Opinion & Editorial

Do your finances match your sustainability values?

While recycling, bringing your own bags to the grocery store, composting, and ditching the car are all fantastic individual actions to fight climate change, perhaps the most potent way to effect long-lasting, significant transformation is with your wallet.

Strangely enough, money — or a lack thereof — seems to be the one thing that gets people to pay attention. Over the last few years, I’ve been paying much more attention to where my money goes. 

What does this mean in practice?

For me, it meant examining where I shop, what products I buy, where I bank, and where I hold my retirement savings. However, I want to recognize a couple of realities before I continue.

Not everyone has the same opportunities to choose where they shop. While I’ve tried to purchase products from companies that tend to value sustainability, I recognize this ability and privilege comes with an added cost that not everyone can afford.

I also recognize that many of our friends and neighbors often live paycheck-to-paycheck and don’t have the “luxury” of a savings account, let alone investment monies.

Because of these unjust conditions, I believe those of us with the means need to step up. If we can support companies that support living (why not thriving?) wages, safe working conditions, and environmentally restorative products and services, we should.

The fantastic news is sustainable banking and investments aren’t just doing good; they are often more or as profitable than their less-sustainable counterparts.

Does this mean we have to be perfect in every transaction? No, mainly because that’s just not possible. But it does mean we can do a heck of a lot better, starting today.

Daniel Hiestand is the Outreach Coordinator for Lane County Waste Reduction and a columnist for The Chronicle. 

Waste Wise Tip: See if your finances match your values

Are you thinking about starting a savings account? Or you may already have one and want to move your money to a more sustainable bank? Mightydeposits.com can help you learn more about your bank’s values.

Waste Wise Business Tip: Use commercial food waste collection services

If you are a business in Eugene, Springfield, or Veneta, contact your hauler to sign up for curbside yard debris bin service. Not only can you put yard debris in the bin, you can also put food waste—including meat and bones.



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