尽管休斯顿的根基在于化石燃料，但是她说，当地人很乐意接受她的环保观点。目前，休斯顿大量的环保项目主要是致力于达到能源与环境设计先锋奖（Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design）的标准（LEED是一项用来衡量建筑可持续性的奖项）。自从去年5月斯潘健上任以来，休斯顿新涌现了45座获得LEED认证的建筑。现在，休斯顿获得这一认证的建筑已经多达129座，高居全美第六位。
Location: Houston, Texas
It seems unlikely that there would be a growing green movement in Houston, Texas, the heart of American oil country.
But there is one, and Laura Spanjian is leading it. Last year, Spanjian left her campaign to be San Francisco Supervisor to work for Houston's Mayor Annise Parker. Spanjian is now Houston's Sustainability Director.
Despite the fact she works in a city built on fossil fuels, Spanjian says that locals are receptive to her ideas. So far, many of Houston's green efforts have focused on getting buildings to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards, the standard measurement used to grade a building's sustainability. The city now has 129 LEED-certified buildings, the sixth largest amount in the country, and has added about 45 new ones since Spanjian's term began last May.
Green buildings are a good starting point for Houston's eco-movement since the city is full of high-rises, and more are going up all the time. Building green can give companies an advantage when it comes to attracting employees, Spanjian says: "These companies understand that young professionals, in particular, really want to work in a sustainable building."
And, of course, there's the bottom line to consider: energy-efficient buildings cost less to run, Spanjian says. "The message that works well here is that you can save money by doing lots of initiatives. Houstonians like to save money."
The red-state setting only makes the work more exciting, says Spanjian. While environmental efforts are old news in cities like San Francisco and Portland, she thinks Houston has room for exponential green growth. Besides, there's something heartening about an eco-boom in a city built on oil.
"I do think if you can do this work in Houston, then you can do it anywhere," Spanjian says.