I had just turned 40 years old, and 2019 was going to be a big year for me. I hit what felt like a significant life milestone and I was getting married to the love of my life, and I just sold my digital agency. There was a lot to reflect on.
One of the issues I was struggling with most was the state of our planet. I was always coming back to it; we were trying to be better at home, no single-use plastics, composting, trying to throw out as little as possible.
But there it was, ever dangling, climate change was getting worse, and it seemed like little outside of talk was being done.
In my 20s, I was fortunate enough to have had the fantastic opportunity afforded to me where I got to live across cultures. North America, Europe, Africa, I got to see the world for its beauty.
However, in what was just over a decade, I also saw that same beauty degraded. Coral reefs today looked like dull versions of their previous selves. Weather patterns were becoming strange and unpredictable; in New York, where I live, we were seeing 70F+ days in February. Unthinkable in the 90s, or 2000s.
Science had been warning us for years that climate change was coming, and it had finally arrived. The world was 1C warmer, and carbon dioxide in the air had reached its highest level ever at 415 ppm. We were in for a ride, and potentially an extinction event if something wasn’t done and done quickly.
When you think about it this way – when you calculate your life left on this earth, think about the lives of our children, their children. And you envision that this world may not be there for them. When you see elected officials fail to act to preserve our planet because profits are more important. It becomes pretty evident what to do next.
To reverse climate change, you need the money and a lot of it.
Well, what if we try and get everyone to contribute a small, tiny, almost insignificant amount of their income to reversing climate change?
I started doing a little math and finally landed on 0.1% of an individual’s income. For the average American, that’s roughly $4.66/month. For someone making $100k, that’s $8.32/month, and for someone making $7.25/hr, it would be $1.26 a month. If you look at it annually, you would need to give just over one hour of work each year to saving our planet.
What does this mean added up? If everyone who works in the United States alone contributed that small amount, we could generate $3.5 billion annually. If every working citizen of the developed world committed, we would be able to invest over $20 billion annually into conservation and climate change abatement. That’s big. Maybe we can stop climate change, maybe we can mobilize to do something that matters.
To start making a real impact, we’d need about 20,000 people to contribute, and twenty thousand people isn’t a lot; I thought to myself. I’ve built apps that had millions of people buying things for way more than a few bucks a month.
The only responsible thing to do was test the concept and work for something that matters, then pivot. Which brings us to this next iteration of Half Basis. The model of having people contribute money simply didn’t work. Whether its because people are more accustomed to giving a few bucks to carbon credits (which IMO don’t work) or because they wanted to see traction before I was able to provide any – while I think the model probably has legs still, I decided to pivot to a service that offers something of value for people. Conversion rate optimization, strategy, and content creation. There are businesses already doing that, and it’s not novel per se, but as long as it provides the capital necessary to drive the purchase of land for ecological preservation, why not try it.
That’s my story, I’m Jace, and I’m pledging a tiny portion of my income to stop climate change and do something that matters.
– Jace Grebski