Researchers at Yale have officially discovered what a lot of us already know – people don’t fully understand climate change or how their day to day decisions affect the status of our climate. The problem with not understanding climate change is that it is hard to quantify just how good or bad our actions are. Does your commute to work melt an ice cap? Do you know how you compare to the people in your neighborhood when it comes to either destroying or sustaining our planet?
There is a new way to find out just how your decisions are contributing to rising global temperatures, disruption of food production, and many of the other things linked to the way we spend our time and money – and linked to the health of our Earth.
The Oroeco app is designed to inform and inspire people by analyzing every day decisions against other users and national averages to give you a score that represents just how much of an impact you are making. The app is designed to link directly to a Mint.com account and compares spending and investment information – what they call “real world data” – with scientific data based on what it takes to produce products and the impact that their use and production has on the planet.
I logged into Oroeco for the first time on Earth Day. It seemed fitting to analyze my own spending and habits on a day dedicated to raising awareness giving back and taking less. The app took my spending data from Mint.com, an app I already had set –up to track my spending, and charted my transportation, living, eating, shopping, recreation and business spending against my neighborhood averages and national averages. After all the number crunching I was “awarded” my Carbon Dioxide Equivalent, CO2e, – the quantified representation of my actions on the planet. The result? I’ve got some work to do.
I am fairly informed person when it comes to climate, I think. I recycle, plant sustainable gardens and take care of backyard chickens. I know how to shop and what corporations to stay away from when it comes to every day purchases. I walk whenever I can, live in a 500 square foot house and do my part. Or do I? The Oroeco app immediately challenged me to reevaluate and analyze where my spending and investments are doing more harm than good when it returned a total impact CO2e score of 5,200, which is nearly 2,000 points higher than the average for my zip code. The category where I have accumulated the most points is the “Other” category which includes credit card payments and donations to charity. Excuse the Earth Day pun, but I think it is something I really need to dig into.
Partners for the Oroeco app include Al Gore and Pharrell Williams’ Live Earth concert series. The app capabilities will include comparisons with friends and challenges that could earn points redeemable for “real world deals” and prizes like Nest thermostats and cash.
Seeing my actual CO2e score challenged me and I challenge you to download the app and see what you think. Share your score with us @StarterNoise using #ClimateGame and what you aim to change.