How to Make a Climate Impact With Gift Cards: Laura, Siobhan, and Tessaria from Thanks A Ton (#12)
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Hey fellow impactful ninja ? You may have noticed that Impactful Ninja is all about providing helpful information to make a positive impact on the world and society. And that we love to link back to where we found all the information for each of our posts. Most of these links are informational-based for you to check out their primary sources with one click. But some of these links are so-called "affiliate links" to products that we recommend. First and foremost, because we believe that they add value to you. For example, when we wrote a post about the environmental impact of long showers, we came across an EPA recommendation to use WaterSense showerheads. So we linked to where you can find them. Or, for many of our posts, we also link to our favorite books on that topic so that you can get a much more holistic overview than one single blog post could provide. And when there is an affiliate program for these products, we sign up for it. For example, as Amazon Associates, we earn from qualifying purchases. First, and most importantly, we still only recommend products that we believe add value for you. When you buy something through one of our affiliate links, we may earn a small commission - but at no additional costs to you. And when you buy something through a link that is not an affiliate link, we won’t receive any commission but we’ll still be happy to have helped you. When we find products that we believe add value to you and the seller has an affiliate program, we sign up for it. When you buy something through one of our affiliate links, we may earn a small commission (at no extra costs to you). And at this point in time, all money is reinvested in sharing the most helpful content with you. This includes all operating costs for running this site and the content creation itself. You may have noticed by the way Impactful Ninja is operated that money is not the driving factor behind it. It is a passion project of mine and I love to share helpful information with you to make a positive impact on the world and society. However, it's a project in that I invest a lot of time and also quite some money. Eventually, my dream is to one day turn this passion project into my full-time job and provide even more helpful information. But that's still a long time to go. Stay impactful,
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Hey fellow impactful ninja ?
You may have noticed that Impactful Ninja is all about providing helpful information to make a positive impact on the world and society. And that we love to link back to where we found all the information for each of our posts.
Most of these links are informational-based for you to check out their primary sources with one click.
But some of these links are so-called "affiliate links" to products that we recommend.
First and foremost, because we believe that they add value to you. For example, when we wrote a post about the environmental impact of long showers, we came across an EPA recommendation to use WaterSense showerheads. So we linked to where you can find them. Or, for many of our posts, we also link to our favorite books on that topic so that you can get a much more holistic overview than one single blog post could provide.
And when there is an affiliate program for these products, we sign up for it. For example, as Amazon Associates, we earn from qualifying purchases.
First, and most importantly, we still only recommend products that we believe add value for you.
When you buy something through one of our affiliate links, we may earn a small commission - but at no additional costs to you.
And when you buy something through a link that is not an affiliate link, we won’t receive any commission but we’ll still be happy to have helped you.
When we find products that we believe add value to you and the seller has an affiliate program, we sign up for it.
When you buy something through one of our affiliate links, we may earn a small commission (at no extra costs to you).
And at this point in time, all money is reinvested in sharing the most helpful content with you. This includes all operating costs for running this site and the content creation itself.
You may have noticed by the way Impactful Ninja is operated that money is not the driving factor behind it. It is a passion project of mine and I love to share helpful information with you to make a positive impact on the world and society. However, it's a project in that I invest a lot of time and also quite some money.
Eventually, my dream is to one day turn this passion project into my full-time job and provide even more helpful information. But that's still a long time to go.
Have you ever wondered about getting a great climate-friendly gift? Then you’ll really enjoy our conversation together with Laura, Siobhan, and Tessaria from Thanks A Ton!
“These methods are very, very durable. So when they’re sequestering this […] it’s not going anywhere for 1,000s of years. It’s not gonna get remitted into the atmosphere, and that’s so important in this fast versus slow carbon cycle.“Tessaria, Thanks A Ton
Three Key Points You’ll Learn From This Episode
How a climate pun at a hackathon led them to start Thanks A Ton…
Why they are using carbon removal instead of carbon offsetting providers…
Why you should consider using carbon-removal gift cards instead of regular ones…
About Siobhan, Laura, and Tessaria
Siobhan, Tessaria, and Laura value environmental responsibility and share a vision for a sustainable world. They describe themselves as climate warriors and carbon removal fanatics. Siobhan is a cross-functional player, brings expertise in carbon removal, communications, partnership building, and end-to-end project execution. Laura pivoted her career into the nascent carbon removal industry and is especially drawn to DAC, carbon-negative solutions, long-term sequestration of carbon in concrete, alternate clean power sources, and the interrelationship of these elements. And Tessaria’s work includes building up the budding carbon dioxide removal industry as a means of mitigating climate change.
About Thanks A Ton
Thanks A Ton combines carbon dioxide removal (CDR) with beautiful, custom digital greeting cards to help reverse climate change. Every Thanks A Ton card comes with a certificate of CDR from one of their vetted partners. Their mission is to build awareness and get people excited about CDR in a fun, friendly, and guilt-free way so that the industry can rapidly scale to drive climate impact.
Links and Additional Information Discussed
Send your next gift card via Thanks A Ton and make a positive impact on our climate (use code IMPACTFULNINJA for $5 off)
The Full Transcript
Dennis: Hello, and welcome to the Impactful Ninja Show. I’m your host, Dennis Kamprad. And today, we are joined by Siobhan, Laura, and Tessaria. Welcome to you all.
Laura: Hi. Thank you.
Tessaria: Good day. Hi. Thanks for having us.
Dennis: Thanks. Thanks for joining us well. It’s quite interesting. It’s the first time that we’re having an episode of 3 guests.
Siobhan: Yeah. We are the founding team. Mhmm. And we have a really flat structure, and we do most things together.
Dennis: That’s perfect. I love that. Now, before we’re going into how you’re how you’re working and doing things together as well, let’s give our viewers an overview. What does Thanks a ton. And what are you doing there?
Tessaria: Yeah. So Thanks a ton is climate friendly gifting for the 21st century. We do digital greeting cards that remove c o two from the atmosphere. All of our solutions that we sponsor are high quality c o two removal. We’re not doing offsets. We don’t even really believe in the idea of offsetting. We want This to be a gift for people. We don’t want people to feel guilty about, like, oh, your carbon footprint.
Tessaria: So we’re really focused on the high quality stuff that actually turns it into, like, rocks and Fun stuff like that. I have a few props I’ll be showing throughout the video tonight. Sweet.
Dennis: So basically, if I wanna gift someone, come removal And wanna basically, wanna have, like, a really climate friendly gift, especially for the holiday season now. Your option would be amazing because it’s a cart that they can physically receive, but then they also know, like, the CO so to start in concrete and rock to any other formation.
Tessaria: Yes. The card so the card’s digital, but it I guess, You do physically receive it in your email inbox. We have yet to create physical cards. One day, we’ll get there.
Dennis: Sweet. Now let’s rewind the story a little bit back. Did you what did you do before before starting, thanks, Atan? What is your backstory?
Siobhan: Yeah. I think we all have distinct Backstory is pretty unique, and, Tessaria joined us about, what, a year and a half ago, Tessaria?
Siobhan: But Laura and I have been working with another Cofounder doctor Cara Maisano out of Paris, who is no longer with us, but was a terrific cofounder. And this idea came out of basically, it was a climate Hackathon. We did a climate hackathon on carbon markets, and I don’t think we solved anything about carbon markets. They are incredibly complex And and broken in many ways, but we did meet each other. And I think for that a win. And in meeting each other, Cara Had this kind of offhanded joke on Slack one day that she was thanking somebody for an interview and said, oh, thanks a ton. And then jokingly said, Oh, I just made, like, a carbon dioxide pun because we measure carbon dioxide in tons typically. And she said we should start a company where we Gift that as a thank you to people, and we all just kind of chuckled and went on with the day.
Siobhan: But then later, Laura and I were perhaps wise or foolish enough To say, hey, Laura. What if we actually did that? Or, hey. Hey, Kara. What if we actually did that? And so we build things a ton about two and a half years ago.
Dennis: Oh, wow. Did you have any experience with with carbon offsetting or working in the the climate climate action industry before and as well? Or was it just based on the joke and then, yep, let’s do something good for the environment?
Laura: Well, I should say, Dennis, my background is real estate. So I’ve come a long way. At the beginning of the pandemic, like many people around the world, I lost my job, but I was already thinking that I wanted To switch careers to work in climate, so I took the opportunity and found my way to Air Miners and Open Air and Cara and Siobhan, and then coming together, just bringing everything that we all needed from our backgrounds to form a company. That’s how we got things a ton off the ground. And then as Cara departed, we were so lucky to have Tesaria join us. Tesaria brings Huge skill set that we badly need and has really helped to propel us where we are now.
Dennis: Sweet. Let’s let’s change over to you, Tessaria, then. How was it for you? What did you do before, and and how was the joining?
Tessaria: So I did a lot of things before I got involved in climate. I guess biggest, most personal reason is a dream that I had 6 years ago that really woke me up to climate change. But then more recently, I got my master’s in climate from Columbia University the city of New York. And then after sort of taking a year off, doing, like, a a very easy delivery job, I really wanted to break into the carbon dioxide removal industry because it’s my calling. My name, Tessaria, means to harvest air. So I view all the work that I do in this field as a calling. So yeah.
Dennis: Nice. And now if we if we start from the beginning of the journey, so, basically, we met at a hackathon. You had, like, the off joke idea of, like, oh, thanks, Satan. It’s like, wow. That’s That’s a climate pun. Then, Yassar, what was your concrete first step? How did you get that started from a pun into making it something real?
Siobhan: That’s where the rubber meets the road for sure. So Kara and I both have climate and science backgrounds, and so we kind of were able to quickly evaluate what do we want people to know about carbon dioxide removal, what are the most quality projects we can work with. And I think we saw people’s lack of awareness as a big hurdle to the industry growing. So we need to really build up this carbon dioxide industry. But most people don’t really have a clue what it is. So if you’ll allow me, I’ll just take 2 minutes to kinda break down for your listeners what carbon removal even is. So we all have heard of planting trees. Right? That’s the the most commonly understood carbon removal method.
Siobhan: You plant a tree. The tree photosynthesizes as it grows and takes carbon dioxide out of the air. Planting trees is wonderful, and we need to plant lots of trees and restore habitats And restore this wonderful natural ecosystems that we’ve destroyed. Unfortunately, we have burned so many fossil fuels Since the start of the industrial revolution, that the parts per million, the amount of carbon dioxide molecules there are in the atmosphere has just gotten so astronomically high. The planting trees alone will not be enough for us to reverse the damage caused. So what we have to do now is we have to deeply decarbonize. And so that means things like decarbonization category is switching to solar energy. It’s, you know, driving riding a bike instead of driving a car.
Siobhan: It’s these things that get, fossil fuels out of our daily lives. So that’s incredibly important, and that can’t be overstated. What we do is kind of on the cleanup side of that. Right? So we’re not focused on stopping the emissions. We’re focused on the emissions that are already up there. How do we get those molecules out of the atmosphere and then store them away safely where they can’t cause Climate change. So that’s really what we do. And so we partner with companies that are actually doing the carbon removal themselves.
Siobhan: So There’s a host of really terrific companies, and Tessaria, I’m sure, can walk you through some of them, that actually do the work of of removing. And what we do is we say, okay. There are these really cool companies out there. Individual people aren’t really interacting with them. They don’t really know what they’re doing. How can we get individual people to participate in this act of carbon dioxide removal. And how can they learn about it and be curious about it? And we really wanted to spark curiosity and joy and humor. That’s kind of our approach.
Siobhan: Tessaria, do you wanna talk about some of our incredible partners that actually do the removal?
Tessaria: Yeah. Dennis, I mean, we can talk for quite a bit about our partners and the methods. I could imagine.
Tessaria: How does that sound?
Dennis: Yeah. Let’s Okay. Before going into the partners, let’s take one Step back as well and say, start with how were you able to find and connect with the partners as well, and then let’s let’s jump into into your partners as well.
Siobhan: Yeah. I think that was because we all met well, especially Laura and Kara and I all met through a professional networking organization for people in climate Who are focused on carbon dioxide removal. So for my master’s degree, I measured carbon fluxes and and got really excited about carbon dioxide and carbon removal. And so I joined this community called Air Miners. And through there, I met Kara and Laura. That’s where we did the hackathon. So by virtue of I’ve always been in the environmental field. I Studied my undergrad in environmental science.
Siobhan: I did my masters and then works doing environmental compliance, biology and monitoring for years. So I’ve always kinda been in this space. And then through this network, we were able to connect with a lot of the actual projects. They’re all small startups. You know? There’s no massive Gale, carbon dioxide removal right now. And so we all kinda know each other. And there’s some really wonderful, very trustworthy companies out there that are trying to scale up. But right now, they’re they’re still the small scale, and they need lots of support and awareness to reach what we call gigaton scale, which is Billions of tons, which is what we need to remove from the atmosphere.
Dennis: Okay. Sweet. So basically, through through the mutual the connections, we also did the hackathon. You were also able to get into contact with partners that are also at the startup stage. And now sorry for interrupting you, Tessaria. Let’s join in for let’s share a little bit more about your partners and their work.
Tessaria: Yeah. Sure. This is gonna take a little time, but this is the crux of what we do. This is the most important part. So get into it. Charm Industrial, I think we’ll start with them. They’re a group of smart integrity rich Bay Area engineers on a mission to get atmosphere carbon concentrations down 2 80 PPM.
Tessaria: So what they do is they take bio oil. They basically take waste material and pyrolyze it, which is another it’s a fancy way of Burning without oxygen. Another product of pyrolysis is biochar, which we’ll get to in a second. But a byproduct of the biochar process, If you do it a certain way, it can be bio oil. And so, basically, what they’re doing is taking plant matter and turning it into oil and injecting it into old Oil wells. So it’s like they’re putting oil back underground. How cool is that? What I’m holding in my hand is actually blackstrap molasses, but this this Basically what it looks like. This is for demonstration purposes.
Tessaria: So that’s bio oil. That’s charm industrial. Next up, we have Carmoculture. Carmaculture does biochar. Mhmm. This is what biochar looks like. It’s kinda hard to there we go. It’s kinda good.
Tessaria: So biochar is it’s the same process as bio oil except you do it a little differently, and it turns into this pure inert carbon. I mean, this This is just pure carbon here. So when you pyrolyze plant material, it turns into this just pure carbon. And you can use that to filter water. You can use that to put into your soil and make little condos for bacteria, and fungus as they say. You can even add biochar to concrete or asphalt or use it in any type of construction. So lots of really cool uses for biochar, and this stuff is Stable. That’s something I forgot to mention about the bio oil too.
Tessaria: We’re not just doing, like, 100 year time scale removal here. These methods Are very, very durable. So when they’re when they’re sequestering this, bio oil underground, it’s not going anywhere for 1000 of years. It’s not gonna get remitted into the atmosphere, and that’s so important in this fast versus slow carbon cycle. So same thing with biochar, very, very Durable solution up to beyond a 1000 years. Another method is mineralization. So what I’m holding here is calcite. This is calcium carbonate.
Tessaria: Basically, as c o two reacts with certain rocks Like, basalt or olivine, it turns into this this mineralized carbonate, calcium carbonate or magnesium carbonate. Maybe Siobhan can talk a little more about that, but, that’s that’s the basic idea with mineralization. Our mineralization partner, we have 2. There’s there’s concrete mineralization, Then there’s enhanced rock weathering. So enhanced rock weathering and concrete mineralization work the same way if you go on our website. We list them as 2 different methods because with concrete mineralization, you’re actually injecting c o two into the concrete and storing it that way. With enhanced rock weathering, You’re actually crushing up these basalt rocks or well, last night, there’s lots of different rocks that do it. Basalt’s the most common, b a s a l t, Basalt.
Tessaria: And that will mineralize the c o two sort of as as it spread on farmland, on beaches, etcetera.
Dennis: What all of these methods also have in common Is that when you take out the c o two from the air, you get something tangible that you could put in your hand
Dennis: Or that you could like, you have some liquid That you could put in the class so you know that’s the c o two that got sucked out of the air, and that’s how you store it.
Tessaria: Yes. Exactly. People don’t realize that with the cards, and I maybe there’s something we can do a better job of is showing people, you know, the actual Carbon that’s being taken out. But, yeah, everything has a real world basis here. Seaweed sinking so our partner with, seaweed sinking is seaweed generation. Basically, what they do is they’re Making invasive seaweeds off the coast of the the Caribbean right now. It’s an invasive seaweed species called sargassum. And the reason sargassum exists because of all this agricultural runoff that’s been going into the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf, and so it’s been causing these blooms, these algal blooms, and Supercharging this invasive seaweed.
Tessaria: So what they’re doing is removing the seaweed, which is great for the coastal communities that it washes up on the shorelines of, but also helps Store carbon deeper into the ocean. So they’ll take seaweed, sink it to the deep ocean, and it’ll be stored there for roughly, I think, 400 plus There’s another very durable solution. And then I think that’s pretty much it. I guess, we have reforestation. Everyone sort of Stands that and soil carbon sequestration. Siobhan, maybe that’s that’s one more suited towards you. Yeah. Those are our methods. Oh, direct air capture.
Siobhan: Mhmm. And director, which is maybe you’ve seen, like, the images of turbines that suck the air. It’s very, like, high-tech. Right? And it goes crosses through absorbent and the c o two comes off and it gets stored. It can be either utilized. Like, Coca Cola actually is using gas, You know, c o two gas, that’s that’s been typically captured from a point source, right, from, like, a factory. And this is captured from ambient air, just the air we breathe. And that can either be used or even better, it can be injected underground and stored, and it can react underground with The salted rocks often and whatnot.
Siobhan: And, yes, it is a very tangible process for those that are actually doing this work. And I think a big challenge we have As an industry and passes banks a ton, is taking this process that’s happening where you can’t really see it and then making you understand it so that when you are paying for this Basically, environmental service as a gift, you can kind of understand, oh, but, you know, this machine sucked it out and then they injected underground, and now there’s that much less Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and for things like bio oil and things like sinking seaweed, you’re relying on the plants to do the photosynthesis. Right? So that’s where the removal is happening. But if you don’t pyrolyze some, you know, walnut shells that are just being wasted, right, the walnut Tree photosynthesizes. It stores carbon within its shell. We pick the shells to get the walnuts out, and then the shells are just left, You know, to to biodegrade. When they biodegrade, they rerelease that carbon to the atmosphere. And so carbon removal is kind of intervening and saying, okay.
Siobhan: Well, carbon’s been removed by the plant. We’re gonna lock it away for 1000 of years. That’s really important because I think a lot of people don’t understand that fossil fuels Come from ancient geologic time scales. Right? Fossil fuels that we’ve burned, you can’t just plant a tree And expect it to be the equivalent of a fossil fuel emission because when you plant a tree, yes, the tree grows. It’s super important. It has all sorts of co benefits. But that tree is gonna last, what, a 100 years? It’s gonna fall over and die and decay, and that carbon will be rereleased to the atmosphere. And so we think a lot about how can we get people to understand this need for removing carbon in a equal one to 1 ratio with The emission source.
Siobhan: And, again, we don’t offset, and so we’re not making you count your carbon footprint or anything like that. But we do think it’s important holistically for people to understand That this is really taking that carbon out of the air for 1000 of years.
Dennis: It sounds like, like a super interesting Challenge from the messaging perspective as well. Because we’ve we’ve done a lot of research as well on different, well, carbon offsetting, carbon sequestration, direct carbon Capture, calm removal, and then where you put it into into soil, into into anything, basically. And one of the things that we’ve seen there is that There’s not a big understanding yet how all of these are different. Because for some some of the consumers, like, well, I just wanna offset, like, a ton of c o two, And all of these do the same without really knowing what’s behind. That’s one of the things. And the next thing is how additional are there, how effective are there, and What is the time scale? And when you do when you speak about something like sucking carbon out of the air, it happens immediately. You put it into some kind of formation. It’s gone for, like, a 1000 years.
Dennis: It can’t be any more, like, additional plus also, well, durable, and effective. How has that been a challenge or not so far from you from the communication of the benefits on the one hand side? But then also saying, like, well, instead of just plant, Like, just instead of planting trees, which is much cheaper, much much less secure, these methods are a little more effective, but then they also cost more.
Siobhan: Yeah. I think you really hit the nail on the head. That is a huge job that we’re trying to do. We’re trying to loop people into this understanding. And, again, We’re all for planting trees. We think those are quality carbon credits. And, also, I think it’s important to know that while the really permanent Solutions are critical, and we need to scale those. It’s also really important just to get carbon out of the atmosphere right now because people are having their homes flooded right now.
Siobhan: People are dying from climate change right now. And so the benefit of something like regenerative agriculture, that stores Carbon in soils, but not for that long, or the benefit of planting trees, which stores carbon in the biomass of the trees, but not for that long, are still really important and really valuable, and we really argue that there is no silver bullet. There is no one solution that’s gonna save us.
Siobhan: We need to plant the trees and do direct air capture and make biochar and inject bio oil and sink the seaweed. It all has to happen in concert. And so that’s something that I think we do struggle teaching people. And also to your point, people are at the very beginning of this Kind of high-tech carbon removal industry. Right? And so I think a lot of people, to your point, say, well, wait a minute. If I can buy a ton of carbon For $10, why would I spend $600? That doesn’t make sense. You know, a ton is a ton is a ton. Well no.
Siobhan: Like, the tons are all different. Yes. It’s a ton of carbon, but They have a different climate impact. And so, yeah, teaching people about that. And, again, teaching sounds even kinda pejorative. I we just wanna spark curiosity. City. We want people to be like, oh, why is this $600, and why is this $1.20, and and what is the difference? And then they can come to our our Sight and learn.
Siobhan: So when you get a card, you send somebody a card, they open in their mail. It pops up very similar to, like, a paperless post you’ve ever used that service or something where there’s kind of like this digital image that flips open and there’s the message and the artwork that you get to choose, and then we have links that say, Learn more, you know, and what is this? And and so we hope that when people receive a card, like, oh, somebody sent me, you know, 50 kilograms of seaweed sinking, carbon removal. What is that? And so the hope is that they then get curious and earn about it.
Laura: Dennis, our cards also include a certificate of authenticity, so you can see what credit you’ve received, How much of it and where it is in process?
Dennis: Nice. So would I also be able then to to click basically click on a link And get all this information also to see, like, okay. This card includes these calm credits from this organization, and I can see, for example, the seaweeds of the Caribbean.
Laura: Yes. You can. Beautiful.
Dennis: Yep. Next thing for you, Laura, it sounds like mixing construction plus carbon removal to build some c o two on negative buildings as well.
Laura: Well, we’ll see. I hope so. I don’t know if my Career will ever take me back into real estate, that’s yet to be seen. But it was my career in real estate that sparked my interest in carbon removal Oh, because working on these big shopping center developments and seeing the giant cement trucks or concrete trucks just Queued up, waiting to come and pour their concrete and build a huge structure made me realize the impact of Concrete alone on climate change represents Mhmm. 8% of the total global emissions. So it has a huge carbon footprint, and it can be fixed With various products, there are various ways to go about it. But with captured c o two, for instance, which is what CarbonCure is gonna do now. They are teaming up with Irloom, Who just opened the 1st director capture plant in the United States.
Laura: We’re so excited about that. Now concrete can be a carbon removal product instead of just Carbon storage. We need both. We need storage. If we’re gonna have, we need storage. But now we can make the concrete work for us, work for the climate.
Dennis: Yeah. It’s beautiful to see how all the technologies evolve and how we can see, like, well, what we’ve done so far, what this has a big impact on On greenhouse gas emissions, maybe that can help remove those as well and reduce them a little bit. Yeah. Also connected to what you said before, Siobhan, about the Well, the different kind of effectiveness of all these programs. I’m always thinking like some kind of industry standard would be amazing when you see, like, okay. This type of offset has so much effect of removal. This type of offset, so much that you can compare it and that you don’t know. We see, like, oh, this time cost so much.
Dennis: This can cost so much more or less. And have, like, a really nice point in in comparing them. Let’s take a
Siobhan: Yeah. There are a number of organizations on that. Nobody’s there yet, but that is the dream to kind of have a standard body that we can really measure and understand these kind of heterogeneous carbon credits.
Dennis: Yeah. That’d be beautiful, especially if you have, like, 1 unified measure for that everyone uses and knows. Let’s take a jump back as Well, to to thanks a ton. From your starting point and partnering with these with these great organizations, how have you developed? Where are you now?
Laura: Well, in the beginning, we built a custom website, and it gave us enough feedback to realize that we wanted take the next step. So Siobhan and I did a lot of user interviews and research, and we decided to build a new shop on Shopify because it Had a lot of functionality we needed, such as a shopping cart. Building that in a custom website is complex, it’s expensive, but Shopify can do that. So we have a great partner, Pogodam, who has developed an app for us so that we can work on Shopify, and, we launched that new website about a year ago.
Dennis: Nice. So now everything is automatically connected from buying a cart to getting the the offsets, everything Yes. And sending it out. Yes. Nice. And now looking ahead as well, what’s What’s your plan for the future? What is what is upcoming with things, Aton?
Tessaria: Yeah. Well, 2 things that I think we’ve talked about a little bit are getting seed paper cards Going. I know some people in Brooklyn who collect wildflower seeds, and people really wanna hold a physical card. Carbon removal is a Physical thing, but when we’re sending digital cards, sometimes that can get lost. So we’re thinking about bridging to the real world. We’ve also thought about doing, like, QR codes. And then Something else in our pipeline. Maybe this is a little further out, but working with smaller projects, it’s been pretty easy to connect with sort of smaller projects through our partner patches, how we get all of our credits, through the back end with their API.
Tessaria: But, yeah, even just, like, focused on smaller community projects that are removing c o two and aren’t able to generate credits because it’s so, like, Out there. So, yeah, those are my 2 ideas we’ve talked about. What about what about y’all?
Laura: Well, we’ve recently added some new functionality So that now our customers can go in and buy our cards in bulk. Having a shopping cart, you can buy individual cards and keep adding them to the cart. But if you had 1 card that you wanted to And to 10 people, say thank them for their participation in a project or a holiday message. You can also now order those cards as well. That adds a lot of functionality Mhmm. For our customers and improves the customer experience. We’ve also added the ability to put in hyperlinks in the messages. If you wanted to add a hyperlink for a newsletter or an online gift or some other message, now you can do that as well.
Dennis: I could also ask, like, being on the receiving end, wouldn’t it be really nice to receive a card? Like, let’s say, someone removed 1 ton of c o two And we received the card that actually stores the amount of c o two, maybe not a ton, but just some amount as a symbolic, like, kind of gift. Probably be super challenging to to do. It’ll be like a fun thing to to think about from the customer’s perspective.
Tessaria: We want to put some bio oil on the cards on the physical cards.
Laura: Well, and we’ve talked about the physical cards since the beginning.
Laura: On the one hand, we understand that people want to receive a physical card. They’d like to have That and hold it and read it. But the carbon footprint of creating that card Yep. Manufacturing it, shipping it, selling it, buying it, mailing it, a daunting carbon footprint for a greeting card, whereas an email has a carbon footprint on average of 4 grams, So that’s why we keep saying we need to keep them digital, but we do love the idea of, like, the seed card paper and coming up with some physical solutions.
Dennis: It also sounds like a perfect transition now to how can we find you, how can we support you, how can we get some Christmas gifts from you guys.
Tessaria: Yeah. You can check us out on thanksaton.earth. We’re not .com. Maybe one day, we’ll have that domain. But, on social media, we’re also thanksaton.earth. You can find us on Instagram, TikTok, and LinkedIn. LinkedIn, I think, is where we’re really looking for Big, like, bulk b to b, you know, business customers, corporate people who are thinking about carbon footprint, wanna send holiday gifts. Yeah. That that thing that covers everything.
Dennis: We’ll put the the link’s in the show notes as well so people can easily find your home. Now let’s make a slight transition. Let’s have a look into how did thanks a ton. How did the work that you were doing there impact your personal life? Has anything changed based on your work there?
Siobhan: That’s a very good question. First of all, it’s incredibly rewarding to work on climate. I think everybody who probably comes on your show and talks about working on climate, we all Loved doing that. I can’t imagine ever not working on climate. Yes.
Siobhan: Once you’re in it, you’re hooked. But I I was kind of already in a in a climate background. I’ve always worked Environmental projects and whatnot. So I think something that was really exciting was doing a start up. This is my 1st start up, Tessaria, and Laura’s 1st start up, Kira’s 1st start up, Going through making lots of first time mistakes, but we have such a supportive community, not just airliners, but, the work on climate community or we did Terra dot do, which if you’re familiar, is like an educational website, and we did their kind of mini accelerator program about a year ago and or 2 years ago maybe now, and we won that, and they supported us a little bit financially, and so that’s been hugely supportive. I think it’s been really fun. I’m a mom of 3, And so it’s also incredibly challenging to find the time and space to work on this in in addition to the the other job I have. So I’ve you know, I think since the birth of my 3rd child, Laura and and Tessaria have really stepped up, which has one been wonderful.
Siobhan: And I just I think it’s great to work with people that you really get along with. I hear so many stories even in climate where it’s a very friendly friendly community. I hear so many stories about people breaking up with their cofounders or it doesn’t work out with the cofounders and people who are constantly searching for cofounders. Right? Like, imagining some of your listeners are out there thinking, man, I just want that cofounder so I can get this idea off the ground. It’s really hard to find. I acknowledge that. And so it’s very grateful to find people that we get along with. We’re an all woman and non binary team, which I also think is pretty unusual in this space.
Siobhan: And, yeah, we’ve had a lot of fun so far, but it’s a lot.
Tessaria: Probably, I’ve been working maybe 30 hours a week on this for the whole year for free. We’re all working for free right now. None of us are getting paid. Eventually, we’d like to maybe support ourselves through this, but the important thing is educating people about carbon dioxide removal first and foremost. Yeah. I think my personal life, I’m a lot happier now working for things a ton than I was a year ago at my delivery job. Frankly, I I feel a lot more respected in this space, in this organization, Working on this critical issue, like, really proud to be part of things a ton.
Laura: For me, this is a mission. This is What I feel that we need to do for future generations, I feel like I’ve had the benefit of a stable climate for my life, And we’re kind of leaving Earth in a fixer upper state, my real estate reference again. We’re handing it over to future generations as a big fixer upper, And it’s unfair that they’re gonna have this massive problem to deal with when it was preventable. So, really, carbon dioxide removal is is only made necessary because we failed to act 40, 50 years ago when we first found out that this was really gonna happen. And, you know, the science was solid, but some people just don’t believe it. So what can I do now To fix this going forward? This is my contribution.
Dennis: Yeah. This is also the part that I really like with Kind of in a similar boat there. When it’s so strongly aligned with the values and with wanting to create, like, a positive change, it doesn’t really feel like work. It doesn’t. Sometimes I’m the happiest, like, when it’s Sunday evening. It’s like, yay. Tomorrow is Monday. I can have, like, a full day of, like, moving things forward again, which I never had in my previous work life.
Dennis: And also just working on something that has a positive impact, and knowing if only I change something, I made a positive impact on myself. And then if I’m able to help other people, enabling other people to make a tiny little change to every every single person, collectively, that’s We can make a big change there as well.
Laura: Well, Dennis, I think of it like we are transforming the simple everyday act of sending a greeting card Into concrete and impactful climate action. Lot of people tell us they wanna take action for climate change, but they don’t know what to do. So we’re offering kind of an introductory level plan for them to take action for climate with something that they already do. Pairing greeting cards with causes is already known. That’s a tried and true formula. We’re not reinventing the wheel there. Where we are reinventing the wheel is Pairing it with climate action and doing the hard work of figuring out who are the best in class for each of the solutions that we offer, and how How do we explain to people what it is and educate people? Both the sender and the receiver can be educated about carbon dioxide removal, what it is, why it’s and all through the simple act of sending a card even at the same price point that you would pay for a card if you went to the store and bought 1 and sent it. That’s how we think of the greeting card as the delivery method for the carbon removal.
Dennis: I think that’s a beautiful message as well. Instead of just buying a card at the store, contributing to to climate change with some carbon emissions, buying it, sending it. Why not use the same amount of money to remove some carbon emissions, Send it digitally, have a good purpose behind, and then maybe go a little further as well.
Laura: Now each card, if you’re spending 5 or $10, each card is gonna have a small quantity of carbon removal. But That’s where we believe in the power of people to crowdsource the demand. And for individuals, for small and medium sized companies Who may not have the same ability to invest in the expensive carbon removals. Working with us, they can turn their communications Into carbon removal solutions.
Dennis: Beautiful. Now let’s already switch to the last part of our final question. If you had one Tip to share with our audience on how to become more impactful. What what that one tip be from interview?
Tessaria: My one tip is to Talk to your neighbors. It might sound a little weird from a climate perspective, but I really believe that the future of most things in our world are gonna be community oriented, including carbon removal. And I’d love to see empowered communities through carbon removal. You know? Historically, climate change and pollution have caused harm in our communities, and I think this is a real opportunity for us to take that pollution back out of the sky and say, now we have value that we can hold and share with others. So, yeah, talk with your neighbors, share resources, reduce all of our carbon footprints and remove carbon together.
Laura: Mine would be believe in yourself. Believe that 1 person can make a difference. Everybody coming into this nascent industry of carbon dioxide removal is new to it, and the industry is new. We’re building it. When they say we’re building the airplane as we’re flying, it really are. And we need people with all backgrounds and all skill sets to work in this industry To get it off the ground and succeed with our mission of carbon removal. So believe in yourself. If you wanna work in it, find a way to make the change.
Laura: It is daunting. Climate science is hard. I’m not a scientist, but people are very understanding about that. They’re patient. They’re willing to teach if you’re Willing to learn. So believe in yourself and give it a go.
Siobhan: That’s lovely, Laura. I agree with you. I would say that It feels really hard to move the needle on climate change. We talk a lot about personal responsibility versus, like, major systems change. And, actually, we really need both. Right? We need people to act responsibly themselves to help provoke system wide change. Right? So I’d say Pick 1 thing in your life that’s actionable, and there’s a 1,000 different lists on, like, the impact of, you know, eating meat or not flying or riding your bicycle or So I would just pick 1. The one that I feel strongly about that isn’t maybe talked as much as the other ones is, your pension or your four zero one k, whatever it is, away from fossil fuels, that can be hugely impactful.
Siobhan: But whatever one works for you, like, just pick 1 and go for it. And, like, I think to Tessaria’s point, like, get a community around it. Like, do it as a challenge with your neighbors or your school or something and, like, really don’t be afraid of personal action And even though we all know that, yes, we need system-wide change, take that step in your own life and lead by example.
Dennis: Beautiful. Thanks Thanks so much for sharing that. Thanks so much for for all the work you’ve been doing with with thanks to Tannerswelt, Tessaria, Laura, and Siobhan. And, well, thanks so much for being here.
Laura: Thank you.
Tessaria: Thank you, Dennis. It’s been so great speaking with you. My pleasure. Before we go, we actually have a Discount code for your listeners. Oh. If when your when your listeners wanna check out with a card, they can get $5 off Mhmm. By using the code impactful ninja, just all one word, and that’ll be $5 off. That code can be used 10 times.
Tessaria: So one one per customer. So your first 10 Mhmm. Listeners can get that code.
Dennis: Awesome. Thanks. Thanks so much for that as well, Will. We’ll share that as well. So basically for all of you guys listening, use the discount code. Thanks so much for listening as well and stay impactful.