What we do with our money sends powerful messages and demonstrates our choices. Spending money on green and ethical products and services clearly indicates our preference for those products or services. As consumers we have power – something to think about every time you open your purse or wallet, or take out your credit card or sign a cheque.
Not only do we have power when we spend, withholding our money, by boycotting products or companies, can be effective. Ethical Consumer has a list of current boycotts, focusing on those affecting consumers in the UK, but stresses that inclusion in this list does not constitute an endorsement of a particular boycott. It also explains why boycotts are used and lists some successes.
You may wish to consider moving your money to a greener bank or investing in ethical funds. Fair trade is another means of making your money contribute to a more just world, while Local Exchange Trading Schemes, Timebanks and credit unions are among the alternative financial institutions alternative financial institutions. So there are greener ways of using your money regardless of how much, or how little, you have. And, for the enthusiastic ‘green economist’ see more information.
The increasing popularity of Eco sites online is an indicator of the growing cultural trend – in the Western world at least – of considering the environmental impact of the choices we make in everyday life in the modern world. Such concepts as the carbon footprint, which has far reaching implications across our modern lives – not only raising the consideration of where we choose to travel, and what means of travel we use, but also how these factors impact on the transport of the everyday things of life (like the food we eat) – making the job of choosing the ‘ethical’ choice an increasingly complicated process. Investment choices are increasingly a factor to consider in the pursuit of the eco friendly life, and this has lead to the creation of new types of financial products – such as ISAs (Individual Savings Accounts) – that help address these issues.