sustainable money

Sustainable Money: 6 Steps to Make Your Money More Green Today

Searching for ways to make your money more eco-friendly? We’ve got you covered. Sustainable money habits are easier to implement into your life than you might think.

Sustainable money is about building community, creating sustainable habits you can keep for the long term, and making our money work for us. We don’t have to be at odds with our world to thrive in our world.

Sustainable money moves can range from big to small, and we’ve got action items for people at all income ranges.

1-Switch to a green bank.

This sustainable money move is one that almost anyone can do and it has a BIG impact. Banks use your money to make outside investments, and often they’re investing in things you probably don’t agree with.

Citi Bank, for example, invested $285 billion into fossil fuels between 2016-2021. And Wells Fargo is the biggest fracking investor in the US.

By simply moving your money OUT of these banks, you are making a very big sustainable money move. Where should your money go? Read our list of ethical banks right here.

2- Learn a “practical” skill

Do you know how to sew? What about garden, or change a car’s oil? Sustainable money is more than just making financial decisions. It’s about building a sustainable lifestyle that goes easier on our gorgeous planet.

Learning practical skills is a fantastic way to save yourself money, broaden your skill set, and live more mindfully.

If you know how to sew, you can hem that pair of pants you bought that are a little too long instead of throwing them out or leaving them to die in the bottom of your closet. Having more practical skills will lengthen the lifetime of many of the items you own, saving you money and reducing your need for new consumption.

3- Reduce your clutter

Clutter is secretly expensive. We often overlook it, but clutter makes us more stressed, less happy, and costs us a lot of money.

Clutter becomes trash, and trash is really bad from a sustainability viewpoint. You can reduce clutter in three major ways.

-Buy only what you truly need and will use; stop aspiration shopping.

-Before buying something new, or accepting a gift, ask yourself “where will I keep this and what will I use it for?” We’ve got a guide on YouTube to shopping smarter and reducing waste.

-Borrow, trade, or make it first! Follow the buyerarchy of needs, which helps you sort through several steps before hitting “buy now.”

4- Buy quality products

They don’t make things like they used to- literally. The materials we use to make things has declined significantly in the last 50 years. Buying quality items where and when you can ultimately saves money and reduces waste.

The longer you can use an item, the less you need to buy new. Using a toaster you bought 5 years ago is good. using a toaster you bought 20 years ago is GREAT.

Constantly replacing poorly made items is a strain on your budget and on our natural resources. Buy quality and reduce the overall need to shop.

5-Buy Sustainable Investments

Money talks in our world, and where you choose to invest your money REALLY matters.

You can invest ethically in a variety of ways. ESG funds are a great starting point for total novices. Once you’re ready to move beyond them, you can build a more nuanced ethical portfolio.

You can invest in gun free companies, fossil fuel free companies, or companies that don’t use any prison labor. While there is no 100% perfect ethical investment, you can absolutely remove your money from companies that are actively destroying the world. (Looking at you, Amazon.)

If you’re ready to learn more, check out our course on ethical investing right here. We guide you through how to divest from the shitty companies, find the better ones, and also include a whole section on ethical real estate investing.

6-Keep Money Local

When you spend $1 at a locally owned business, 48% of it STAYS in your community. When you shop at a nationally owned business (like Walmart or Target), only 14% stays in your community.

What does it matter if your money stays local? It means more jobs in your community, more local jobs, and more diversity of offerings. (Like having a movie theater AND a mini golf course in your town and not having to drive 30 minutes away to get to one of them.)

This one might be a little more expensive to implement than other ideas on this list, but remember you can always start small. Buying from your local farmer’s market once a month (instead of every week) is a fantastic way to support local while also keeping to your budget.

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