Laura Fitton has a special talent for simplifying complicated things. Usually, that work revolves around climate. Through her business, the enough company, based in the Greater Boston area, she works as a consultant and speaker to address the ways that market forces can be harnessed to speed up our response to climate change. Climate change, she explains, will touch every sector of the economy and every person at every level of income. Every dollar that we spend — whether it’s a billion-dollar sovereign wealth fund investing in an industry that will take a fall with climate change or somebody deciding which item to buy using food stamps, meat or grains — can help swing the climate pendulum. It’s on all of us to choose responsibly.
By working together—and listening to science—we truly can all make a measurable impact on the world around us.
But with COVID-19 posing a global threat to our health and economy, Fitton’s had trouble focusing on her business. Back in March, at the beginning of the pandemic, she shifted her attention and talents to helping healthcare workers obtain much-needed personal protective equipment (PPE). She created an ever-expanding resource called the PPE Index, which shares ways that people can donate time, sewing efforts, supplies, money, and more to help healthcare workers and governments in need, and also rounds up links to efforts different states, countries and organizations are making when it comes to COVID-19.
“I started out tweeting about various efforts, and realizing it’s not enough to say, ‘Hey people need PPE, or people need masks.’ There needs to be some clarity on how to make that happen,” she says. “I don’t remember what date I started this document but things got really complicated really fast.” Creating the PPE Index led her to become involved with the C19 Coalition, an organization that’s working to improve the availability of PPE and medical devices.
As Fitton sees it, there’s obvious overlap between what she’s doing with PPE and the work she does around climate. “It’s solving for the exact same problem that climate is trying to solve for: keep humans alive. Turn the direction of business and manufacturing and the economy towards ways that keep humans alive,” she says.
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The key to making an impact, she believes, is simplicity and accessibility. That’s true whether she’s helping someone find resources for donating masks or educating someone on how their dollars are hurting or helping the environment.
In Arcadia, she’s found a shared sensibility. Arcadia works to simplify complicated things. Fitton became a member after hearing CEO and founder Kiran Bhatraju interviewed on the podcast “My Climate Journey.”
“I was driving when I heard the episode. As soon as I arrived at my destination, I pulled up the website, going ‘This can’t be as easy as he made it sound,’ and I was signed up for two different houses (I have a cottage in Maine I rent out) in 10 minutes,” she says. “I want a million more Arcadias to exist in every consumer segment. because people need things to be very simple.” After tweeting about how much she loves the company, Fitton became an ambassador for Arcadia. (Fitton and Twitter have a rich history. Earlier in her career, she co-authored the book Twitter for Dummies and founded the Twitter app store oneforty.com, which was acquired by HubSpot; her Twitter handle is @Pistachio).
Fitton says Arcadia truly has simplified her life. Before she heard about the company, she was trying to find a renewable energy provider in Maine to power her short-term rental cottage. She went down a number of research rabbit holes, spending hours online trying to find the answer. By signing up with Arcadia, she was able to switch to 100% renewables in just a few minutes. She realized she didn’t need to have all the answers.
“I do not want to keep thrashing over who’s the right electric provider,” she says. “I want to let somebody who’s already smart about that figure out the electricity buying market.”
Now that she’s letting the team at Arcadia do what it does best, she can focus on the areas where she excels. Fitton senses that her focus will soon switch back from PPE and COVID-19 to climate change and the marketplace. And when the threat of the pandemic passes, she hopes that others will join her with a renewed passion and determination, having learned that by working together—and listening to science—we truly can all make a measurable impact on the world around us. It doesn’t have to be complicated.