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Michelle Li (BSc ’05) has always been interested in sustainability and took a leap in 2017 to become vegan when she wanted to do more to decrease her own carbon footprint.

Today, she’s the founder of Clever Carbon — a playful, educational website with the goal of increasing carbon literacy amongst consumers.

“When we don’t understand the impact, it’s easy to ignore it.”

Michelle is also passionate about empowering other women working in climate and has founded a global network of over 4,000 people.

On the podcast, Michelle shares how her dream of studying optometry brought her to the University of Waterloo, an interest in business drew her to Silicon Valley and a side project to make a user-friendly carbon footprint quiz grew to a successful career in sustainability.

Show notes

(2:14) Why UWaterloo and then grad school?

(4:41) Was research the right fit?

(6:14) The journey to Silicon Valley and what it’s really like

(10:38) From San Francisco to London

(13:45) Where did the passion for sustainability come from?

(17:27) The birth of Clever Carbon

(22:09) The truth about carbon labels

(25:12) Taking the doom and gloom out of climate change

(26:52) Creating a global network of women

(32:05) Memories from campus

(34:21) Advice for students and alumni

Mentioned in this podcast