Heroes

They're called 'pollinators,' but they're not bees. They're people. And they're heroes.

"With challenge comes opportunity." That pretty much sums up the way we should look at climate change, doesn't it? If we focus on making changes instead of just talking about the problem — which can make it feel so overwhelming that it's easy to shut down and ignore it — we'll see good things happen. Here are nine great independent stories from around the globe that will give you hope. I'd never heard of a single one of these. Finally, a feel-good video about climate change!

They're called 'pollinators,' but they're not bees. They're people. And they're heroes.
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Unilever and the United Nations

Here's an overview of the stories in the video (and where you can find them). But don't rely on my short summaries. These are really cool in-depth stories about people and the interesting, good things they're doing.

India, 1:21


A social business called Pollinate Energy is bringing solar energy to some of the 390 million people in India who have no access to electricity. The solar lanterns are a pretty neat looking solution to a big problem.

Ghana, 3:32

Green entrepreneurship in Ghana is being led by women. The bamboo bikes initiative is building cleaner transportation — and careers for women. (Bamboo bikes!)

Australia, 5:26

1 Million Women is an organization that inspires women to save energy, cut pollution, and reduce waste. 'Cause little actions in our daily lives have real outcomes. I love their honesty about the privilege they have in life and what they can do with it.

Bangladesh, 7:54

ActionAid International works from the ground up to help locals solve problems caused by climate change. The women in a village found a way to protect rice farming and carried out the necessary actions. I'll just mention how positive I think it is that women are banding together to come up with — and execute — solutions to problems that could otherwise be devastating.

Kenya, 9:43

Women living in the arid northern part of Kenya are working with the BOMA Project to adapt to climate change by earning an income from small businesses they're starting. The savings allows them to make it through droughts. In two years, they can double their earnings.

Ghana, 11:47

The Recycle Not A Waste Initiative employs disadvantaged people in poor urban communities to turn recyclable waste into eco-friendly goods. The beads made from cassette tapes are incredible.

Mexico, 14:09

The Mexican government partnered with international development banks. They encourage builders to design homes that decrease carbon footprints.

Philippines, 16:30

The Sustainable Energy Finance Program teaches banks about clean energy and encourages them to lend to sustainable energy projects.

China, 18:20

The country has a national climate fund that supports efforts to deal with climate change.

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
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This story was originally shared on Capital One.

Inside the walls of her kitchen at her childhood home in Guatemala, Evelyn Klohr, the founder of a Washington, D.C.-area bakery called Kakeshionista, was taught a lesson that remains central to her business operations today.

"Baking cakes gave me the confidence to believe in my own brand and now I put my heart into giving my customers something they'll enjoy eating," Klohr said.

While driven to launch her own baking business, pursuing a dream in the culinary arts was economically challenging for Klohr. In the United States, culinary schools can open doors to future careers, but the cost of entry can be upwards of $36,000 a year.

Through a friend, Klohr learned about La Cocina VA, a nonprofit dedicated to providing job training and entrepreneurship development services at a training facility in the Washington, D.C-area.

La Cocina VA's, which translates to "the kitchen" in Spanish, offers its Bilingual Culinary Training program to prepare low-and moderate-income individuals from diverse backgrounds to launch careers in the food industry.

That program gave Klohr the ability to fully immerse herself in the baking industry within a professional kitchen facility and receive training in an array of subjects including culinary skills, food safety, career development and English language classes.

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Vanna White appeared on "The Price Is Right" in 1980.

Vanna White has been a household name in the United States for decades, which is kind of hilarious when you consider how she gained her fame and fortune. Since 1982, the former model and actress has made millions walking back and forth turning letters (and later simply touching them—yay technology) on the game show "Wheel of Fortune."

That's it. Walking back and forth in a pretty evening gown, flipping letters and clapping for contestants. More on that job in a minute…

As a member of Gen X, television game shows like "Wheel of Fortune" and "The Price is Right" send me straight back to my childhood. Watching this clip from 1980 of Vanna White competing on "The Price is Right" two years before she started turning letters on "Wheel of Fortune" is like stepping into a time machine. Bob Barker's voice, the theme music, the sound effects—I swear I'm home from school sick, lying on the ugly flowered couch with my mom checking my forehead and bringing me Tang.

This video has it all: the early '80s hairstyles, a fresh-faced Vanna White and Bob Barker's casual sexism that would never in a million years fly today.

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