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HOW TO: become Climate Neutral

Wash with Water is proud to announce it has committed to become Climate Neutral Certified. This marks another unprecedented milestone for the brand as the first bath time family brand to commit to Climate Neutral Certification. The company will be working with Climate Neutral, an independent non-profit organization that helps companies measure their carbon footprint, offset it in its entirety by purchasing quality carbon credits, and reduce emissions moving forward.
For anyone new to Climate Neutral and yourself, can you give us a quick intro and the incredible work you all are doing at Climate Neutral? 
I'm Caitlin Drown and I'm the Brand Engagement Manager at Climate Neutral. We're an independent nonprofit organization creating a trusted consumer standard of carbon neutrality. We have an annual certification process for companies that measure and offset their entire carbon footprint, while getting to work on reducing their future emissions. We're working with more than 300 brands this spring to become Climate Neutral Certified. Our product label helps consumers identify and support brands that are taking real action on climate change. 

Have you always felt so deeply connected towards doing good for the planet or was there a particular "a ha" moment that lead you on this path?
I grew up on Cape Cod, so I've always had a deep connection to nature. I remember in third grade my mom was talking about climate change and I couldn't understand how we could know we were hurting the planet, but still didn't do anything about it. I've tried to lean into that very black and white thinking that I had as a child - we know our reliance on fossil fuels is harming our planet, so we need to take action now. Full stop.
The climate discussion is a complex and often times scary topic for so many, how do you break it down for those really curious beginners trying to wrap their heads around the topic? 
This is actually one of my favorite (and probably most challenging) parts of my job! I've done a ton of research to better understand why it's so hard for us to wrap our heads around climate change and what's preventing us from taking action. I try to explain in as simple and relatable terms as possible, starting with climate change actually is and how humans are contributing to it. It may sound odd, but sometimes reading through educational materials for children is the best way to get a solid understanding of what climate change is! From there, you can really understand the ins and outs of climate and begin to take action.

Are there any things right at home that families can do today to start becoming a climate neutral household?
There are tons of ways to reduce your own personal carbon footprint. Eat less meat, choose climate-friendly modes of transportation, switch to renewable energy, the list is endless! Look for the Climate Neutral Certified label every time you shop and thank brands for becoming Climate Neutral. Also, don't forget to use your voice. Companies listen when consumers talk, and if we all push companies to measure, offset, and reduce their emissions each and every year. The average American's carbon footprint is about 24 tonnes, but if you push a company to become certified, you can have a monumental impact - tens of thousands of tonnes. 

Do you have any apps, books, or social media pages that you love as climate resources?
I really enjoyed Don't Even Think About It: Why Our Brains are Wired to Ignore Climate Change to get a better understanding of why it's hard for us to take action on climate change. Intersectional Environmentalism is a great resource to understand why climate change is also a social justice issue. This one's probably a bit unexpected, but the Our Planet series on Netflix is a really moving series that shows how climate change is impacting our planet right now and really pushes immediate action. If you're looking to understand your own personal carbon footprint, I recommend downloading Joro - the app calculates your footprint based off your purchases, and allows you to offset it, all in one place. 

Who inspires you when it comes to doing good for the planet?
Honestly, so, so many people! If I have to pick one person, I'd have to choose Rachel Carson because she's always been a huge inspiration for me. She focused on facts and urgency, and was resolute in her work even when she was dismissed by so many people. 

Many times, climate discussions sound apocalyptic, where do you lean into the positive? 
I won't lie, there are moments when I feel incredibly defeated. But, as time goes on, those moments are becoming less common, and my job is a big reason for that. We were just an idea two and a half years ago and we're a team of four, yet we've had more than 300 leading brands from around the world sign on. I believe we're witnessing a watershed moment and companies across industries will really step up into a leadership role when it comes to climate action. 

What are some things that we can look forward to from Climate Neutral this year? 
We're really excited to continue growing our network of brands. We're only in our second year of certifications, but have more than 300 brands getting certified this spring. We'll also be launching more events and programming for our brands and the public. We want to be more than just an annual certification for brands - we're focused on building a movement of passionate consumers and brands dedicated to tackling climate change.

The washie community loves discovering new brands- any Climate Neutral Certified or committed brands that you are currently crushing on? 
This is a tough question because we have so many amazing brands! I recently moved to Colorado and I don't think I would have survived without my Forsake boots (it's snowed here twice in the past few days!). I've also fallen in love with Reformation, they're a must for a busy wedding season! 
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