Since I read an article about the banks in the US that funded the evil Dakota Access Pipeline project and all other similar ones that are huge threats for our planet, I’ve been thinking of moving my money away from my conventional bank account (Chase Bank) and putting a stop to contributing to their dirty businesses.
Traveling abroad and living a nomadic lifestyle is already hard in terms of keeping a checking account in my hometown (New York City) as it’s a ton of work to replace a lost ATM card, paying a lot of foreign transaction and wiring fees, as well as having to call the bank internationally for verification codes, etc. But I decided to make a little research and came across the term “ethical banking” that exactly reflected my idea of green banking. In addition to ethical banks, I found out that credit unions were another solution as they were member-owned, nonprofit financial institutions that generally invested in local communities as opposed to a global conglomerate.
What makes a bank ethical?
- Health: Does the bank offer financial literacy, debt reduction, and other such services?
- Environment: What percentage of loans are made to companies involved in or related to fossil fuel projects?
- Local: What percentage of loans are made to local small businesses in the community?
- Workers: Does the bank pay a living wage and hire within the community?
- Citizenship: What percentage of members are from the immediately surrounding community? What percentage of the bank’s profits go to charitable endeavors?
Most credit unions, being locally focused, have certain criteria you have to meet in order to join. Such as living within or doing business in that community. They also are not known for having good foreign exchange rates since their focus is not international.
After investigating a bit further and getting recommendations from my Facebook network, I decided to go with Aspiration, which is the new type of banking with no physical branches and their checking account option was named ‘Best Checking Account in America’ by Money Magazine.
What I loved most is they donate a dime out of every dollar they earn to successful charities focused on bringing economic opportunity to struggling Americans. I chose the Summit Checking account that had 0 monthly fee and no ATM fees, that also allowed me to do online banking anywhere in the world.
Tip: When evaluating a bank, you can look for the B-Lab approval, which is a nonprofit that measures whether for-profit companies meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency, and certifies them as B Corps. Spring Bank in NYC seems to be one that had this approval.
Happy conscious banking!
Whether we like it or not, the fact is that there will be difficult times in life. Pain is inevitable and it’s a part of the picture. Like physical pain we go through in life, our emotions will experience pain too. And just like our physical body heals, our emotional body will heal too.
These difficult times will make us get out of our comfort zones and grow. We will stretch and be uncomfortable but we will learn to create solutions to solve these unexpected situations. So it won’t be easy while in it but at the end, we will come out of pain much wiser and more evolved. No mud no lotus 🙂
If you have been to yoga classes, you’ve probably noticed that Namaste is often used as a “hello” or “thank you”, but its meaning is much deeper than that.
Do we really see the divine in each other? It is hard to see it with bare eyes that are hiding behind our personal filters that have been forming since we were born. Yes, seeing the divine in each other is possible only if we start seeing from the purest parts of ourself.
For that, we need to put some work to it. This requires working on opening the heart and 3rd eye chakras through different forms of practices including yoga (both asanas and applying yogic principles to our life), meditation, pranayama (breathing exercises), and voila! We can start seeing not only fellow humans but also everything alive in nature through our third-eye (intuitive eye) and heart and be one with them.
Yes, we can do something to help save the planet!
We all know the rainforest is being destroyed. Heck, the entire planet’s in distress! But is there really anything we can do about it? Actually, yes.
Watch this funny video and see how 🙂