As part of the New American Road Trip campaign, Purpose traveled across the country to tell the stories of the local leaders, innovators, workers, and communities who are proving that America’s commitment to fighting climate change is real, despite a lack of federal leadership. They are the people who are working day in and day out to build and implement the solutions to climate change in their communities. This project shows a wide diversity of backgrounds and stories from across the country, focused on jobs and opportunity. The New American Road Trip tells these stories using a light hearted creative framework that steers away from polarizing narratives.

 

Along the way we highlighted the stories of: 

  • how clean energy and the buses, subways, cars, trucks, and trains it powers are creating good jobs all across America – not in the future but right now
  • how emerging technologies created in America are pushing what people think is possible and helping solve climate change
  • how women are making these technologies happen in towns, cities, organization, and businesses across America

The New American Road Trip Unsung Heroes videos show that despite lacking support from the federal government, climate action – in the form of renewable energy, clean transport and urban interventions – are already a reality in America. They improve the lives of millions of people by creating good and lasting jobs, reliable and affordable electricity, reducing costs and improving air quality. For these reasons, support for them cuts through the unproductive and ill informed political polarization around climate change, but regardless of anyone’s views, they create all those benefits while helping mitigate climate change.

The New American Road Trip: The Road So Far

The New American Road Trip is a cross-country trip to find and tell the stories of America's climate heroes — the folks who are taking logical, simple steps to support jobs, communities, and a sustainable energy future. Follow along for our #UnsungClimateHeroes series profiling these smart choices.

Posted by New American Road Trip on Friday, November 16, 2018

 

To date, the Unsung Climate Heroes Videos have received over 439K video views, for a total of 156K minutes, and engagement from 12K people in the form of reactions, comments, and shares.

Below you can explore all of the Unsung Climate Heroes Videos, highlighting folks all across America, with diverse backgrounds, viewpoints, and climate projects: 

 

Unsung Climate Heroes: The People of Greensburg, Kansas

“What does the next generation do with this little town that rebuilt in a whole different way?”When the town of Greensburg was leveled by a tornado in 2007, the community made the choice to rebuild stronger. This small town's roots in agriculture made sustainability easy to adopt — many eco-friendly choices were commonsense practices they'd been doing all along. The people of Greensburg came together to prove that clean energy and sustainability make economic sense and build stronger communities. "Going green" isn't about ideology — it's about people. We’re happy to call the people of Greensburg America’s Unsung Climate Heroes. The town that they rebuilt from the ground up will be a legacy of community effort and smart decisions for generations to come. The New American Road Trip is profiling Unsung Heroes of Climate Change on our cross-country journey from San Francisco to New York. These local leaders, innovators, workers, and communities are proving that America's commitment to fighting climate change is real, is robust, and is going to move us forward to a cleaner and healthier future. Climate change isn't a problem only Washington can solve and it isn't a fight only the biggest celebrities can lead. Here in America, the tide of climate change will be turned in small towns. Follow our #UnsungClimateHeroes profile series to meet more folks who are fighting for our future.

Posted by New American Road Trip on Thursday, October 4, 2018

THE PEOPLE OF GREENSBURG, KANSAS: When the town of Greensburg was leveled by a tornado in 2007, the community made the choice to rebuild stronger. This small town’s roots in agriculture made sustainability easy to adopt — many eco-friendly choices were commonsense practices they’d been doing all along. The town that they rebuilt from the ground up will be a legacy of community effort and smart decisions for generations to come.

 

Unsung Climate Heroes: Moapa Band of Paiutes

"I think it's what our ancestors would have wanted to see."The first solar project on tribal land came after years of negative health effects caused by a nearby coal plant. After successfully camapaigning to shut down the plant, Greg Anderson and the Moapa Band of Paiutes opened First Solar, which provides renewable energy and benefits the tribe. We’re happy to call Greg and the Moapa Band of Paiutes America’s Unsung Climate Heroes. The town that they rebuilt from the ground up will be a legacy of community effort and smart decisions for generations to come. The New American Road Trip is profiling Unsung Heroes of Climate Change on our cross-country journey from San Francisco to New York. These local leaders, innovators, workers, and communities are proving that America's commitment to fighting climate change is real, is robust, and is going to move us forward to a cleaner and healthier future. Climate change isn't a problem only Washington can solve and it isn't a fight only the biggest celebrities can lead. Here in America, the tide of climate change will be turned in small towns. Follow our #UnsungClimateHeroes profile series to meet more folks who are fighting for our future.

Posted by New American Road Trip on Thursday, November 8, 2018

CHAIRMAN GREG ANDERSON OF THE MOAPA BAND OF THE PAIUTE TRIBE: The first solar project on tribal land came after years of negative health effects caused by a nearby coal plant. After successfully campaigning to shut down the plant, Greg Anderson and the Moapa Band of Paiutes opened First Solar, which provides renewable energy and benefits the tribe.

 

Unsung Climate Heroes: Brittney Swinerton & Team

“The backbone of this project and every project like it is the everyday, hard-working people.” Brittney Hadley and the workers at Swinerton Renewable energy are building a resilient, sustainable energy future just by showing up to work. The fact that this close-knit solar field team comes from so many different backgrounds strengthens their community and their experience on the job. ​We’re happy to call Brittney Hadley in Boulder City America’s Unsung Climate Heroes. The solar fields they work on will be able to power the cities of the future in a way that uses, not abuses, the natural resources at our disposal. ​The New American Road Trip is profiling Unsung Heroes of Climate Change on our cross-country journey from San Francisco to New York. These local leaders, innovators, workers, and communities are proving that America's commitment to fighting climate change is real, is robust, and is going to move us forward to a cleaner and healthier future. Climate change isn't a problem only Washington can solve and it isn't a fight only the biggest celebrities can lead. Here in America, the tide of climate change will be turned in small towns. Follow our #UnsungClimateHeroes profile series to meet more folks who are fighting for our future.

Posted by New American Road Trip on Friday, September 28, 2018

BRITTNEY HADLEY OF SWINERTON RENEWABLE ENERGY: The workers at Swinerton Renewable energy are building a resilient, sustainable energy future just by showing up to work. The fact that this close-knit solar field team comes from so many different backgrounds strengthens their community and their experience on the job. The solar fields they work on will be able to power the cities of the future in a way that uses, not abuses, the natural resources at our disposal.

 

Unsung Climate Heroes: Richard Birt, Las Vegas Fire Chief

"If we can build a network of renewable energy, we're looking at a whole different way of saving people." Richard Birt's experience in emergency response gives him a unique perspective on how renewable energy makes cities resilient. His work in emergency response in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria created renewable energy generators when traditional generators failed. We're proud to call Richard Birt one of our Unsung Climate Heroes. His work bringing resilience after a disaster to communities in Puerto Rico and the mainland alike show how renewable energy can solve multiple problems at once while furnishing us for a healthier future. The New American Road Trip is profiling Unsung Heroes of Climate Change on our cross-country journey from San Francisco to New York. These local leaders, innovators, workers, and communities are proving that America's commitment to fighting climate change is real, is robust, and is going to move us forward to a cleaner and healthier future. Climate change isn't a problem only Washington can solve and it isn't a fight only the biggest celebrities can lead. Here in America, the tide of climate change will be turned in small towns. Follow our #UnsungClimateHeroes profile series to meet more folks who are fighting for our future.

Posted by New American Road Trip on Thursday, September 20, 2018

LAS VEGAS FIRE CHIEF RICHARD BIRTRichard Birt’s experience in emergency response gives him a unique perspective on how renewable energy makes cities resilient. His work in emergency response in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria created renewable energy generators when traditional generators failed. His work bringing resilience after a disaster to communities in Puerto Rico and the mainland alike demonstrate how renewable energy can solve multiple problems at once while furnishing us for a healthier future.

 

Unsung Climate Heroes: The Workers of BYD

“I see a lot of people come here every day, drop off applications, and now getting hired.” BYD’s Lancaster, CA facility is the largest manufacturer of electric buses in the world. With nearly 1,000 employees, the company is responsible for a 25% increase in annual revenue for the City of Lancaster and 35% local job growth — and those are union jobs, with a strong commitment to hiring equitably. We’re happy to call the workers at BYD America’s Unsung Climate Heroes. By showing up every day to make electric buses for use in cities across the world, these workers are creating a positive local and international impact. The New American Road Trip is profiling Unsung Heroes of Climate Change on our cross-country journey from San Francisco to New York. These local leaders, innovators, workers, and communities are proving that America's commitment to fighting climate change is real, is robust, and is going to move us forward to a cleaner and healthier future. Climate change isn't a problem only Washington can solve and it isn't a fight only the biggest celebrities can lead. Here in America, the tide of climate change will be turned in small towns. Follow our #UnsungClimateHeroes profile series to meet more folks who are fighting for our future.

Posted by New American Road Trip on Wednesday, September 19, 2018

BYD ELECTRIC BUS FACTORY: BYD’s Lancaster, CA facility is the largest manufacturer of electric buses in the world. With nearly 1,000 employees, the company is responsible for a 25% increase in annual revenue for the City of Lancaster and 35% local job growth — and those are union jobs, with a strong commitment to hiring equitably. By showing up every day to make electric buses for use in cities across the world, these workers are creating a positive local and international impact. 

 

Unsung Climate Heroes: Christopher Cabaldon

"It’s good economics.It’s good community.It’s good social equity.It’s good neighborhood revitalization." – Mayor Chris Cabaldon on making West Sacramento green. Mayor Cabaldon has made his small town a leader in the equitable fight against climate change. While advancing affordable homes near transit; age-friendly, car-free transportation; and cleaner waterways, Mayor Cabaldon is making West Sacramento a model for advancing sustainability for small towns across America. We're happy to call Mayor Christopher Cabaldon one of our Unsung Heroes of Climate change for championing West Sacramento's people, economy, and natural places. The New American Road Trip is profiling Unsung Heroes of Climate Change on our cross-country journey from San Francisco to New York. These local leaders, innovators, workers, and communities are proving that America's commitment to fighting climate change is real, is robust, and is going to move us forward to a cleaner and healthier future. Climate change isn't a problem only Washington can solve and it isn't a fight only the biggest celebrities can lead. Here in America, the tide of climate change will be turned in small towns. Follow our #UnsungClimateHeroes profile series to meet more folks who are fighting for our future.

Posted by New American Road Trip on Monday, September 17, 2018

MAYOR OF WEST SACRAMENTO: Mayor Cabaldon has made his small town a leader in the equitable fight against climate change. While advancing affordable homes near transit; age-friendly, car-free transportation; and cleaner waterways, Mayor Cabaldon is making West Sacramento a model for advancing sustainability for small towns across America.

 

Unsung Climate Heroes: Serenity Soular

"There is hope."Ky Sanders and the team and Serenity Soular are bringing green economy jobs to Philadelphia, and bringing hope to their community. Sustainable jobs with a growing future break the cycle of unemployment and under-employment that affects families and communities in the area.We’re happy to call Ky and her team America’s Unsung Climate Heroes. The wind turbines they work on will be able to power the cities of the future in a way that uses, not abuses, the natural resources at our disposal. ​The New American Road Trip is profiling Unsung Heroes of Climate Change on our cross-country journey from San Francisco to New York. These local leaders, innovators, workers, and communities are proving that America's commitment to fighting climate change is real, is robust, and is going to move us forward to a cleaner and healthier future. Climate change isn't a problem only Washington can solve and it isn't a fight only the biggest celebrities can lead. Here in America, the tide of climate change will be turned in small towns. Follow our #UnsungClimateHeroes profile series to meet more folks who are fighting for our future.

Posted by New American Road Trip on Monday, November 12, 2018

KY SANDERS OF SERENITY SOULAR: Ky Sanders and the team and Serenity Soular are bringing green economy jobs to Philadelphia, and bringing hope to their community. Sustainable jobs with a growing future break the cycle of unemployment and under-employment that affects families and communities in the area.

 

Unsung Climate Heroes: Erin Baker & Team

"The two fastest-growing jobs in the US right now are wind turbine techs and solar technicians."Erin Baker works on a wind farm in Hoopeston, IL, in one of the fastest-growing jobs in the U.S. By "harvesting the wind" — taking a free resource and using it to power our communities — Erin and her team at Apex Clean Energy are building America's clean energy future. Each turbine can power up to 400 homes. We’re happy to call Erin and her team America’s Unsung Climate Heroes. The wind turbines they work on will be able to power the cities of the future in a way that uses, not abuses, the natural resources at our disposal. ​The New American Road Trip is profiling Unsung Heroes of Climate Change on our cross-country journey from San Francisco to New York. These local leaders, innovators, workers, and communities are proving that America's commitment to fighting climate change is real, is robust, and is going to move us forward to a cleaner and healthier future. Climate change isn't a problem only Washington can solve and it isn't a fight only the biggest celebrities can lead. Here in America, the tide of climate change will be turned in small towns. Follow our #UnsungClimateHeroes profile series to meet more folks who are fighting for our future.

Posted by New American Road Trip on Wednesday, October 24, 2018

ERIN BAKER OF HOOPESTON WIND PROJECT: Erin Baker works on a wind farm in Hoopeston, IL, in one of the fastest-growing jobs in the U.S. By “harvesting the wind”–taking a free resource and using it to power our communities–Erin and her team at Apex Clean Energy are building America’s clean energy future. Each turbine can power up to 400 homes.

 


You can view and share all of the Unsung Climate Heroes videos here, on Facebook.