We launched The Cool Down one year ago this week with the goal of making climate topics engaging and relevant. During that time, we’ve become the fastest-growing digital media brand in the last year.
That’s right: America’s fastest-growing digital media brand is a climate site.
We’re now reaching over 20 million unique visitors a month, and our content was viewed over 200 million times in the first six months of this year. Through our proprietary data stack, called GreenScreen, we’re able to access over 100 million data points that offer a fascinating window into what mainstream audiences are actually interested in when it comes to climate and sustainability.
We can see what topics are lighting people up — and we are bearing witness, through the data, to the transition toward a clean economy that’s happening before our eyes.
When we launched The Cool Down, PFAS wasn’t a household term, and gas stoves were still in vogue. Now induction stoves, electric lawnmowers, and heat pumps aren’t just for early adopters. People are realizing they’re healthier, cheaper, and better than the gas alternatives. (Even the Amish are riding electric bikes.)
Here’s more of what we’ve learned over the past year:
It’s possible to make climate topics relatable, shareable, and even fun. This meme used Adam Levine’s unfortunate situation to connect people to the warming of our planet, and it became one of our most popular posts of 2022.
We’re ready for companies to do the right thing and ditch the plastic. This article about a Coca-Cola distributor’s decision to replace plastic rings with compostable rings is our top article of all time. Not only did our audience love this story, but they also asked Coke to roll it out everywhere.
We’re eager to hear about tech innovations that are shaping a cleaner future, especially batteries. We’ve covered literally thousands of climate tech innovations over the last year, but battery-focused stories, like this most-read story about EV batteries made out of crab and lobster shells, outperform other tech stories by a factor of 2:1.
We want to get rid of our stuff responsibly, especially when we can make money doing it. Our audiences can’t get enough of the “circular economy” — like this post about how to get paid by getting rid of your old Apple products. We’ve now become one of the biggest resource guides for getting rid of clothes, electronics, and more.
Americans love their yards and gardens — and they’re ready to transform them with creativity, freedom, and boldness. There’s pretty much no end to our audience’s interest in gardening hacks, whether it’s about planting tomatoes or getting rid of mosquitoes. And when it comes to our yards, the anti-lawn movement is here to stay — ditching traditional grass for native plants that require less money, time, and effort to maintain. (Now it’s time for Homeowners Associations to let us do it.)
The bottom line
Our planet is overheating, and we’re now feeling it and seeing it on a daily basis in every corner of the world.
It’s always been our belief that in order to accelerate climate solutions, we need many more people thinking about climate topics on a daily basis. Our goal is to build a mass audience coalition around significantly lowering pollution.
We’re not going to fix climate change on our own, but with tens of millions of people engaging with our content on a regular basis, we can play a material role by helping people who might be feeling overwhelmed or hopeless.
What’s next for The Cool Down? In addition to scaling our audience of millions more people, we’ll be making our insights available to companies and organizations as a way to help accelerate the transition to cleaner products and services.
And, we’ll be creating more original, flagship content that invites new perspectives into the climate conversation (like this feature on Republican congressman John Curtis, who saved money by creating a climate-friendly home) and models how companies are making impactful changes that benefit consumers and the planet (like our reporting on The Home Depot’s decision to transition to electric lawn equipment).
Thank you for being a part of our community — and if you have questions, thoughts, or comments, we’d love to hear from you at email@example.com.
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