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Aurora’s 2020 roundup

Aurora’s 2020 roundup

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A heck of a year

A heck of a year

Aurora’s 2020 roundup
2020 was a lot of things, most of them not wonderful. But here at Aurora we had some pretty amazing silver linings. Here they are.

We launched Aurora 2.0

When we first created the quiz, we made it as simple as possible so we could launch, gather info and opinions, then implement all the feedback and improve it. And this year, we did! What started out as just a quiz is now a dashboard where you can see all your scores and get recommendations on how to improve them. You can also find out what your CO2 emissions look like in everyday terms, like cups of coffee and loads of laundry. As you make lifestyle changes, you can re-take the relevant section of the quiz and see your updated score.

We launched in Norway and the USA

Although our team is from all over the world, we launched in South Africa first. Most of our team was based in South Africa and it was an interestingly diverse market to test a product in – developing countries are the ones suffering most from the consequences of climate change. Aurora Founder Dani Laity explained further: “In Cape Town, we feel the need for a more sustainable and fairer world every day. Food security is an issue, the predominantly fossil fuel based electrical grid is under strain and climate change will only exacerbate these problems.”

In 2020, we updated the quiz to take different systems and cultures into account and launched Aurora in Norway, Texas, California, Colorado and New York. Want to know how the average scores vary per region? We did a bunch of research and shared the results here.

In line with our commitment to sustainability, our fully remote team now works across three time zones in three different continents (scheduling Zoom calls is a little more complicated these days).  

We won a Noonie!

Hacker Noon nominated 11 organizations that use tech for good, “celebrating those building products helping people build better futures”. They put the nominations online and let the internet decide the winner. The votes were tallied, and we won. Yay us.  

Gained more than 3 700 Instagram followers, over 700 Facebook fans and had 98 534 unique visitors to our site

We love our community, and while we promote our quiz, we don’t ask anyone to actually follow us. So, we love it when they do. Over and above providing the tools to live more sustainably, we’re becoming a being a place for like-minded people to connect and help one another.

Collaborated with amazing people

We’ve been super lucky to work with a team of diverse and beautiful brains from all over the world. There’s not enough time left in 2020 to list them all, but here are a few notable collaborations.

In South Africa, Tori Tatham from KBT told us about her favorite sustainable beauty products. Le’Chelle Aldridge went on her own sustainability journey with us and made her own face mask (the skincare kind not the Covid kind) and went live on Instagram with us. Anja van der Spuy showed us how to sustainably make over a kitchen. We also challenged Khanya Mzongwana to eat vegan for a month, and Tami Kolbe from Taylored Heart shared her sustainability journey and tips with us.

In Norway, designer and influencer Fredrik Risvik shared his tips on décor, style and living sustainably, Celine Aagaard told us what  inspired her to start the Norwegian design label Envelope1976, and we worked on some cool collabs with influencers Cecilie Krogh, Stine Hartmann, Marthe V and Nnenna Echem.

Interviewed 22 small businesses

All of these small companies were started by people who share our ideology that small individual actions can have big impact. We strongly believe in supporting local, small and ethical so it was a pleasure to introduce these amazing businesses to our community:

4 Wks coffee – purveyors of compostable coffee pods.

Akina – who make sustainable swimwear, pyjamas and loungewear.

AWAN (As We Are Now) – creators of liberating loungewear designed for women.

Cosmic Coffee & Beer – a bar and café based around permaculture.

EIR – clean Scandinavian beauty products.

Frankie Fenner – ethical meat merchants.

Good Common Sense Naturals – beauty products with a conscience.

Honest food Store – an ethical eatery.

Infinite Mobility – a company that will change urban travel forever.

Kare Kollective – makers of plastic-free shopping bags.

Kindred Kitchen – a plant-based restaurant.

Mielie Mailer – who provide plastic-free, carbon negative shipping.

Mo’s Crib – sustainable handmade décor designers and makers.

Mungo – consciously made linen products.

New Movements – the company that turns trash into very stylish shoes.

Oslo Raw – cafes, cakes, catering and even a cookbook, specializing in plant-based, handmade treats.

PETCO – industry leading PET plastic producer responsibility organization.

RUE skincare – plant-based skincare for delicate skin.

Style Rotate – a glam clothing rental business.

T-Shirts For Change – clothing made from recycled plastic water bottles.

Tukiya’s Closet – the vintage store of your dreams.

Yococo – vegan ice cream so good you’ll wonder what you did to deserve it.

Found out what a “potato” is in Norway

This might be our favorite thing from 2020. While chatting to Anja Stang after she interviewed Celine Aagaard, we were informed that in Norway, someone who juggles all the things and makes things happen is called a “potato”. We have fully embraced this term and now regularly nominate Aurora team members to be the potato of the day.

Made this video about OG environmentalist David Attenborough

Inspired by his Netflix documentary, we decided to spread his wisdom all over the internet. So we made a video. And it’s pretty.

Created a Pinterest board

Because we wanted to make another pretty thing.

Reached over 24 000 (and counting) quiz submissions

Last, but not least, our quiz. Our global community has been taking our sustainability quiz. At the time we wrote this, a whopping 24 966 people had taken the Aurora carbon footprint quiz. That’s a whole lot of “I’m only one person” people.

2020 was a lot of things, most of them not wonderful. But here at Aurora we had some pretty amazing silver linings. Here they are.

We launched Aurora 2.0

When we first created the quiz, we made it as simple as possible so we could launch, gather info and opinions, then implement all the feedback and improve it. And this year, we did! What started out as just a quiz is now a dashboard where you can see all your scores and get recommendations on how to improve them. You can also find out what your CO2 emissions look like in everyday terms, like cups of coffee and loads of laundry. As you make lifestyle changes, you can re-take the relevant section of the quiz and see your updated score.

We launched in Norway and the USA

Although our team is from all over the world, we launched in South Africa first. Most of our team was based in South Africa and it was an interestingly diverse market to test a product in – developing countries are the ones suffering most from the consequences of climate change. Aurora Founder Dani Laity explained further: “In Cape Town, we feel the need for a more sustainable and fairer world every day. Food security is an issue, the predominantly fossil fuel based electrical grid is under strain and climate change will only exacerbate these problems.”

In 2020, we updated the quiz to take different systems and cultures into account and launched Aurora in Norway, Texas, California, Colorado and New York. Want to know how the average scores vary per region? We did a bunch of research and shared the results here.

In line with our commitment to sustainability, our fully remote team now works across three time zones in three different continents (scheduling Zoom calls is a little more complicated these days).  

We won a Noonie!

Hacker Noon nominated 11 organizations that use tech for good, “celebrating those building products helping people build better futures”. They put the nominations online and let the internet decide the winner. The votes were tallied, and we won. Yay us.  

Gained more than 3 700 Instagram followers, over 700 Facebook fans and had 98 534 unique visitors to our site

We love our community, and while we promote our quiz, we don’t ask anyone to actually follow us. So, we love it when they do. Over and above providing the tools to live more sustainably, we’re becoming a being a place for like-minded people to connect and help one another.

Collaborated with amazing people

We’ve been super lucky to work with a team of diverse and beautiful brains from all over the world. There’s not enough time left in 2020 to list them all, but here are a few notable collaborations.

In South Africa, Tori Tatham from KBT told us about her favorite sustainable beauty products. Le’Chelle Aldridge went on her own sustainability journey with us and made her own face mask (the skincare kind not the Covid kind) and went live on Instagram with us. Anja van der Spuy showed us how to sustainably make over a kitchen. We also challenged Khanya Mzongwana to eat vegan for a month, and Tami Kolbe from Taylored Heart shared her sustainability journey and tips with us.

In Norway, designer and influencer Fredrik Risvik shared his tips on décor, style and living sustainably, Celine Aagaard told us what  inspired her to start the Norwegian design label Envelope1976, and we worked on some cool collabs with influencers Cecilie Krogh, Stine Hartmann, Marthe V and Nnenna Echem.

Interviewed 22 small businesses

All of these small companies were started by people who share our ideology that small individual actions can have big impact. We strongly believe in supporting local, small and ethical so it was a pleasure to introduce these amazing businesses to our community:

4 Wks coffee – purveyors of compostable coffee pods.

Akina – who make sustainable swimwear, pyjamas and loungewear.

AWAN (As We Are Now) – creators of liberating loungewear designed for women.

Cosmic Coffee & Beer – a bar and café based around permaculture.

EIR – clean Scandinavian beauty products.

Frankie Fenner – ethical meat merchants.

Good Common Sense Naturals – beauty products with a conscience.

Honest food Store – an ethical eatery.

Infinite Mobility – a company that will change urban travel forever.

Kare Kollective – makers of plastic-free shopping bags.

Kindred Kitchen – a plant-based restaurant.

Mielie Mailer – who provide plastic-free, carbon negative shipping.

Mo’s Crib – sustainable handmade décor designers and makers.

Mungo – consciously made linen products.

New Movements – the company that turns trash into very stylish shoes.

Oslo Raw – cafes, cakes, catering and even a cookbook, specializing in plant-based, handmade treats.

PETCO – industry leading PET plastic producer responsibility organization.

RUE skincare – plant-based skincare for delicate skin.

Style Rotate – a glam clothing rental business.

T-Shirts For Change – clothing made from recycled plastic water bottles.

Tukiya’s Closet – the vintage store of your dreams.

Yococo – vegan ice cream so good you’ll wonder what you did to deserve it.

Found out what a “potato” is in Norway

This might be our favorite thing from 2020. While chatting to Anja Stang after she interviewed Celine Aagaard, we were informed that in Norway, someone who juggles all the things and makes things happen is called a “potato”. We have fully embraced this term and now regularly nominate Aurora team members to be the potato of the day.

Made this video about OG environmentalist David Attenborough

Inspired by his Netflix documentary, we decided to spread his wisdom all over the internet. So we made a video. And it’s pretty.

Created a Pinterest board

Because we wanted to make another pretty thing.

Reached over 24 000 (and counting) quiz submissions

Last, but not least, our quiz. Our global community has been taking our sustainability quiz. At the time we wrote this, a whopping 24 966 people had taken the Aurora carbon footprint quiz. That’s a whole lot of “I’m only one person” people.

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