San Francisco, CA – April 22, 2014 – The dire UN IPCC reports have put climate change back in the spotlight, a recent Pew survey of 39 countries found climate change is now considered the top threat to global security (ahead of terrorism and nuclear proliferation), and 72% of Americans now believe that extreme weather events like storms, floods, droughts and wildfires are made worse by a warming globe. Although 65% of Americans now consider climate change a “serious” problem, emissions keep rising while solutions remain mired in political inaction.
Many frustrated citizens want to take climate into their own hands, but it’s hard to know where to start. Is there any good news? Enter Oroeco.com, the tech industry’s answer to our climate crisis.
“The basic idea is that every dollar we spend impacts our climate,” says Oroeco’s CEO, Ian Monroe, who also teaches courses on climate change and renewable energy at Stanford University. “The problem is that we can’t see these impacts when we’re deciding what to buy, particularly now that global supply chains have shifted problems half a world away. We are building a tool that automatically connects your purchase data (via Mint.com) to scientific climate impact data. So you can track the climate footprint of your groceries, gas, airfare, home energy, clothing, etc. We’re also integrating with Facebook, so you’ll be able to see how you compare with your friends, as well as earn points and prizes for improving.”
“Oroeco’s goal is to re-incentivize the global economy for sustainability by automatically tracking how our personal values connect to our everyday decisions,” says Monroe. “Most of us want to the right thing when we know the facts. It’s all about putting information and incentives in the right places. Social games are a powerful tool, since we care most about what our friends and family think of us, and we want to be seen as ‘good’ people in our social circles. We’re starting with climate, then we’ll add a wide range of other environmental, societal, and personal health impact indicators, as well as enhancing our gaming and rewards offerings.”
“What’s great is that many actions that improve climate also save a lot of money,” says Oroeco’s CTO, Kirstin Cummings. “And these actions often also have other health and societal benefits. For example, eating red meat one day less per week improves your personal climate footprint more than eating all local or driving a Prius; less red meat also saves cash, reduces your likelihood of getting heart disease and many cancers, and reduces impacts on land, water, and biodiversity.”
“Solving climate change is a daunting task, but we collectively have the power to do it – particularly since the problem is largely caused by companies that make goods and services we all pay for. So once we start shifting our money towards more sustainable options, and encouraging our all friends to do the same, companies will be quick to follow.”
About Oroeco: Oroeco.com is the first web and mobile service that automatically tracks environmental impacts of purchases and investments. Oroeco has leaders in academia, technology and industry amongst its advisors, and the Oroeco team consists of a crew of scientists, engineers, sustainability geeks, and startup vets from Stanford, MIT, Harvard and UC Berkeley.