While the federal government sweep climate change under the rug, California leads the way.

The environment has taken a beating in our country the past two years, as the Trump administration has rolled back environmental protections and made clear that the U.S. will withdraw from the first international agreement to curb climate change.

But that doesn't mean nothing is being done. California announced that it has reached its greenhouse emissions reduction goals far ahead of schedule, surpassing the target planned for 2020 in the summer of 2018 — even as the state's economy has grown. These current levels of emissions haven't been seen since 1990.

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Heroes

Waking up for school (or waking children up for school) is an experience few would describe as pleasant.

Sleepy students, harried adults, and a mad rush to get to the car or bus stop before the sun comes up is the perfect storm for a frazzled, unproductive morning.

Photo by Ringo Chuiu/AFP/Getty Images.

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If a stranger said they'd give you $5 every time you take the bus instead of driving, would you?

You're probably going to burn a couple dollars worth of gas stuck in this traffic jam anyway. Photo from iStock.

What about a quarter for every time you bring your own water bottle, instead of reaching for a disposable one?

And do you think they'd want a receipt? Photo from iStock.

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Heroes

Rebecca White really didn't enjoy being yelled at all day.

In her job as a telephone support representative for a bank, White — a Louisville, Kentucky, educator — had to contend with abusive colleagues, monotony, and patchy training that left her baffled by customer questions she was often unable to answer.

It was a job she felt she had to take. Struggling through a series of part-time teaching gigs left her with inadequate care for her diabetes and kidney problems. Relying on Planned Parenthood and other free or low-cost clinics for basic treatment was not working anymore. The job offered her health insurance — even as it left her glued to her chair for hours at a time, exacerbating her medical issues.

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