Climate change is real. We've seen its consequences play out in the form of extreme weather, delayed rains, and weak harvests for our farming families. As part of our periodic series on entrepreneurs making the world a better place, we sat down with Cameron Bruns of ClimateStore to hear her thoughts on how conscious consumers can make their lifestyle and shopping habits a little greener.
What makes you passionate about climate change?
Climate change is the single most important issue facing the world today. Though there are plenty of other problems around the globe that need to be addressed, many are directly impacted, and worsened, by climate change. I strongly believe that there is still time to make a difference, but we need to act fast. While activists and policy makers do their part, consumers also have the ability to make dramatic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, particularly here in the United States. I am passionate about spreading this message and sharing ways that we can all reduce our impact and become smarter, savvier, and more responsible consumers.
What do you say to climate change skeptics?
One of my favorite political cartoons says best what I try to express to climate change skeptics:
Honestly, I don’t meet very many climate change skeptics. Thankfully, more and more people areon board with addressing climate change.
Tell us a bit about the ClimateStore! How did you get your start? What are some of the challenges you've faced?
ClimateStore.com sells products that reduce people’s carbon footprints. We are a one-stop shop for energy efficiency, cool solar gadgets, and eco alternatives for other home goods like kitchenware, decor, and toys! We also provide the latest climate science in easily digestible posts on our learn pages and our blog. Additionally we share carbon-lowering and green living tips so that customers can make their own personal action plans at home.
Climate change is a big issue, so our biggest challenge is getting the word out. Though we’re a small team at ClimateStore, we’re trying to reach as many people as possible to show them all the ways they can live green and shop with the climate in mind.
To further our mission, we’re currently running a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to help expand our offerings. Between now and June 19, we hope to raise $100,000 to provide more great, carbon lowering products to people around the country.
Please support our efforts by taking a moment to view + share our #KickCarbon campaign.
It can be daunting for consumers to figure out which products are beneficial or harmful for the environment. What tips do you have for reducing your carbon footprint while you shop?
It is very tricky to sort through all of the greenwashing, read labels, analyze prices, and oh yeah, live a life! This is the whole reason ClimateStore was founded - we thoroughly vet each supplier and clearly outline environmental benefits of each product we sell on our website. This means there’s no guess work about where products come from or if they work. Our ultimate goal is to make shopping with the climate in mind FUN and EASY.
Besides shopping at ClimateStore, there are a few other things I like to do to keep my impact minimal while making purchases. First, I always ask myself, is this something I really need (or can’t stop thinking about)? Reducing overconsumption is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and save yourself a bit of money.
When it comes to clothing or home decor, I always refer to this handy little chart from the Story of Stuff:
What else can the average person do to help in the fight against climate change?
Vote. Knowing your candidates/issues and how they will impact the climate, and voting with this knowledge, is the key to change.
Talk about it! You’d be surprised how much you learn from other people around you. I’ve gotten so many great green living ideas from friends, family, and fellow bloggers.
Cameron Bruns is a sustainable product buyer at ClimateStore.com, co-founder of Just Us Gals and Boston Green Blog. Follow Climate store on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date with their indiegogo campaign and the latest sustainable products.