Lifestyle | August 09, 2022

Friend of Ned: Pete Hellwig

By Rory Coulter
Friend of Ned: Pete Hellwig
Meet Pete Hellwig — founder of Atmos Financial (the world’s most climate-positive bank), fellow 1% for the Planet member, and Friend of Ned. We chat with him about being present for your family, putting your money where your mouth is, and the importance of powering down.

Ned: How would you describe yourself?

Pete: I’m a nature lover and adventurer, time permitting. I’m my happiest in open spaces and without a phone. These days I’m a husband, father and under-resourced start-up founder. I naturally gravitate to a slower pace whenever possible.

Ned: Can you tell us more about the work you do?

Pete: Co-Founder of climate-positive banking tech start-up Atmos Financial. Atmos is the world’s most climate-positive banking product. Every dollar deposited supports renewable energy, reducing emissions to meet science-based targets. Atmos measures the carbon impact of every dollar, offers nationally leading savings rates and cash-back rewards, and makes it easier to support a wide range of environmental organizations. We think of it as ‘no-sacrifices’ banking, with better rates and perks to our customers, better technology and unparalleled climate-positive impact.

Ned: What are your core values?

Pete: Humility. Respect for the paths and spirits of others. I value and seek out objective truths.

Ned: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Pete: Work hard and be nice to people.
Ned: What’s your motto or favorite quote?

Pete: Waste not, want not. I’ve said that enough to irritate plenty of people.

Ned: What’s something you’ve learned this past year?

Pete: It (however you define ‘it’) takes a village. I’m still very much learning this lesson. Finding, creating and nurturing your tribe is important on many levels.

Ned: What’s a super simple practice you do that’s improved your life?

Pete: I try to get my hands in soil whenever I start to feel a little depleted. The smells and textures are really rejuvenating. It’s a very small act but it creates an intentional moment of appreciation for all that I have and reinforces a positive head space for me to keep on keeping on.

Ned: What do you know you need to do to feel like your best self every day?

Pete: It’s not always possible day-to-day, but prioritizing sleep and physical movement is necessary for me to be my best.

Ned: How do you start your day?

Pete: My day usually starts pretty early. I try to ensure I’m present for my family by 7am, but I’m squeezing in a couple hours of work, perhaps swimming some laps or just sitting in a sauna before my family wakes up. Sharing breakfast with my family is a time I’ve come to cherish.

Ned: How do you end your day?

Pete: My nighttime ritual is critical for restful sleep. My mind is usually racing at night and if I am not intentional about calming my body and mind, I never truly power down. I might be up again after a few hours and back into my ‘To Do’ lists, and over time that really wears me down. It’s actually a pretty simple routine.
Ned’s Sleep Blend
Decaffeinated tea
Read until my eyes start to close. I work in climate and it’s a stressful field. I used to read books on the impacts of climate change, but I found that just added to my overall anxiety level. Now I like to have a good novel and nothing related to climate change on my bed stand.

Ned: What’s your favorite ritual?

Pete: Our family goes to the farmer’s market nearly every Sunday morning. This has turned into a ritual that connects us, and particularly my 2yr old daughter, to the food we eat (whether she knows it or not!).

Ned: What’s your best advice for stress?

Pete: Breathing exercises are helpful to calm the mind and come back to center. Also, don’t procrastinate. Try to identify what is causing you stress and attack it head on.

Ned: What’s your best advice for mental health?

Pete: Take a walk in the woods whenever possible.

Ned: What’s your best advice for sleep?

Pete: Get as much as you can. Keep to a routine.

Ned: What’s something you want to start doing?

Pete: I’d like to reduce my screen time and spend more time connecting directly with the people around me.

Ned: What’s something you’re grateful for?

Pete: I’m grateful for the opportunity to be working on something I care deeply about and for the people that make that possible. Atmos is a tool we can all use to create a more liveable planet for future generation.

Ned: What’s your favorite Ned product?

Pete: Duh, Sleep Blend! Ned’s Sleep Blend has become a daily ritual for me. Over time I’ve really come to notice the positive impact it’s had on allowing me to de-stress, particularly at night when I need it the most.

Learn more about Atmos and how changing your bank can help fight climate change. >