By Kienan Briscoe
Over a decade ago, Nick Huzar co-founded Bellevue-based OfferUp, the country’s largest local mobile marketplace. Now he’s tackling the world’s climate crises, one episode at a time, through his newly founded podcast series Stuff TV.
Stuff TV is a weekly podcast featuring experts in the field of climate change, discussing the issue of how to make a positive impact on greenhouse gas emissions. Since its first episode aired in February 2023, guests have included Andrew Shute from Friendly Earth, Lindsey Hoell of Dispatch Goods, Nicole Kelner (author of “A Brighter Future”), and SanMar CEO Jeremy Lott, among several others.
“I’m talking to some real interesting folk,” said Huzar. “I’ve done one on recycling, I’ve done one on plastics in our ocean, I’ve done one on Bill Gates’ nuclear effort. I’ve promoted one on lithium mining, you name it. I’m just trying to take this topic that I think, historically, has been very dry and something hard for people to digest — because it’s usually scientists talking about it — and try to be a voice for what’s happening out there.”
Nick Huzar was born in raised in Washington and graduated from Washington State University in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in management information systems.
In 2011, Huzar founded OfferUp from an idea he had while standing in the doorway of a room that was his soon-to-be daughter’s nursery. The room, at the time, was cluttered with unwanted items as he was hoping to downsize, and he remembers thinking, “there’s gotta be a better way to sell all of this stuff.”
“I looked down at my second generation iPhone and kept thinking ‘huh,’ I think we’re all going to keep having these devices for some time, and as long as we have them, can we rethink local buying and selling as we know it?” said Huzar.
In the early days, Huzar worked closely with business partner and company co-founder Arean Van Veelen, sketching out ideas on a white board that eventually became their first prototype. Van Veelen and Huzar made a great team, he said, with Van Veelen handling the “technical side of things” with a “good business mind” while Huzar handled the coding.
Today, OfferUp is one of the largest local marketplaces in the country with 20 million monthly users and 300 employees as of 2021. It is in the top 10 shopping apps used in the Seattle area with 25% of adults in the region using its services monthly.
Having a front row seat to local transactions for over a decade quickly got Huzar thinking about humanity and its impact on the planet in general. Every time he would take out the trash, he would be unsettled by the amount of waste people produce. Coupled with reading Bill Gates’ “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster” last summer, Huzar quickly grew interested in wanting to make a difference in environmental preservation.
“Initially I thought about writing a book, but then thought it would take me a few years,” said Huzar. “But then I thought, why can’t I just interview some interesting thought leaders that could enlighten us a little bit more?”
Huzar launched his video podcast series Stuff TV earlier this year, which gets its name from the fact that 23% of all Co2 emissions are generated by industry, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — or creating “stuff,” as Huzar puts it.
Having never delved into the world of podcasts before, the entire process of getting it up and running was a “learn as you go” approach, Huzar said — beginning with a basic webcam and a built-in computer microphone, then adding better equipment as he sees fit.
Huzar said the ideas for topics and featured guests happen “quite organically,” resulting from talking to one person to the next, gaining their recommendations on who to speak with next.
“Everyone I speak with is very committed to climate, so people have been very generous in opening doors to other guests for me,” said Huzar.
Upcoming episodes will including discussing sustainable housing, concrete — the second most consumed substance on the planet next to water — sustainable distilling, and much, much, more.
Since launching Stuff TV, Huzar has already begun to implement a lot of the information he has learned, in both his office and at home, from replacing disposable plastic water bottles with reusable containers and using reusable grocery bags.
“If we do those two things, we remove a lot of that from our oceans,” said Huzar. “We treat our Hydroflasks like we do a pair of shoes … every time I learn something, I try to bring some of those things back.”
The overall objective of the podcast is to reach as many listeners as Huzar can, in order to inspire the public to learn and take more action to drive change.
“I do feel like there’s a lot of optimism, people talking about what they’re doing with far-reaching goals. I think a lot of it is hope though,” said Huzar.
Huzar has already been invited to speak at many climate events and hasn’t completely ruled out authoring a book. For the time being, he has been committed to posting one episode of Stuff TV a week for the last 90 days with no intention of slowing down in the near future.
Stuff TV is available on most platforms that support podcasts including Spotify, iTunes, TikTok, and Youtube.
Kienan Briscoe is a freelance writer based in Bothell, WA.