if you want to put your money where your values are...
Choose a community development bank or credit union
Did you know that your checking account can generate capital for affordable housing projects? Did you know that your CDs can create funds for job development in low-income communities?
Community development banks and credit unions operate very much like their traditional counterparts, but these institutions focus on funding economic development in low- and moderate-income areas.
You can open a checking account, savings account, money market account, or CD in one of these banks or credit unions; accounts are federally insured up to $100,000. See our Community Investing Resource Center to find a bank or credit union near you, or find community investing financial institutions in the National Green Pages™.
Learn more about community investing »
Look for responsible credit cards
We’re happy to tell you that a few responsible banks and credit unions are offering credit cards that can be a force for change. Check out our recent issue of Real Green that walks you through the options so you’ll know which credit cards to avoid and which will work best for you and for the planet.
Check out socially responsible investing
Integrating your personal, social, and environmental concerns with your financial considerations is called socially responsible investing (SRI). SRI helps you meet your financial goals while ensuring that your investments have a positive impact on people and the planet. Whether you’re just getting started with a simple savings account or you have a highly diversified portfolio of investments, you can be a social investor.
Some of the most popular social investing vehicles are socially screened mutual funds. Screening describes the inclusion or exclusion of corporate securities in investment portfolios based on social or environmental criteria. Socially concerned investors generally seek to own profitable companies with respectable employee relations, strong records of community involvement, excellent environmental impact policies and practices, respect for human rights around the world, and safe and useful products. They also will try to avoid investments in those firms that fall short in these areas. Some examples of issues used by SRI funds in screens include: alcohol, tobacco, defense weapons, animal testing, environment, human rights, labor relations, employment/equality, community investing, and proxy voting.
Socially screened mutual funds are often industry leaders on issues of disclosure and proxy voting.
Green America is one of the leading sources of information about socially responsible purchasing and investing. For individual investors, we publish the Guide to Socially Responsible Investing, a comprehensive guide to understanding investing for you, your family, and the future of the planet. We also publish Real Green, our popular bi-monthly newsletter packed with tips and ideas for green living, purchasing, and investing.Both of these resources are free with membership. Join Green America now.