Build It Back Green Program for New Orleans


Global Green USA's Build It Back Green (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 ran 2008 through 2011. We estimate that clients have saved 34% on utility costs after coming in contact with 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. “This is what we have been working towards -- making New Orleans one of the greenest cities in America,” said Beth Galante, our Director of New Orleans and Gulf Coast Initiatives, when the program was launched.


Build it Back Green aimed to increase awareness of affordable, accessible green building options to suit every budget, and emphasized steps that all citizens can take to reduce both their utility bills and carbon footprints. We also increased awareness of affordable, accessible green rebuilding options to suit every budget. The program offered:

  • A comprehensive Green Vendor Directory of green products and where to find them
  • Information on how to take advantage of some of the statewide and federal incentives for green building
  • Green building tips and advice
  • Workshops tailored to specific neighborhood needs
  • Community use of both the Global Green Resource Center and the Holy Cross Project's entirely sustainable Global Green House in the Lower 9th Ward


Some suggested home improvements, which can be made by both homeowners and renters alike, are not pricey but have proven to be cost-effective. Simple, easy and affordable options such as replacing regular light bulbs with Compact Fluorescent ones (CFLs) and updating homes with proper floor and ceiling insulation can increase efficiency and effectiveness of lighting, heating, and cooling systems. Applying radiant barriers to upper levels of the home can deflect up to 97% of the sun’s rays and significantly reduce monthly energy bills while increasing air quality. Such small-scale improvements can collectively take larger steps toward reducing the total energy usage of homes and buildings, now one third of total U.S. energy consumption.


Build It Back Green Program photos on Flickr


Lead funding was provided by the Greater New Orleans Foundation (GNOF) and Surdna Foundation.