Posted December 8th 2010 at 11:54 am by
in Kentucky

Coming to You From Coal Country: “Anyone Can Go Solar.”

“Yeah, some people told us that you couldn’t have solar in the mountains here,” said Mrs. Collett, but she and her husband knew better.  Meet the Colletts in this short movie below.

As the director of media projects at CoLab, I try to meet people who are doing interesting work in their own communities because I want to bring their work to this site.  I want CoLab Radio to be a place where people doing community work can get ideas and inspiration.

Over two years ago I did a media project with Carl Shoupe and Elmer Lloyd, two men from Harlan County, Kentucy who are working on ways to make the heart of coal country energy efficient.  CoLab and Kentuckians for the Commonwealth (KFTC) have worked in partnership on several projects over the years. Last week KFTC director Burt Lauderdale emailed me with a link to some videos on the site, where I found this movie of the Colletts with their solar panels.

The Colletts reminded me of Irma Mejia, the first on her block in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts to retrofit.  She’s emerged as a leader in a local effort to green one block at a time in a Boston neighborhood.  A community organizer, Ninya Loeppky, wrote a post about Irma for this site.  Irma’s house, though I’ve never been there, is only a short walk from where I sit as I write this post.

I love Irma and the Colletts. They make life better in the places they are from, and their local work has national relevance.

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