Apart from building gorgeous homes for families across North America with a number of their HGTV shows, the Property Brothers are also known for their philanthropic efforts, including widespread charitable causes and fundraising campaigns. But while the twins continuously give back, Jonathan Scott is now looking to raise awareness with his powerful directorial debut premiering Monday, Nov. 16, as part of the documentary series, Independent Lens on PBS. Journeying across the U.S. to uncover why clean, renewable energy isn't available to all, Jonathan Scott's Power Trip illuminates the obstacles and opportunities when assembling a system that offers a comprehensive choice when it comes to sourcing energy.
Ahead of the documentary's premiere on the public television channel, the solar energy evangelist exclusively shared with PopCulture.com what exactly viewers can do to make a difference in their communities, stating how the battle for energy freedom begins with us. "I put together a very simple breakdown of things people can do if they want to use their voice," Scott said while sharing how viewers can visit powertriptruth.com for an extensive range of tools to aid in their efforts.
Admitting that a lot of it involves "talking to local legislators," the filmmaker further states that while it is exciting to work toward a clean, renewable energy source, it doesn't come without its set of challenges. "At the federal level — there has obviously been a real difficult time convincing the current White House administration that we need to protect the environment. There is a way to do it that's good for the environment, [but] they've rolled back a lot of those protections that were put into place, which were highly counterproductive to the environment and human health," Scott said.
Active steps that many can take start with "having a federal government, which is obviously conscious of the situation," while ensuring the focus is on renewable energy at a state and local level that will inspire cities across the U.S. "There are dozens of cities across the country that have already made it to their 100% renewable target," he said. "So, finding organizations that you align with, who maybe already have some of that political might — maybe they've already formed an action committee, or maybe they already have lawyers and researchers who are volunteering their time to make sure that there are grassroots programs to change legislation."
Scott recommends citizens "find ways" to communicate with local and state legislators and organizations with similar goals. "It's one thing to stand up and use your voice for change, but the only thing I say is stronger than one voice would be two voices and three voices. So, stand together, talk to your friends, have a conversation."
The 42-year-old Canadian, who also voted for the first time in the U.S. election, adds that the film he spent three years working on is not at all partisan or biased, but rather one that works collectively to solve our climate change crisis. "I went out there, and I was discovering this all at the same time, the audience is discovering it — when they watch the film. And I realized it's not just liberals who think that solar is good; it's conservatives as well," Scott said. "The only people I found who were not interested in talking about solar were people who were either attached to large fossil fuel or utility corporations; or people who were lobbyists or politicians that were in the pockets of those organizations. Otherwise, the general public was all on board, and it's something that I wanted to make sure that the film would talk to somebody who had maybe never given solar energy another thought."
Jonathan Scott's Power Trip premieres Monday, Nov. 16 at 10 p.m. ET on PBS; check your local listings. For more information about the documentary and how you can make a difference, head to his official website. To stream the PBS documentary, visit Independent Lens.