Your roots can influence many things in life: Your home. Your friends. Your values.

As part of our continuing series with The New York Times, today we feature a video and article on Traci Phillips, whose Native American roots inspired her entrepreneurial career path. Part Osage and Cherokee Indian, Phillips is trying to protect the earth from the hazards of electronic waste – discarded computers, printers and other devices that are laden with toxins and clog landfills. “My tribe many years ago believed we had a responsibility,” says Phillips, who founded her recycling company, Natural Evolution, in 2001.

We liked how Phillips left the corporate world, where she sold copiers and managed tech projects, to start a business with an environmental mission. “I used to make a lot more money, but I didn’t feel like I contributed anything,” she told us. Now, “I get to get up every day and protect our Mother Earth.”

Watch the video and read her full story here or as featured in the Times here. And if you’d like to share your own inspiring startup story, be a part of our 1,000 Stories campaign and use this form  to tell us about your accomplishments and challenges.