Cat Johnson – Christian Science Monitor.com – January 30, 2017

Cool Block is an initiative that helps neighbors connect with each other, share resources, and collaborate on climate and disaster resilience projects.

In her 30 years of working in the sustainability sector, Sandra Slater has learned quite a bit about human behavior, including the idea that just giving people information doesn’t inspire a change in behavior. 

“If you just go in and say, ‘Let’s lower your carbon footprint,’ it’s a nonstarter,” Slater says. “You have to go in with other motivators.” She says people are looking for social connection, meaning, purpose, safety, and efficacy.

Slater is the Northern California director of the Cool City Challenge. It’s a program of the Empowerment Institute, a consulting and training organization that aims to reduce the carbon footprint of cities. The group also runs Cool Block, an initiative that helps neighbors connect with each other, share resources, and collaborate on climate and disaster resilience projects.
 
A Cool Block project starts with the simple act of someone reaching out to his or her neighbors. 

“We say this is the most radical intervention ever designed – knocking on your neighbor’s door,” says Slater, explaining that in most cases, people are glad they’ve been asked to participate.

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