Good, healthy, living-wage jobs. Business opportunities. Local economic growth. Done right, climate solutions—like solar power and energy efficiency—can bring prosperity to our cities and neighborhoods. 


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Read real stories about thriving people, businesses, and communities.

By Maritza Martinez What if you could not only vote for who your representatives are, but also how they legislate? In Brazil and the United Kingdom, you can. And the idea is catching on in cities across the U.S.—including New York, Chicago, and Buffalo. These cities are beginning to incorporate participatory budgeting into some aspects of city management. Participatory budgeting allows community members to make real decisions about how money is spent in their city. In participatory budgeting, residents identify spending priorities, develop specific spending proposals, vote on which proposals to fund, and work with the city to implement the top proposals. The result? A...
Tim Carryer has always loved the outdoors—he’s spent time traveling in Alaska, and scuba diving off the coast of Massachusetts. The pollution and environmental degradation he saw while spending time in nature always disturbed him. But he never really thought of himself as an environmental advocate, until recently. Carryer had worked for years as a high-end remodeler. He saw first hand how much waste occurred in the industry, and wondered if he could do something about it. Around that time, Pennsylvania rolled out its statewide workforce training program, focused on weatherization and energy efficiency. Though the program was nationally recognized,...
Written by: Maritessa Bravo Ares Rain or shine, Jennifer McPike moves swiftly from door to door with a clipboard in hand in some of San Francisco’s underserved and neglected neighborhoods.  As an Environment Now Crew Leader, she and her team are on a mission. Their goal is to reach out to as many San Francisco residents as they can to teach them about the city’s Zero Waste Campaign, an effort to reduce waste heading to landfills while increasing access to recycling and composting.  Jennifer’s job is more than just making sure she and her crew target every home on her list.  It’s...
By Karen Monahan, Green For All Fellow and Environmental Justice Organizer at Sierra Club Environmental Justice issues are linked to many other injustices. Polluting industries are more likely to be located in communities of color and low-income communities. Folks who are impacted by these pollution sites often suffer from many illnesses, including asthma. Asthma is the number one reason students miss school. Link that to test scores and drop out rates. Many of these same folks do not have healthcare. Folks still have to eat and have shelter regardless of whether or not they have an education. When one doesn’t...
In 2005, when Hurricane Katrina hit, Kareem Dale was working in Houston as a project manager for a construction company. It was a good job, but he sometimes wondered if there was something else out there—something more gratifying. Then Hurricane Katrina hit. News reports about the devastation in New Orleans struck him deeply, and he knew he needed to do something to help. So he packed his bags, quit his job, and headed to Louisiana to see what he could do. “My first reaction was, ‘what can I do?’” he says. “Then I got there. I saw the level of...
  Written by: Kaori Tsukada, Program Associate When Andrew Butcher saw vacant lots, he also saw the potential to make them the heart of a community revitalization strategy. Vacant lots are empty parcels of land that pose a number of challenges – the appearance of disuse can attract illegal dumping, decrease property values in the surrounding area, and lead to general disrepair as well as significant costs for both neighbors and the municipality. In urban areas that house disadvantaged populations, lack of resources can lead to more vacant lots and blight designation. Andrew, 32, first came to Pittsburgh from Boulder,...
By Maritza Martinez Green For All Fellow Hakim Cunningham feels that “service work is one of the highest calling a man can undertake in his lifetime.”  He is the director of organizing at the Boston Workers Alliance, a community organization led by unemployed and underemployed workers fighting for employment rights. Boston Workers Alliance addresses one of the nation’s most grim federal government statistics – one out of every six black men has served time behind bars. The organization provides judgment-free services to help members understand their rights and navigate the process for keeping their criminal histories from inhibiting the job search...
By Kaori Tsukada Nate Dais never imagined that he’d be designing and constructing park trails—or that he’d enjoy it so much. A few years ago, he was working at a job that didn’t pay enough, and when the economic downturn came, he hit a wall; there were no jobs available. With no way out, he did what he had to do to make ends meet. When he heard about a training program his cousin was doing, it opened a door. Dais knew he wanted to transform his life. Dais took a number of tests and was admitted to the Breaking...
Disponible en español. Available in Spanish Amery Romero’s family has lived in Truchas, New Mexico for generations. Since the 1600s, they’ve farmed and raised cattle in the area. But over the past few decades, more and more of Truchas’ residents have streamed out of the town, leaving to work at the nearby Los Alamos National Laboratory, or heading to Santa Fe in search of jobs. And life in Truchas has gotten tougher. Today, there are almost no real opportunities to make a living in the town. And prospects aren’t much better even when you leave. At 23 years old, Romero...
By Maritza Martinez Disponible en español. Available in Spanish. There’s a lot of talk about community resilience, but what does it really mean?  How can we make sure our communities are ready to survive—not only in the face of disasters wrought by climate change, but during economic downturns and whatever else may come our way? Green For All Fellow Naomi Davis has a solution that she calls “green village-building.” She defines it, at least in part, as having a walk-able community, with everything we need within one mile of where we live.  This vision does not include big box stores—she wants...