The Lightest Tread Podcast Episode 1: Mike Baker

SOLE, ReCORK and CO2negative founder and CEO Mike Baker chats all things SOLE and sustainability in the lead-up to Earth Day

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In this very first episode of the The Lightest Tread podcast, Paul Maughan-Brown chats to SOLE, ReCORK and CO2negative founder and CEO Mike Baker about his personal journey revolutionizing sustainability in the footwear industry. 

We hear about the lake house floor that inspired natural wine cork recycling program ReCORK, what it took to maintain focus and dedication to an ideal over 14 years of driving the program, and what's in store for SOLE and ReCORK moving forward. We also hear about the launch of CO2negative to offer a way of empowering people to take control of their own climate impact, and discuss other ways of preventing oneself from becoming overwhelmed and staying optimistic and hopeful in the face of the climate crisis. 



00:00 Intro 

00:01 Small talk and mask burning anecdote 

06:15 Background recap of where SOLE is in terms of sustainable initiatives 

13:20 Almost 130 million wine corks collected by ReCORK for recycling 

16:00 ReCORK Recycled Cork breakthrough material 

18:20 Earth Day Everyday and how it applies specifically to SOLE and ReCORK 

20:15 What has kept Mike so motivated and dedicated to an ideal for so long 

23:56 The story of the inspirational lake house floor 

31:36 We have a natural affinity to cork 

33:50 New packaging! Check out this article on our new packaging.

36:25 Sustainability in the outdoor industry 

39:00 The role of for-profit corporations in driving sustainable innovation 

45:30 Grow economic wealth world wide to reduce impact 

46:20 A world of completely clean energy in our lifetime 

50:05 We're not done yet 

52:45 Generating a completely closed-loop production system 

56:00 CO2negative as a tool to fight the feeling of being overwhelmed by climate change


Some useful resources:

Elon Musk on powering the whole of the US via solar power.

The world is greener now than it was 20 years ago.

China's nuclear power plan.

Nuclear fission vs fusion explained.

Nuclear fusion closer than you might think.

Solar is the cheapest energy in history.