They, “Found everything from a 92 year-old caveman, who’s built an entire cave community in the mountains of Idaho, to an electrical engineer working to repower America with solar roadways”;
“The YERTians are coming! The YERTians are coming!”
This is the yell when, on July 4, 2007, Mark Dixon, Ben Evans, and Julie Dingman Evans set out on a year-long Your Environment Road Trip (YERT) from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to all 50 states, seeking answers to the questions: What can Americans do to save the planet? What are they already doing? Why aren’t we all doing more? Is it possible that doing right by the planet is more economical, joyful, and fulfilling than not?
In a hybrid car, with video camera and recording equipment, they set out to document America’s environmental sustainability. Along the way, the YERTians tried to be as environmental friendly as they could. Their tight quarters became tighter when Ben and Julie became pregnant three months into the trip.
They, “Found everything from a 92 year-old caveman, who’s built an entire cave community in the mountains of Idaho, to an electrical engineer working to repower America with solar roadways; from outrageous green personalities like Missouri’s Eco-Elvis and Florida’s Earth Man, to incredible new businesses like New Jersey’s Tom Szaky’s Terracycle, that’s making a mint turning garbage into almost anything; from the utter devastation of Mountain Top Removal coal mining in Appalachia, to the revolutionary agricultural genius of Wes Jackson and the Land Institute in the Kansas heartland”. Check out more videos at YERT.
Although the YERTians did not interview “No-Impact Man“, Colin Beavan and his wife, Michelle Conlin, from Manhattan, New York, their story is interesting. No Impact Man spent a year having as little impact to their environment as possible. They have six guidelines for a low impact life: cut beef out of your diet, give up imported or bottled water, cut out all electricity for one day a week, tithe 1% of your annual income to an environmental non-profit, ride a bicycle or walk two days a week, and turn off your TV three hours less per day.
The Louisiana Bucket Brigade is making industry accountable for their pollution. The Lyon Arboretum of the University of Hawai’i at Manoa collect, preserve, and propagate plant species to reintroduce them in the future. The Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) has “opened roads and minds to cycling, working to promote bicycle use and to improve bicycling conditions through the state of Oregon”.
After a year on the road, over 800 interviews, and 600 hours of footage, the YERTians are producing a feature film. The film was not accepted for the 2010 Sundance Film Festival (there are 10,000 submittals!), but they continue refining the film and are marketing it around. Currently, they submitted the film to the SXSW (South by Southwest) Film Conference and Festival.