Our bottom line? No doubt it's green. But isn't that the color of money?
Live Oak Alliance Mississippi (LOAM) was formed with the idea that we can use our "clean slate" to establish a "green initiative" that will act as an economic driver for the area, as well as improve the quality of life for ourselves and future generations. The goal is to build a thriving sustainable community that fosters both economic prosperity and an exceptional quality of life.
LOAM serves to coordinate a comprehensivecommunity-wide green program between existing civic organizations, using a multi-pronged approach that includes economic, arts, educational and recreational elements.
LOAM is a fund of the Hancock Community Development Foundation, a 501c3 non profit charity, and the donation less benefits received is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.
A New Beginning
Hancock County, Mississippi was ground-zero for Hurricane Katrina in 2005. We're still in the difficult process of recovery, working hard with the goal of building back better and stronger than before. Live Oak Alliance Mississippi (LOAM) was formed with the idea that we can use our "clean slate" to establish a "green initiative" that will act as an economic driver for the area, as well as improve the quality of life for ourselves and future generations.
We found inspiration in the town of Greensburg, Kansas. Destroyed by a tornado in 2007, they've established a green program that's attracting new businesses and residents. Click here to watch a four minute video about their efforts and how it's revitalizing the community's economy.
The New Economy
There's a lot of research to back up the premise that going green can stimulate the economy. In one recent survey, the majority of Americans believe that local efforts to be environmentally sensitive... will pay off for their communities by attracting new businesses and development, creating "green collar jobs," and boosting the local economy.
Fayetteville, Arkansas began a Green Valley initiative in 2007 and quickly reaped results. Seven Swedish companies are considering locating offices there. States like North Carolina, New Jersey and Ohio have established Green Programs to encourage municipal participation.
"The choice for investors, companies, governments and individuals is simple," write Ron Pernick and Clint Wilder in their 2007 book, The Clean Tech Revolution. "Be part of one of the greatest business and economic shifts in recorded human history or become extinct like the dinosaurs."
Hancock County is home to Stennis Space Center - a hub of technology and science - which gives us a unique advantage in seeking out cutting-edge green business enterprises. With the combined efforts of our member organizations, Hancock County can become a regional leader in greening efforts, giving us a Unique Selling Proposition to attract new businesses and residents.
Green Real Estate
The real estate market also stands to win big by going green. Trends like Conservation Development save municipalities and developers money on infrastructure costs. And home-buyers (as well as businesses) are realizing long-term savings from thoughtful planning. Here's an excerpt from an article explaining why green building is a strong selling point:
At a time when the housing market remains in a slump, consumer demand is growing for energy-efficient homes that are kinder to the environment. And it's not just individual homes that are going green. Increasingly, it's entire neighborhoods. "A lot of the builders out there are naysayers,"' Thornton said. "Once they see that's where their economic impact is going to be most effective, they get on board. They see that's what our customers are demanding."
Tax incentives and grant funding offer more reasons for developers and communities to explore green options. Financing for green projects is a rapidly growing trend according to this article:
Some larger banks have already jumped onto the green financing trend. Wells Fargo, for example, has increased its loan amount for green commercial projects to a total of $1.1 billion nationwide in 2006 and 2007, largely because there are more LEED-certified buildings going up, according to spokeswoman Lara Underhill.
The bank even has internal incentives for loan officers who finance green projects, although it declined to disclose those details... Wells Fargo is also working on a "green mortgage" product that would reward homeowners for purchasing energy-efficient homes.
Examples of Efforts in Other Communities
A United Nations Environment report says global clean-technology investments came to $148 billion in 2007 and are showing no signs of slowing down. As a result, green initiatives are sweeping the country, generating an enthusiastic response from citizens and business communities.
While Hancock County can now boast the first county-wide program in Mississippi, Meridian became the first city in the state to launch a green initiative in April 2008. Meridian "Green Team" leader, Bunky Partridge, points to the enormous savings to taxpayers the city has already realized by implementing several simple strategies.
One of the most ambitious programs has been undertaken by the city of San Jose, California. The city of one million residents has launched a 15 year program the mayor says will kick-start "a green economy that is stronger and more vibrant than anything we've seen in 100 years."
Seeking to "increase awareness of the economic growth opportunities related to the emerging green economy," the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce has begun their own green business campaign, joining Chambers in cities like Newburyport, MA.
Creative green marketing projects can be low cost and extremely effective, as demonstrated by the GreenSpot initiative in Columbus, Ohio. Mayor Mike Coleman has been delighted with the city's "clamoring response" to the program which aims to give a marketing advantage to participating businesses.
Please be advised that this website is intended to be used as an informational source only. The information contained within this website is intended for use by LOAM members and other visitors. The content and information within the site is offered for the limited purpose of establishing a brief overview of LOAM activities. The information contained within the webpages is not guaranteed to be complete, accurate, or current.
Further, this website may provide access to governmental, private sector, and/or commercial sites that contain information that might be of interest to LOAM members or other visitors. In providing a link to these sites, LOAM does not endorse the content, products, services, or viewpoints expressed on these sites. LOAM cannot verify that the information contained within these sites is current or accurate.