustainable development the new standard for the region. It will include Global Green’s offices; a visitor’s center targeting tour buses and local schools; meeting rental facilities targeting smaller but influential groups visiting New Orleans; bank branch; corner cafe/coffee shop offering fresh foods; and passive survivability features (e.g., back up electricity, potable water, and sanitation for first responders in case of future storms). It will also help export knowledge to other cities—especially those in endangered coastal areas or otherwise threatened directly by climate change—to create a unified front on the adaptation to and mitigation of the dangers of climate change.

Locally, the Center will create new jobs, provide job training, incubate small business, and provide ongoing outreach and education on green building and renewable clean energy to daily visitors.

An 18-unit affordable apartment building will finish off the model development.

Green Schools: Four “Green Seed Schools” are enjoying an average $23,000 a year energy savings due to upgrades from Global Green. Two “Model Green Schools” received over $700,000 from Global Green to install green features such as solar panels, rainwater cisterns, and energy and resource monitoring. Andrew Wilson Elementary School in Broadmoor achieved LEED Gold Certification and L.B. Landry is expected to obtain LEED Silver. Added value projects included green curricula development, teacher training and a green career fair.

NOLA Wise: In partnership with the City of New Orleans, Southeast Energy Alliance, and the Department of Energy's Better Buildings Program Global Green offers homeowners loans for energy efficiency improvements. A qualified HERS rater performs a home energy assessment to determine the best way to achieve a 15% reduction in energy usage. Participants will have access to a pool of nationally-certified contractors, as well as knowledgeable energy efficiency specialists who will walk them through the process. This includes access to any other available incentives, rebates, and tax credits, such as HERO, EnergySmart, and other federal and state programs.

Build It Back Green: BIBG is New Orleans’ largest green building outreach and education program. Focusing on low-income families, it empowers New Orleanians to make their homes greener and save on their utility bills by offering free information, training and weatherization assistance. To date, the program has reached over 20,000 residents through 300 community workshops and events, hundreds of one-on-one green building technical consultations, and over 100 customized on-site home energy consultations. .

Green Building Resource Center (GBRC): The GBRC was opened downtown in June 2006 to provide the community with hands-on examples of green building materials; fact sheets on energy efficiency, tax credits and more; and one-on-one consultations with Global Green technical staff. Located conveniently on the streetcar line, it was honored as “New Orleans’ Best Recovery Resource” in December 2010 by the Neighborhood Partnership Network.

Clean Energy For A Clean Gulf Coast: It began with the BP Oil Spill and has continued along the length of the Gulf Coast. Beyond raising funds to help fishermen’s families, Global Green has been advocating for a full clean up of the spill, restitution for lost jobs and income, and accelerated efforts towards green energy and green jobs.


Global Green USA depends on the support and involvement of conscientious, progressive individuals to achieve its goals and to forward President Gorbachev’s vision of a safer, more sustainable planet. Now in its second decade, Global Green understands the urgent need for knowledgeable and dedicated leaders who are active in the environmental community.

  • Membership Commitment
  • Give and/or raise $2.500 per year, and
  • Help recruit additional Council members and spread Global Green’s message.

  • Member Benefits
  • VIP Patron tickets to our national, regional events;
  • Exclusive invitations and in-person briefings / receptions on our work locally, nationally and internationally;
  • Recognition in Global Green publications and online;
  • Project site visits, and more.
  • Higher benefit levels and event sponsorships are available.

For more information, please contact Sarah Susson or call 310.571.2700 x108

San Francisco Regional Council



Global Green USA is the U.S. affiliate of Green Cross International, the environmental movement founded by President Mikhail Gorbachev more than a decade ago. Global Green's mission is to foster a global value shift toward a sustainable and secure future.

Global Green in San Francisco Bay Area

Enthusiasm for Global Green’s work in the San Francisco and the Bay Area is extraordinary . Many of Global Green’s initial successes in greening the urban environment in policy and in built examples, have come from our green affordable housing partnerships with the City of San Francisco, and most recently with the cities of the Silicon Valley.

  • Green Schools Lessons learned working with the San Francisco Unified School District (with the support of the San Francisco Foundation and The Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund) have served as the basis of Global Green’s National Green School Initiative. Green building is now a standard component of all school design and constructions administered by SFUSD.
  • Green Affordable Housing For over a decade non-profit housing developers in San Francisco, Richmond, and Marin and, in the East Bay, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity, have taken advantage of Global Green’s technical assistance to create LEED Certified energy efficient homes for low-income families.
  • Green Cities Global Green authored the Alameda County Green Building Guidelines and has advised and guided policy decisions for the cities of Cupertino, Mountainview and San Bruno to improve energy efficiency and water quality.
  • Green Building Standards California’s Green Building Standards Code (sets targets for energy efficiency, water consumption, diversion of construction waste from landfills and use of environmentally sensitive materials) and the Comprehensive Energy Efficiency Program for Existing Buildings were developed with Global Green.

San Francisco GGUSA National Event

Since 2005 San Francisco Global Green supporters have hosted the Gorgeous + Green gala one of the Bay Area's premier green high style events. The celebrity filled SRO fashion - focused party, styled by Global Green Board Member Zem Joaquin, founder of, is held early in December at green venues including the LEED Certified Bently Reserve and the W San Francisco.


Global Green USA depends on the support and involvement of conscientious, progressive individuals to achieve its goals and to forward President Gorbachev’s vision of a safer, more sustainable planet. Now in its second decade, Global Green understands the urgent need for knowledgeable and dedicated leaders who are active in the environmental community. To download a copy of the Prospectus and a Pledge Form, please click here. To join the Council now by making a donation via our secure website, please click here.

  • Membership Commitment: 
  • Give and/or raise $5,000 per year, and
  • Help recruit additional Council members and spread Global Green’s message
  • Membership Benefits:
  • VIP Patron tickets to our national, regional events;
  • Exclusive invitations and in-person briefings / receptions on our work locally, nationally and internationally;
  • Recognition in Global Green publications and online;
  • Project site visits, and more.
  • Higher benefit levels and event sponsorships are available.

For more information, please contact William Bridge at or call 310.571.2700 x114