Waking up to a new climate consciousness
Jacob Lowe

Published ● 4 min read

Waking up to a new climate consciousness

Journey to a new climate consciousness

I am not sure about you, but I have a mission statement for life. I created one a few years back when hearing a talk from Jeff Weiner at Headspace when I worked there. It was an exciting concept because it was a very general statement that could make it super simple to decisions. I was looking for a job recently, and I could ask myself this question. Does this new job follow my mission statement? If no, I could immediately say no. My mission statement at the time of writing this is as follows:

To increase access to new experiences around the world.

This statement may seem vague, and that is on purpose. I wanted enough specificity to make it easy to make a decision but not so specific that I would be limited. I think of travel, the outdoors, adventure, and preservation when I hear this statement. Preservation since if the experience goes away, no one can access it. We are in a climate crisis, and some experiences are becoming extinct.

While looking for a new job at the beginning of this year, I wanted to use my skill sets to help fight climate change. I stumbled on a job post for an app called Commons. Commons was super interesting to me for several reasons, but one huge one was that I wanted to figure out how well I was doing regarding my carbon emission. I felt I was doing well but did not know how to tell. The app gave me a lot of new information and made it super easy to see my environmental impact. I applied for the job, and I am now working at Commons.

Commons: Practical tools to build a more sustainable life.

Commons screen shots

Commons calculates your emissions based on prior transactions. Is it perfect? No. Does it open a window into your environmental impact? Yes. I have been using the app for a while now. I hooked up my credit cards to the application and watched in horror at the impact of some of my past purchases. You can follow me on Commons to see my progress.

In addition to tracking your transactions, Commons also sends emails with tips on reducing your carbon emissions and a “Practice” tab that provides ideas on making more significant changes in your life to make it more sustainable. This feature allows users to take meaningful steps toward being more climate consciousness beyond just tracking their emissions.

Opening my eyes to my impact

Since starting work at Commons, I can see why climate change is so complicated. I had some ideas, but after seeing the emissions from my transactions it was clearer where I stood, and it was not excellent.

Climate conscious?

This mindset came up in a conversation with Sanchali Pal, the CEO of Commons, and it makes total sense. Here is how I define it.

Climate consciousness is the awareness of the relationship with your environment and how your decisions impact that relationship.

Talking about mental health was unheard of just a decade ago, and climate consciousness is another form of wellness that I am starting to wake up to. When I go camping, I think of the phrase, “leave it better than when you found it.” Being climate conscious adds this idea to my life and not just going out on a camping trip. I have a lot to learn on my path to live more sustainably.

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been making a more significant effort to change my lifestyle to be more environmentally friendly. I started by reducing my meat consumption and buying more locally sourced produce. I also began walking places instead of driving, which has reduced my carbon emissions and improved my physical fitness and mental health. Making these changes has not only benefited the environment but has also been making my life better overall. I made this blog post, to announce my new job, but also as a heads up that I will be writing more about my journey to a more sustainable life. I hope you will join me on this journey.

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