Start a Cool Block in Montgomery County!

April 9, 2022
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The Cool BlockThe Cool Block Program Helps Neighbors Work Together to Fight Climate Change

A non-profit, Cool Block, brings neighborhoods together to empower each other and build community over shared environmental goals. Becoming a Cool Block Leader is one great way to bring your neighborhood together for collective climate action.

The program consists of four major topics (carbon reduction, disaster resiliency, water stewardship and neighborhood livability) divided up over nine bi-weekly meetings led by different neighbors living on a block or in a multi-family building. Participants select from a menu of 112 action recipes and complete actions as individuals or as a collective. Behavior change is achieved through a combination of action recipes, a peer support system and self-directed meeting scripts supported by a trained volunteer coach who has been through the program.

The Process

  • Each Cool Block begins with a block leader – a volunteer who is ready to make change right on their block.
  • A community of block leaders requests a new Cool Block be created for each, and receives registration and other information to get started. You can register your block here. 
  • Using Cool Block leadership resources, each block leader goes door to door to invite all the households on the block to an information meeting. By the end of the meeting, a Cool Block team has begun to form.
  • The Cool Block leader then holds a team-building meeting, where a vision for the journey takes shape. Members sign up to lead or host one or more Cool Block topic meetings. Together, the team will explore eight topics over about five months – building community, preparing for disasters and protecting the planet.
  • Each topic includes a menu of action recipes to choose from. Whether living in an apartment, a condo, a house or a dorm, team members find and select several actions in each topic which they most want or need to take and are practical to do in their household. Local resources may be available which support team members in taking action.
  • At the start of the program, households are working to change habits within their home. By the end of the program, the team is working together on actions that will impact their block, neighborhood, city and planet. Achievements add up within their city to be celebrated!

The Impact

In California, multiple cities participated in city-wide Cool Block pilots. The program achieved an average household carbon reduction of 32% with 25 actions taken. Fifty-five percent of the people on the block approached by their neighbor agreed to participate in the 9-meeting, 4 ½-month program.

Seth Werfel, Stanford University research partner found that, “The program increased average scores for each of the program performance indicators by an amount that was both substantively and statistically significant. Two of the most notable changes were a nearly 40 percent increases in a block’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint as well as sharing tools and resources.” 

There were also positive feedback from the block leaders on neighborhood cohesion and growth amongst the community from those blocks that participated.

The organization has grown and now residents across the country have the opportunity to become a block leader and engage your neighborhood. Sign up to become a block leader here. 

If you start a Cool Block in Montgomery County, let us know!

This short video, A Deeper Dive, shows The Cool Block transformational process in action. 



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