Brighter Planet: Climate Change? Just Put It On My Card

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Too busy to fight climate change? Just charge the problem away with one of Middlebury, Vt.-based Brighter Planet’s credit card offers. The two-year-old startup says this morning that it has raised a $3.2 million Series B round of funding led by Crow Hill Ventures to bring in more users to its services.

OK we partly jest — offsetting carbon with credit cards is a good small step, particularly when done in conjunction with other energy-efficiency activities. And Brighter Planet isn’t the only one in that business. GE also offers its Earth Rewards card, Dutch Rabobank has a Climate Card, and U.K.-based Barclay Bank has the Barclaycard Breathe card.

Brighter Planet credit card users can earn points for every $1 spent, with every 1,000 points going toward offsetting 1 ton of carbon. The company announced its credit card service, which works with Bank of America, late last year.

The startup also offers other products, including carbon-offsetting services for events. While offsetting consumers’ carbon footprints is still a business with a lot of unknowns, startups like Brighter Planet and TerraPass seem to be comfortable betting their entire business models on the industry. Brighter Planet works with carbon offset provider NativeEnergy.

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hey Katie,

I work at Brighter Planet and wanted to say thanks for the post! we certainly agree that offsets are a small (but necessary) piece of the puzzle — efficiency and conservation measures must come first, that’s why our motto is “Conserve what you can, offset the rest”.

In my eyes, the beauty of the Brighter Planet Visa is that we’re taking a very approachable product (the credit card) and putting it toward a cause that nearly all American’s wish they could do more to fight. If everyone could afford solar panels for their homes, that would be a beautiful thing — but this card is a way to support the growth community based projects throughout the country every time you spend…

thanks again!

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