The Cool Down: New website aims to be the first consumer brand on climate change

The Cool Down: New website aims to be the first consumer brand on climate change

Anna Robertson was well on her way to a successful career as an Emmy-winning news professional, after an arc that included working with legendary journalist Diane Sawyer, covering big stories from the 2000s, including 9/11. , the Iraq War and Hurricane Katrina, and taking on senior production duties at “Good Morning America.”

But a series of events and recognitions inspired, or perhaps compelled, her to make a major life shift, moving from the West Coast to Park City, Utah, and reorganizing her goals of career to focus on one of the biggest issues facing the world today – climate change.

What prompted Robertson to reevaluate and recalibrate? The raging wildfires in California, including one that forced Robertson and his family to evacuate their Los Angeles home in the middle of the night, as well as air quality issues that sometimes prevented his children from going to school and a growing sense that useful and diverse climate change information just wasn’t on the radars of a wide audience.

“The first lightbulb moment I had came from three things,” Robertson said. “Working in the local news space and seeing the impact of extreme weather, being evacuated and the third thing, I got curious and angry about the amount of innovation going on that people didn’t really know .

“I just sort of asked why isn’t there a more common source of climate information written in plain English?”

With the seeds of a new idea planted and newly relocated to Park City, Robertson learned that his friend Dave Finocchio, co-founder of the sports news site Bleacher Report, shared his sentiment on a missing piece when it comes to stories and innovations on climate change. . It was an idea not quite far removed from the inspiration behind Bleacher Report, which launched in 2005 and found success on the premise that a lot of information and ideas in sports were just missed. by other outlets.

The self-proclaimed ‘climate mom’ was now on a mission to fight pollution and cool the planet and, along with co-founder Finocchio, launched The Cool Down website earlier this year.

Robertson described The Cool Down as the “first mainstream climate brand” that aims to facilitate engagement and understanding of issues and “connect people with information and a brighter future”.

“The Cool Down is a climate content hub, and as a result our content is a mix of original content and curated content amplified by our editorial team,” Robertson said. “This includes storytelling on climate topics, where our team profiles entrepreneurs and innovations, explains complex topics in accessible language, and provides actionable resources and advice on how people can live and shop healthier. and more sustainably.”

A recent visit to the site revealed stories of how scientists are experimenting with okra to clean up polluted water, where to buy sustainable greeting cards and an article on offshore wind power.


Anna Robertson, co-founder of The Cool Down, poses for a photo with her children, Sibella Wildman, 7, and Jackson Wildman, 8, at their home in Park City Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022. The Cool Down is portrayed by its founders as the premier consumer climate brand whose mission is to connect broad audiences to climate topics and conversations.

Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

Although cosmetics and personal care products don’t usually spark a conversation about climate change, a Cool Down contributor has made “green beauty” his raison d’être and is working to raise awareness and change habits with regard to the link between the environment and personal care.

Celebrity makeup artist Katey Denno has created looks for many stars, including Gillian Anderson, Mindy Kaling, Amanda Seyfried and Margaret Qualley, but she’s dedicated her career to getting “the look” with clean beauty products made with ingredients and packaging that suits him better. customers and for the planet.

Denno walked an unlikely path to the art of makeup, doing social work for years at a hospital in Bronx, New York, where she first witnessed the true transformative power of makeup — she learned from domestic violence survivors how to use concealer to cover bruises so they can go back to work without co-workers scrutiny.

About 15 years ago, a makeup professional spotted a design Denno had done on a napkin and invited her to participate in an upcoming photoshoot. From there, Denno was hooked.

Early in her new career, Denno said she was helping a friend who was going through chemotherapy find the purest skin products she could use in her fight against cancer. Denno said she realized then how few resources there are when it comes to finding cosmetics and skincare products made with healthy, responsibly sourced ingredients.

“At that time, 13 years ago, nobody really talked about it much,” Denno said. “It took a lot of digging and trying to find as much information as possible. There were very few guides and little or no mentorship.

So Denno set out to become a guide and resource for planet-friendly products.

“It was a natural progression,” Denno said. “I’ve always been interested in sustainability and working in beauty and seeing all the crazy waste…something had to change.”

Denno has not only become an expert in identifying products with pure and healthy ingredients, but she also works to raise awareness of how these products are packaged.

On his website, Denno said that for those looking to create a less toxic, more eco-friendly lifestyle, “it’s all about taking small, thoughtful steps and deciding what’s right for you as you go. as you go”.

And Robertson and Finocchio continue to take their own thoughtful steps to create content and conversations with The Cool Down site.

Robertson said there is a “huge treasure trove of content and ideas” that fits into Cool Down’s mission to mainstream climate topics, and the site is rapidly growing its content and product offerings as well as its audience. She also noted that The Cool Down wants to help break down siled and sometimes divisive climate conversations by including a wide range of ideas and voices in its publishing choices.

“We all want clean air, clean water and a brighter future for our children,” Robertson said. “Most Americans understand that climate change is happening. Unfortunately, many people don’t talk about it with their friends and family. We have a huge opportunity to broaden the conversation on climate topics. And we won’t be able to change anything if we only talk to a group of people.


Anna Robertson, co-founder of The Cool Down, shows off the website while posing for a photo at her home in Park City on Thursday, November 3, 2022. The Cool Down is described by its founders as the first consumer climate brand on a mission to connect a wide audience to climate topics and conversations.

Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

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