Illustration by Tanya Shegol
Did you know how you spend your money and where you keep it all have a direct impact on the environment? To make sure you’re not unknowingly supporting fossil fuels or tobacco, check out these tips below.
If your bank lends to or invests in the fossil fuel sector, your money could be harming the planet even as it sits in your account. Therefore, it’s important to acknowledge a bank’s climate change policy before signing up with it. You have the option of switching to a totally ethical bank or simply choosing a high-street brand whose environmental standards are more in line with your own.
Most well-known ethical banks in the UK are Triodos, Nationwide, Monzo and Starling. You can also get a wooden debit card from TreeCard and the company will plant a tree everytime you spend a few pounds.
Investing enables you to have far more choice over what your money goes to. There are a huge number of green/ethical/sustainable funds and what you’ll pick depends on your personal values. Remember to do some research beforehand to make sure you have enough awareness to avoid greenwashing.
Online tools that allow you to invest ethically: Clim8 Invest, Circa5000, The Big Exchange, Wealthify’s ethical plans, and Moneybox’s socially responsible options.
Read our guide to ESG investing
Pay attention to the material, durability and disposal of the things you buy. You can also look for refurbished electronics, like a secondhand laptop, instead of buying new ones.
Good On You is a site that rates the sustainability of brands from "We avoid" to "Great".
Switching to a green supplier is a simple way to reduce your carbon emissions.
GreenNet and Green ISP are two non-profit internet service providers which run on 100% renewable energy.
A green mortgage will get you a lower rate for buying a more energy-efficient home, or carrying out ‘green’ home improvements. They’re available from Halifax, Barclays, Nationwide and NatWest.
A large portion of the £2.6 trillion invested in UK pensions goes to businesses like fossil fuels and armaments. If you're concerned that your pension is harming the environment, discuss your workplace pension and where it's being paid into with your employer.
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