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Planethours — The Journey Begins

Planethours is an independent, non-profit and self-funded organization which aims to provide an easy and accessible way to assess the impact of individuals on climate change.

Our journey with Planethours starts in Berlin at the dawn of 2019, when we, Nicola Miotto and Stefano Bonetta, overwhelmed by the sense of dread and powerlessness caused by the climate crisis, decided that we needed “to do something”.

We began to collect and evaluate scientific documentation and statistics about climate change to build up our own understanding on the topic. We quickly realised that the practical information about climate change is very hard to extract and understand, making it almost inaccessible to the majority of the people, in particular the emission proportions across sectors: is it worse to fly 3 times a year or to eat chicken every day? At some point, we were ourselves confused 🤦

Luckily, we also identified a set of major climate change drivers that can be mapped to people daily behaviours. In simple words: there are just very few things that you should do in order to make a very big change.

With these key points in mind (information chaos and lack of actionable points), we defined our first mission: provide a good overview of the problem and help people take action.

We started then developing the first version of the climate change quiz: a simple set of questions (only 8) that helps defining the climate impact profile of a user. We already know the next question: “But aren’t there already tons of online questionnaires that let you assess your climate impact?”. Yes… BUT! First, it needed to be simple. Ultimately, it has to be done by people that do not necessarily have a big involvement in the topic.

Additionally, what was missing were action points and measurable goals. I cannot do much by knowing that my lifestyle can only be supported by 3 planet earths or that my CO2 footprint is 2 times more than the average.

We then decided to add one small feature: provide the people with useful and practical insights to reduce their CO2 footprint, actual action points. The proposition looked promising but after the initial round of testing we realised that the format was too technical, it couldn’t reach a big audience.

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The consumption spider chart
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Overall statistics

…sorry we could not find better screenshots 😅…

At that point, Alessandro Spano joined the team and the product was completely revamped by adopting a modern, friendly and effective design which aims to empower users rather than judging them (thanks Alessandro, we love you as much as you love beauty).

Most important is the actionable part: the service tries to estimate by how many years the tipping point would be postponed by applying slight changes to the person behaviour (based on the quiz result). This would hopefully give the user a clearer understanding of how his/her actions can actually impact the climate change!

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We launched Planethours’ online climate change quiz in July 2020 via ProductHunt (https://www.producthunt.com/posts/planethours). Since then, we profiled thousands of users from all over the world, providing them insights and suggestion by asking just 8 simple questions. We currently don’t have an estimate on whether their behaviour is going to change, but a few people informed us that they actually tried after the quiz (in the majority of the cases when it comes to meat consumption). AMAZING!

As a next step, we plan to disclose the data we collect, both the raw information (which is anonymous) and insights about current behaviours and trends, hoping to become an independent source of public climate data.

Together with this, we want to keep informing the world about the issues and solutions in the scope of the climate crisis and show to everyone how our collective behaviour is evolving (if at all, but we are very hopeful).

For these reasons, we decided to open a Medium account, where we will publish all our information and research.

If you want to take the test and give us some feedback or just look at the details of our plan and methodology, please visit https://www.planethours.earth .

Thanks for reading!

planethours.earth is an independent, non-profit organization which aims to provide an easy way to assess the impact of individuals on climate change.

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