Greensburg GreenTown15. Bob Dixson, Greensburg, Kansas.
Talk about inheriting someone else’s problem: Bob Dixson became mayor of Greensburg in 2008, exactly a year after it was devastated by a tornado. But Greensburg has rallied, and the former postmaster is now overseeing the town’s much publicized green rebuilding effort (which has also been documented for TV). Learning as he goes, Dixson has become an eco-evangelist of sorts, traveling the nation to talk up renewable energy, green building, community spirit, and the common sense behind green. “In rural America,” he told Smithsonian magazine earlier this year, “we were always taught that if you take care of the land, the land will care of you.”