Devastated Kansas Town Goes Green

Homeowners can choose to make adjustments to their building plans, like orienting their home toward the south for the best use of natural light, reducing water in the toilets and installing geothermal heating/cooling systems to reduce energy needs and costs.

Green Money

Many of the environmentally friendly concepts cost more upfront, with savings in the long term. The residents of Greensburg are trying to be creative in funding these opportunities, in applying for federal and state grants as well as private industry.

Homeowners can apply for lower mortgage rates for the energy-efficient homes through the federal government, and apply for private grants or build the costs into mortgages upfront.

FEMA has funded almost $4 million of the Greensburg recovery and an additional $28 million has been approved in small-business administration loans. Millions more have come from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Labor.

Eye on Kansas

The recovery of Greensburg has caught the eye of Hollywood and Leonardo DiCaprio, who will be executive producing a 13-part series on the Discovery Channel in 2008 called "Eco-Town," which will detail the town's green rebuilding process.

Residents hope the attention will bring new businesses, money and opportunities into their town.

"As a model green community, people from around the country and around the world will come to see what the future looks like," Wallach said.

To learn more about green building check out these Web sites:

www.energystar.gov

www.energysavers.gov

http://www.nrel.gov/buildings/

www.buildingamerica.gov

U.S. Green Building Council's Green Building 101

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