A fifth-generation New Orleanian, John Moore had made up his mind that The Big Easy was behind him. After graduating from Morehouse College in 2005, he settled in Atlanta and had no interest in going back. But Hurricane Katrina gave him a chance to put his experience as an environmental studies fellow at Atlanta's Southface Energy Institute to good use, promoting green building techniques as part of the city’s rebuilding efforts.

Before returning to Louisiana, Moore attended a Greenbuild conference where he heard panelists speak on how designing sustainable buildings would benefit New Orleans. Once he was in New Orleans, seeing the full extent of the destruction that Katrina had caused was enough to make Moore want to stay. He also saw several opportunities to implement Greenbuild ideas and make positive energy change. “In my mind, it was like starting with a blank slate,” he says. “I was aware of the rebuilding that needed to happen.”

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He worked for the New Orleans nonprofit Global Green before he was hired, last April, as the energy and environmental policy analyst for New Orleans’ in the Office of Recovery Management. Moore works with a team to do green upgrades on the city’s infrastructure and to bring more green jobs to the city. For the past eight months, Moore and his team have been working to document the city’s carbon footprint. With that report, they’ll be able to develop a carbon emissions reduction plan for the entire city of New Orleans.

“I knew my mission,” Moore says. “I knew that I had to do it. I had to go back and help rebuild my hometown.”

Take a look at the Green Collar Heroes photo gallery.

Green Collar Hero: Zakiya Harris

Green Collar Hero: Brenda Palms-Barber

Green Collar Hero: Daniell “Danni” Washington

Green Collar Hero: Tony Anderson

Green Collar Hero: LaDonna Redmond

Green Collar Hero: Juan Reynosa

Green Collar Hero: Baye Adofo-Wilson

Green Collar Hero: Kandi Mossett

Green Collar Hero: Karen Monahan