The SolarButterfly is focused on reaching millions of people, alerting them to the companies and individuals that are integral in transitioning societies away from fossil fuels toward clean energy technologies. Presently on a four-year journey around the world, the SolarButterfly plans to identify, record, and publicize at least a thousand climate protection pioneers and their solutions.
The tour was initiated by Swiss environmental activist Louis Palmer who 15 years ago was the first person to circle the world in a solar-powered car. The symbol of a butterfly going through its transformation is a metaphor for his message: “While global warming is a big threat for the future of human beings, the solutions actually already exist. We want to show that lots of fantastic clean solutions are available which create jobs and save money! A transition of our society, like a butterfly, is very well possible!”
Since the start of the tour on May 23, 2022, in Geneva, the SolarButterfly has traveled more than 17,000 miles and visited 27 European countries. Nearly 140 projects have been reviewed so far, suggesting that global warming can be stopped. Some projects include a solar-powered vehicle that never needs to connect to the grid to charge its batteries; a fossil fuel-free steel plant; and a group that has produced a search engine, which already has millions of visitors, which provides information on how to reforest our planet.
After a winter break, the SolarButterfly plans to begin again from its hometown of Lucerne, Switzerland in April 3, visiting known pioneers in the U.K.. After that trip, the SolarButterfly will be shipped to Halifax, Canada and continue its travels from there, across the United States and Central America to Panama by the end of the 2023.
Maxon USA, a corporate sponsor of the project will be hosting the SolarButterfly and crew on July 28th at its Taunton, Mass. facility. Local political leaders, schools and the public are invited to attend between 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. During that time, guests will be able to tour the SolarButterfly which is equipped with a uniquely designed large solar panel array that unfolds into giant butterfly wings. It incorporates a kitchen, bathroom, and living room and accommodates a crew of up to five people. The vehicle is the first to be built largely out of Ocean PET — plastic bottles gathered at sea and then processed for reuse. With more than 900 sq-ft of solar panels, the vehicle produces enough energy to travel up to 150 miles per day.
If you are interested in hosting the SolarButterfly, visit solarbutterfly.org to learn more. The crew is presently searching for hosts, such as companies and universities, in 100 cities between Halifax and Panama where it can charge its batteries during the day, meet climate pioneers, and be open to the public.
According to the planned route, the next phase of visits the SolarButterfly will make include five continents finishing in Paris on December 12, 2025, just in time for the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Paris climate agreement.
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