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The founder of GreenHatters tell us why climate change matters

Flickr- Coley Cheng

This article was written by Sadiq Mohammed, founder of GreenHatters.

It is so difficult to narrate a story around something you built. Sure we like to talk about our kids and the progress they are making, it comes so easy. I am going to try and do exactly the same while talking about GreenHatters.

I have always been considerate of the planet I live in; subconsciously aware of the damage we are responsible in creating. The moment in life when this changed to conscious awareness this usually spurs action.

It hit me right in-between the eyes the day I Googled “How many kWh of energy used constitutes a TON of Carbon Emissions!” This was post my reading an article on the Carbon Footprint responsibility for a typical US Household – 48MT per annum. Do you know how many kWh of energy your household or company uses in a month? Chances are high you don’t!

carbon emissions GreenHatters.jpgImage: Pixabay

That set the wheels in motion. I was lucky to have been working in the energy sector for some time at this point. I was running the Business Intelligence for the energy sector at a BIG FOUR Firm. I really had the inside route on this one.

And I knew it was my calling…I need to do something about this, I knew I could contribute with my knowledge and experience over many years of experience. Jetting around in an Aluminum Tube at 30,000 feet and living in, making strange lands my home was a waning fascination. And when you grow older, you grow wiser too.

I knew intuitively that this effort needs to get citizens and business involved. And above all the world needs to create more awareness and find ways for action. This was the largest gap I found, which was holding back action. Sure, there were those big and bulky reports from Climate Scientist, News Columnist, World Bank, UN and many Prestigious Universities. For their purpose, their content was great! But for the common man, it did not get in the face to create action. I am not discounting the effort of great organization and NGO actively involved in environmental action. I felt, that the common man was still out of the picture.

tree hugger greenhatter.jpgImage: Flickr- Ben Amstutz

I needed to set up something formal and get this some wheels. Address awareness and the search for a solution to get people involved and give them that something which gets in their faces, and compels the need for action on their individual self and their families. Like it or not— everybody is aware about the plight of the planet and the potential impact for the next generations, subconsciously!

What about a name and a logo? Again the World Wide Web came to the rescue. I do not know how I got on to the page of the Red Hat Society, but it was way sometime back. That name had struck in me, somewhere the back of my head many moons back. Given what I wanted to do, I needed to demonstrate what I wanted to do, for sure.

GreenHatters came into being.

nature GreenHatters.jpgImage: Wikimedia Commons- Margus Opp

Tackling awareness, I was traveling in India and met up with a long lost friend who is one of the leading directors working with children and using Old School Animation techniques to highlight art, culture, heritage and many other burning issues like “The Girl Child” and some others. One thing led to the other and we were working together to create some awareness message, from the eyes of the Millennial Generation. From our portfolio of awareness films, “The Gray Climate”, created by a 16 year old girl from India, with the most minimal of equipment. Every visual image is hand drawn. Was the Official Selection at the Green Up Film Festival, Belgium 2015. This is our ongoing endeavor.

Now for action! By now I was an avid reader and follower of climate change, global warming the whole 9 yards! Kicking in with my experience and knowledge of the energy sector formulated a plan for action. CarbonGobbler was conceptualized and development started. Worked with the Texas State University, McCoy College of Business we ran a large pilot to test out the software. That experience was invaluable to both me and the product. We made it more robust and user friendly. CarbonGobbler recently won the top honors of Judges Choice and Popular choice at MIT – Climate CoLab competition Atypical Idea for Carbon Neutrality for the City of Somerville, MA 2015.

And as we say at GreenHatters—It is now time!