Think back to late summer. Another sweltering day passes by, registering record-high temperatures. Trying to keep cool however you can, you nervously scroll through news articles warning about the fast and devastating advance of global warming. You feel helpless. What can YOU do to turn around the situation?
This is where Cool the Globe comes into play. Cool The Globe is an app that helps people reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. In this interview, we talk with founder Prachi Shevgaonkar to learn more about the platform and why it matters.
How did the idea come to life?
When she was in school, Shevgaonkar started to get involved in the efforts to stop global warming. “I remember our teacher asked us to write a letter to our future selves ten years from now. Ten years later, I was at a very decisive point; I had to choose my career. And at that time, my old school sent that letter back to us. And it was like a wake-up call! Because in it, my younger self had written about making an impact, changing the world. I got inspired by the words of the young Prachi and the person she aspired to be.”
Shevgaonkar then started thinking about how she could make a difference in her daily life, and the call for immediate climate action became her journey.
How does Cool The Globe work?
“I decided to reduce my greenhouse emissions by 10 percent even before Cool The Globe came to life. I realized it was hard to keep up with this journey without measuring the impact of my actions. And as I started doing that, I begin to enjoy it, and friends and family started noticing and wanted to take part in it. How can global citizens join me on this quest? Using technology.”
The Cool The Globe app helps people reduce their gas emissions based on a target. When someone comes into the app, they get a monthly target of reducing their carbon footprint. You can also get to see the emissions you avoided by doing simple things in your routine.
As a media student, Shevgaonkar didn’t have a background in software engineering. What started as a self-taught two-month project, ended up being a three-year initiative. By the time of her graduation, Cool The Globe was launched with great success.
How did Cool The Globe get a global reach so quickly?
Shevgaonkar explains that Cool The Globe had mostly organic growth. “We would be making simple videos about what we were doing at home and sending them to people we knew. Then, people started sharing with each other, and spreading the word.”
Soon, it became incredibly popular. Shevgaonkar was able to reach four million people, becoming viral. As of today, Cool The Globe has users from a hundred countries, some of whom have signed up as ambassadors for the app, all varying in age, gender, and social status.
What’s the best thing any of us can individually do?
“Before I started this, global warming seemed to be something out of my scope. It didn’t seem like anything I would do would have an impact.
“I think the first thing we can do is understand that climate change is impacting life as we know it. Our food, our health, our livelihoods, and most importantly, our families, and the people around us. It is when we realize this, that we truly start caring about it.
“The second thing we can do is realize that we are living in the most defining decades of human existence. The way we act now is going to affect not just our future, but the future of generations to come.”
Prachi suggests we should all start by setting the goal of reducing our greenhouse emissions by 10 percent. “Start small but start somewhere.”
What’s next for Cool The Globe and for Prachi Shevgaonkar?
“A lot of organizations have reached out wanting to join the initiative, so Cool The Globe launched a new app feature for communities and organizations. They can make climate action a project.”
With numerous organizations showing interest in joining the initiative to protect our planet, Cool The Globe will surely play a big part in our efforts.
Interested in learning more about Cool the Globe? You can check out Prachi Shevgaonkar’s website here.
If you would like to download the Cool The Globe app, click here.
There’s a world of entrepreneurs fighting for environmentally-friendly, sustainable ways of living. Check out more stories, like Lioness Experts: Sherry Handel on Additive Manufacturing.