Bank on green by investing in the environment

January 6, 2022 by  
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If you’re like most people, you haven’t given a moment’s thought to how banking affects climate change. But if you do pause, it makes sense that such a major institution could, and does, impact everything from forests to water . As a customer, your choices at the bank can mean the difference between burdening the planet and benefitting it.  At first glance, you may be thinking about environmental aspects like how much paper your bank uses. We all know financial institutions like their paper trail. Obviously, that’s an important consideration, and as banks move further into the digital realm, the paper consumption becomes a fraction of what it used to be.  Related: Major banks still back fossil fuel industry despite climate pledges Then there’s the energy consumption throughout the process of banking. Heating, cooling and lighting large banks, especially older or very large ones, is the opposite of energy-efficiency . As a central industry for the nation, banks carry a huge responsibility to invest in ways that reduce waste of things like paper and energy at every level of the organization.  Even with all that in mind, perhaps the best way a bank can change the course of its environmental impact is to control where its money is invested. While it’s great to consider your individual part in the larger scheme of things, the truth is that the gas you save making an e-deposit instead of driving to the bank for a deposit isn’t even a drop in the bucket compared to the massive power a bank entity holds in driving the course of climate correction.  That’s because banks make money through investments. Where they invest that money — our money — controls who has funds to pursue its interests. For example, banks often invest in the fossil fuel industry. And why not? It’s been a money maker for generations. However, banks who invest in green energy and refuse to fund fossil fuel projects are leaders in environmental solutions.  Green bank means sustainable banking If you know where your bank invests, it gives you the power to make wise eco-friendly banking choices that support environmental goals. Ando is one example of sustainable banking with environmental protections at its core. According to the company, “Ando invests 100% of customer deposits in green initiatives exclusively, like renewable energy and regenerative farming, allowing users to have the single greatest individual impact on reducing carbon emissions and healing the planet.” While sustainable finance is a catchy headline phrase, the current actions are woefully insufficient. The percentage of banks heavily focused on investing in regenerative farming , carbon reduction and efficient waste systems is miniscule. As the zeitgeist continues to shift, however, your decision about what bank to support becomes even more crucial.  Avoid the biggest banks The most commonly-found banks in the country are nearly all associated with funding non-renewable resources . According to the Rainforest Action Network, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citi, Bank of America, TD, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs are the seven most-popular banks. They also fund the most fossil fuels.  Look at sustainability statements from your bank You can start to get a feel for your bank’s sustainability focus by reviewing its sustainability statements. If the highlight reel involves paperless bank statements and energy-efficient lighting, it’s fair to say it is not proud of its investment profile when it comes to environmental protections.  B-Corporation Banks Just like other businesses who practice corporate responsibility around social and environmental actions, banks can also earn B-Corp status. Achieving this certification is a good indicator the bank is working with environmental goals in mind.  Fossil-fuel-free banks and credit unions Just like their big brothers, smaller community banks are not obligated to disclose where they invest their funds. However, many will proudly disclose if they refuse to invest in fossil fuels . Look for a public commitment against financing dirty energy. The list is growing every day. Credit unions  vs. banks Unlike banks, credit unions are developed for groups of people with common goals. Also unlike banks, credit unions are in business to meet the needs of their members, not a paid board of directors. Since credit unions exist to fund loans within their community, the focus isn’t on investing in the larger fossil-fuel industry . Holding your accounts at a credit union, therefore, means your money stays and supports locally.  Go digital, go green with your banks Several online-only banks have launched a banking platform specifically centered around sustainable banking and investments . Check out Aspiration, ATMOS and Ando to see if their service options work for you. Via Grist , Euro Money , Mighty Deposits and Small Footprint Family Lead image via Pexels

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Bank on green by investing in the environment

The Basics of Recycling Scrap Metal for Money

October 27, 2021 by  
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Originally written by Virginia Buechel, of iScrap App. Most of us know the value of… The post The Basics of Recycling Scrap Metal for Money appeared first on Earth911.

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The Basics of Recycling Scrap Metal for Money

Maven Moment: Fall Pumpkins and Apples!

October 27, 2021 by  
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Nothing brings back memories of autumn when I was a child the way that Grandma… The post Maven Moment: Fall Pumpkins and Apples! appeared first on Earth911.

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Maven Moment: Fall Pumpkins and Apples!

DroneSeed makes reforestation easier after a large wildfire

October 18, 2021 by  
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According to the National Interagency Fire Center, 6,480,861 acres have burned across the United States this year alone as a result of 47,201 wildfires . In response, a Seattle-based company is tackling the issue of replanting and restoring forestry health in a rather science-fiction way.  DroneSeed has spent the past few years developing a drone system that specifically targets the most efficient way to replant forests following a burn. It began by evaluating the current method of reforestation , which requires nurseries to spend one to two years growing small trees that are then hauled to the forest and planted by hand. Workers can cover about two acres per day. DroneSeed said they aren’t looking to replace any of those workers. Instead, they want to supplement the process.  Related: BreezoMeter’s real-time data tracks air quality and wildfires At its roots, DroneSeed is a drone company . The very cool technology is not only fun to watch, but it performs the crucial task of dropping tree pods in a targeted way that emphasizes the best chance of growth success. Rather than simply dispersing seeds across the forest, which is imprecise and results in a high failure rate, the drones carry pods that are intentionally packed with everything the tree needs to grow including seeds, nutrients and natural pest deterrents. These seed vessels are placed using advanced laser mapping that identifies the healthiest soil areas to plant in.  Working in groups of five to six drones, controlled by four employees, they can plant an area covering 50 acres per day. While that barely makes a dent in the millions of acres burned each year, it does equal thousands of acres per year that would otherwise lay bare for a few years before replanting even begins. DroneSeed can start work as soon as 30 days after a fire. It is already replanting after summer burns in California and Oregon. In addition to speed and efficiency, the drones can complete the task while saving the landowner money . DroneSeed estimates a 30% to 50% savings in replanting expenses.  Although air seeding is not new and there are other drone companies capable of doing the work, DroneSeed is the only company approved by the Federal Aviation Administration to deploy a fleet of heavy-lift drones to reforest after wildfires. The company recently raised enough capital from investors to acquire Silvaseed , a long-standing forestry company that will enhance seedling production for DroneSeed. “Global reforestation is key to our fight against climate change ,” said Jay Zaveri, a partner at Social Capital. “We’ve supported DroneSeed from the very beginning given its promise to terraform our planet for good. Since then, DroneSeed has scaled its effort to reforest land, found a profitable model through carbon markets and transformed the experience of forest development for landowners.”  + DroneSeed  Images via DroneSeed ?

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DroneSeed makes reforestation easier after a large wildfire

What’s the deal with ‘carbon-negative’ biomethane?

September 3, 2021 by  
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Companies such as Chevron are making big investments into biodigesters, but is this really where the money should be spent?

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What’s the deal with ‘carbon-negative’ biomethane?

The Laws on Plastic Bags: To Ban or Tax?

August 4, 2017 by  
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When it comes to single-use plastic bags, the disposal issue is becoming less about whether they are recycled and more about what some cities are doing to reduce their existence in the first place. If you live in a city near a body of water, it’s…

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The Laws on Plastic Bags: To Ban or Tax?

5 Best Products to Pick Up at Your Local Swap Shop

July 26, 2017 by  
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Attention, Freecyclers. You may be missing out on one of the best options to pick up free products: your local household hazardous waste (HHW) product exchange room. The name doesn’t sound very glamorous, which is why many are nicknamed swap shops….

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5 Best Products to Pick Up at Your Local Swap Shop

Survey: Americans Miss Out on Savings from Energy Hacks

July 21, 2017 by  
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Americans love a deal. There is a proliferation of websites that specialize in coupons of every kind, people camp out all night for big deals, and some sales have even become official holidays. But while we are focused on upfront savings on…

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Survey: Americans Miss Out on Savings from Energy Hacks

What to Do with Old License Plates

April 24, 2017 by  
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I recently came across some old license plates that we’ve accumulated over the years. While license plates can be recycled, ours have lived in a box. Curious about other options for them, I began to look up ideas for what to do with old license…

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What to Do with Old License Plates

Recycling for Profit: 5 Ways to Turn Your Trash into Cash

March 22, 2017 by  
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There are numerous benefits to recycling — reducing the use of natural resources, boosting the economy and saving energy, to name just a few — but sometimes it lacks an immediate personal benefit. If you want to profit from your good deed with more…

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Recycling for Profit: 5 Ways to Turn Your Trash into Cash

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