Eco-Conscious Finance (minus the Greenwashing B.S.) | Christelle Cristina | Skillshare

Eco-Conscious Finance (minus the Greenwashing B.S.)

Christelle Cristina, Environmental Educator

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8 Lessons (36m)
    • 1. Welcome to the Mini-Course!

      1:07
    • 2. Eco-Friendly Spending Habits & Donating

      6:57
    • 3. The Dirty Investments of Mega-Banks

      8:19
    • 4. Divestment: Eco-Friendly Financial Institutions

      8:00
    • 5. Impact Investments for Individuals & for Foundations

      5:46
    • 6. Responsible Credit Cards

      2:24
    • 7. Next Steps

      0:25
    • 8. Our Story

      2:58

About This Class

Welcome to our mini-class on Eco-Conscious Finance minus the Greenwashing B.S. This class is part of our much larger course on Environmental Activism. Here's the syllabus:

  • Eco-friendly spending habits and donating
  • The dirty investments of mega-banks
  • Divestment: eco-friendly financial institutions
  • Impact investments for individuals & foundations
  • Responsible credit cards

If you are doing everything in your personal life to better the environment but your money is sitting in a bank that’s using it to blow up mountain tops, it’s time to fix that.

This mini course is meant to serve as an introduction to the topic of eco-conscious finance to help you reflect on issues you may not have been aware of and plan out how you can start taking action.

MAKE SURE TO DOWNLOAD THE MINI-COURSE WORKBOOK!

Transcripts

1. Welcome to the Mini-Course!: Hi, everyone. I'm crystal from Perma crafters. Welcome to our many class on eco conscious finance minus the greenwashing BS this class is part of are much larger course on environmental activism. So in this class will be talking about money and how to approach finance in an eco friendly way. So here's a syllabus. We'll be discussing ICO friendly spending habits and donating. We'll talk about mega banks and their destructive investments. We'll get into divestments, and eco friendly financial institutions will cover impact investments for individuals and for foundations. And finally, we'll talk about responsible credit cards. So I'm really excited to bring out this topic if you're doing everything in your personal life to better the environment. But your money is sitting in a bank that's using it to blow up mountaintops, then it's time to fix that. I'm not here to pretend to be a Green financial advisor, but I do hold a bachelors degree in the social and scientific aspects of environmental studies and a master's degree in natural resource is and sustainable development. So this many courses, meant to serve as an introduction to the topic of eco conscious finance to help you reflect on issues that you may not have been aware of and plan out how you can start taking action . All right, I hope you enjoy the course and spread the word to your friends. 2. Eco-Friendly Spending Habits & Donating: Let's talk about how we spend our money. The places we direct our money towards are a way of voting now. We don't always have a choice as to how we spend our money. More money we have, the more flexibility we have in terms of where we want to see our money go. If we're living in poverty, we may not be able to afford local organic produce over conventional process food. If we're working a job that has no public transportation options to get there, we may have to support cars over buses. But when we do have a say and when it's within our reach to put our money towards something that makes our world a healthier place for everyone, then I think we absolutely should do that in this course were big advocates of buying less of buying what you need and what you actually use in our home here in Switzerland and in our life. We probably don't check all the boxes to be defined under the label of minimalists, but we definitely use minimalism as a guide to how we choose what items to bring into our home and keep in our homes so instead of collecting items in her home. We love the idea of sharing. Resource is with people in our community by borrowing tools that we don't use often and donating or selling items that we no longer had use for. So you know that we have an entire course dedicated to secondhand living. We've been thriving off of the waste stream for years, and we have had close to no need to buy things new other than things like toothbrushes and toothpaste and so on. So whatever you possibly can acquire existing items over new ones. Second hand items are way more likely to be within your budget, too. And with very few exceptions, there is nothing better ecologically speaking than giving a new life to items that already existed rather than buying new items even if the new items were made responsibly. And, of course, please buy second hand. Within reason. Don't go buying dangerous antiques containing lead or recall baby toys or helmets or baby car seats that might have been in a crash, but acquire Close your appliances, your electron ICS, your vehicles, your food, your decorations, your furniture, secondhand. To me, this is one of the single best things you can do for the environment. If you're looking into buying new items over existing ones, support businesses that are environmentally responsible and that pay their workers fair wages. When you're supporting these types of companies, it's likely that is going to cost more because it's reflecting. The true cost of the items of the cost could be higher for various reasons they because of the cost of fair salaries. Maybe because there are no government subsidies to keep the costs lower, or maybe because there are ecological practices in place that cost more like carbon offsetting or composting. So if you don't have the budget to support this, especially if you've already changed your habits to buy less and to buy second hand and please don't worry about not being able to purchase from these places, you're just doing the best you can based on what your situation is. You can still support these businesses just by getting the word out for them. But if you can't afford it, then supporting responsible companies is a wonderful choice for the environments and for people. When people know that they're going to be supported by starting a small eco friendly business and that they can count on people to choose them over. Not so green big businesses gives them more motivation to move forward with their business idea. It means people stepping into self created jobs that makes sense environmentally and ethically and less people feeling like their only choice is to take a job at a company that is wrecking the environment. Let's talk about donating money. Growing up, it was drilled into my head that whenever possible, I should donate my time and my money, however little. But how much should you be donating? Well, there are lots of different recommendations out there, and it depends not only on your income but also on your wealth. So let's start with your income. Generally, it's recommended to donate between one and 10% of your pre tax income, so the higher your income and the more comfortable you are, the closer to 10% that can be so if you're living below the poverty line or living paycheck to paycheck, I would recommend securing your needs before even considering to donate. Don't donate 1% if it means that you won't be able to pay your bills Let's say your income is $40,000 a year and you're in a comfortable financial situation. In this case, you could decide to donate 1% of this income, which is about $400 or about $33 a month. And if your income is 100,000 year, you could decide to donate up to 10% of this income, which is $10,000 or $833 a month. And again, this is completely up to you to figure out what makes sense to you based on what your expenses are. If you are a very wealthy individual, you might want to consider donating more than just 1 to 10% of your income. Are not a pro on this example is far from perfect, but the point is to get a general idea as to why you might want to consider donating a percentage of your fortune in addition to a percentage of your income. So let's take fictional character Beth Jen's owes, who is the CEO of a major company called Zama Gone. Let's say that he is worth $160 billion. That money is invested and let's be extremely conservative and say that he only makes on average a 4% income on that. Now I can see investment bankers cringing at this oversimplified example, but bear with me. His income will be $6.4 billion if he gives away 1 to 10% of that income, equates to A 64 million to a $640 million donation. But in 2018 Beth Onley donated 131 million, which is a little over 2% of his income. So he's falling within the income donation guidelines. Right? That's awesome, right? Well, people aren't calling him very generous because Beth Onley donated 0.8% of his total fortune. So if you have $50,000 in savings in the bank, that's like donating $40 a year now. On the other hand, you have fictional characters Gil Bates and born wife it, who are praised for giving away 3 to 4% other fortune every year. That would be like Beth Jen's owes, donating 4.8 to $6.4 billion a year instead of just 131 million, which, according to my previous extremely conservative estimate, will be 75 to 100% of his income. I can't give you exact guidelines as to how much of your fortune you should donate every year. But the whole point of this examples to bring up the fact that when you're extremely wealthy, you construct considering doing more than just donating a percentage of your income. So if you are very wealthy, how do you donate more without chipping away at your fortune? Well, if your income is 6.4 billion and really, you only need $100,000 to be comfortable that year, then you could donate the rest of your income from that year. You'll get to keep your 160 billion. Ah, you won't lose any money, and you still have a gargantuan safety net. In fact, if you do have a lot of wealthy, consider starting a foundation or a donor advised fund. You can hire help to figure out how to best use the funds to strategically support issues that you hold close to your heart 3. The Dirty Investments of Mega-Banks: If you're making a ton of changes to support environmental protection, you'll want to make sure that your money that you have sitting at your bank isn't funding the destruction of everything that you're fighting for. So unless you have specific investments with a portfolio manager and all that jazz, we can choose what you're money finances, then the money you have in the bank isn't actually just sitting idly by. If you have 1000 euros in a bank account and you're not investing in a thing, than 90 to 97% of that money is actually traveling around all over the place. My bank is sending my deposits left and right instead of letting them to sit idly by in that account. That's how banks make money. That means that my money has a carbon footprint that varies depending on how the bank is deciding toe. Lend that money. Everything is computerized and my money is actually being taken by the bank to finance the banks projects without specifically telling you what those projects are without me having any control over it so base can loan out. A majority of their resource is depending on the country they have to keep at least 3 to 10% of their clients deposits. So if you can put 1000 euros in your bank account, they're allowed to spend at least 900 euros on loans, which are spend on buying goods and services, which you have no control over if you're at a normal bank. So the overwhelming majority of things are not transparent. You can't find out easily who they're giving out their loans to, and we'll talk later about a few banks that do decide to be transparent. So where exactly are banks putting our money exactly what's happening to my 1000 euros? You're ready when you put your money in the bank. The bank lends that money to finance the local economy, but also multinationals, states and other banks. And they want to choose project that are profitable and reliable for them. So they finance coal, gas and oil, as well as insurances that are ensuring the coal, gas and oil projects. French banks finance 10 times more fossil fuel energy projects than renewable energy projects. 2018 Prudential Regulation Authority review shows that 70% of banks realise climate change poses financial risks but only 10% of banks manages risks with comprehensive long term view . A recent article from November 2019 talk about the addiction of French banks to fossil fuels. Oxfam and Friends of the Earth is any good at their denounced the colossal carbon footprint of French banks. The report states that in 2018 greenhouse gas emissions coming from financing activities in the fossil fuel sector, of the four main French banks, BNP Paraiba Canadian Medical Association had and BPC reached two billion tons of CO two, which is 4 to 5 times the emissions of France. BNP is the bank that supports the most polluting projects, followed back if you date a gun. This was through loans to fossil fuel projects and investments in shares in companies like Total. So French banks are supporting projects from fossil fuels, nuclear energy and large dams abroad. They don't loan money toe French projects in France that are dirty like this because of the legal risks and risks for their reputation. So instead, they take advantage of the weaker environmental legislation in countries abroad. So being Pepe Hiba, for example, is investing in oil sands in Canada. Natural gas projects in Papua New Guinea, a petroleum project in Russia. Shale gas producers like total coal projects in South Africa. A coal plant in Turkey, another cool plant in India that the local canoes were actually against. And the giant R W E German coal group, which is the top European polluter in the private sector. In fact, Swiss banks, UPS and kid histories are also funding this project. The three of them invested about 2.4 billion euros in this R W E project between 2016 and 2018 and they try to keep these investments hush hush. And the crazy thing is that bn Pippa Hiba calls itself a responsible bank that supports the fight against climate change. And I wish it was the only French bank that was this bad, but associate vision they had and kidney Agni could also invest in the same sorts of terrible projects, and I used French banks as an example here. But banks around the world aren't any better. What exactly are US mega banks lending money to well in 2010 the Rainforest Action Network showed that U S and Canadian banks like Bank of America City, JP Morgan Chase and RBC were financing tar sand extraction projects, and Citigroup and Merrill Lynch were found to have financed through the Three Gorges Dam in China that destroyed wetlands and displaced 1.4 million people. And in 2012 a Cool finance report came out by the Rainforest Action Network, the Sierra Club and Bank Track Called Dirty Money. US Banks of the Bottom of the Class. This report ranks the top financiers of mountaintop removal, coal mining and coal fired power plants. Mountaintop removal mining is when the tops of the mountains are literally blown off to find Colditz practices destroyed about 1.4 million acres of forests and mountain tops and the top banks responsible for this in 2012 or Bank of America J. P. Morgan Chase Citi, Morgan Stanley Wells Fargo. Those with a filthy five. Now, according to an October 2019 analysis by the Rainforest Action Network, which studied Bloomberg financial data and company disclosures that are publicly available , the world's top investment banks gave the fossil fuel industry over $700 billion between the 2016 Paris Agreement on Climate Change and mid 2019 so the top banks financing fossil fuels are J. P. Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America and Wells Fargo, so their billions are funneled into coal mining operations, oil and gas companies, fracking firms and pipeline companies. JP Morgan Chase, in particular, has provided $74 billion to fossil fuel companies working on fracking projects and Arctic oil and gas exploration. And Fracking has also received $80 billion financing in three years from JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo, with much of it going to into Texas fracking projects. So these numbers have been updated since the April report called Banking on Climate Change and if you step Back and look at the international picture. Between 2016 and 2019 alone, 33 banks financed 1.9 trillion and fossil fuel projects in 2019. The Rainforest Action Network released a document called Making on Climate Change is well worth a read. They made a great website where you can view by sector which bank is funding what, and you can also see who is financing fracking efforts, Arctic oil and gas or total fossil fuel financing, and so on. This is the same graph azi confined on fossil banks dot org's, which is another great resource. Barclays, the UK bank is beginning to decrease its financing to the fossil fuel industry. In 2016 it provided 13.1 billion to fossil fuels, whereas in 2018 it was 5.2 billion. Even more good news in January of 2020 Barclays shareholders have challenged the mega bank to divest from fossil fuels that are accelerating climate crisis. These shareholders represent 11 pension funds that manage £130 billion. Is the first resolution of its kind to be filed against the European bank, and it will be voted on in May 2020. I briefly mentioned the fact that your carbon footprint is influenced by the bank you choose to put your money in. There's actually a calculator that was put together by various French nonprofits, where you can plug in the money you have with which bank, and if you have any specific investments and so on and based on that, they will calculate your carbon footprints. Now, I can't say the numbers were legitimate because they seemed quite skewed. But regardless this pressure on banks to be more transparent about the climate impact of their loans and the pressure to meet the Paris Climate Agreement Goals is working. In September 20 19/50 banks and financial institutions that represent $3 trillion in assets said that they would assess and disclose the carbon footprint of their loans and investments through partnership for carbon accounting financials. So would be a monumental change to be able to know the carbon footprint of your bank. And so far, Dutch banks have tracked the climate impact of their investments and loans and found that residential mortgages were one of the areas of highest carbon footprint. So they began promoting mortgages with incentives for energy efficiency, which is incredibly exciting. 4. Divestment: Eco-Friendly Financial Institutions: If you want to get your money out of dirty banks, there are options. Banks can't keep investing in fossil fuels and a destructive economy if we divest by changing to socially and environmentally responsible alternatives. And I mentioned earlier that, according to the Green American nonprofit, the Dye investment movement has removed $9.94 trillion from fossil fuel companies, thanks to the dye investment of institutions and another $5.2 billion thanks to the divestments of 58,000 individuals like you and Me. So we can switch banks to choose one that's more responsible or investor money and projects that makes sense socially and environmentally so, since in most places it's not possible to receive Social Security or even get a job unless you have a proper bank account, let's start with cleaner banks. During a tour of the Town of Basel, given by zero Waste Basel, we visited the anthro pus optical bank here in Basel, called the Free Community Bank Pliego Mineshafts Bank, and the bank follows a philosophy founded by Rudolf Steiner, by which they seek to use mainly natural means to optimize physical and mental health and well being So when you put your money in their bank, even if it's just a small amount of money, they borrow it to place it in loans for community projects for 3 to 5 years that are in line with their philosophy, and you get a small interest from these projects. They have a full list of loans In their annual reports. You can see exactly where your money is going and what it's supporting. So they give two schools and kindergartens, healing education and social therapy, organic farming, community centres and retirement homes, ecological projects, restaurants, cultural and artistic initiatives and community housing. So I just love how transparent they are. It's also possible to directly invest in specific projects. So if you have, you know at least 100,000 Swiss springs to invest in them, you can do that, too. You can search to see if you have an anthro pus optical bank near you as well. With a quick search, I found one in England and Scotland and Wales called Triaud toes, that only finances project that are socially environmentally beneficial, like charities, social businesses, environmental initiatives and community groups. Otherwise, there are a few examples of banks that I can give in France, Let Neff and the kiddie Copa had chief work with the local economy through a community financing and there not involved in any big controversial projects. They're a transparent banks. You know who they give their loans out to. So if you're just looking for a place to store your money without specific investments than these types of banks are a great alternative. Another option to look into is credit unions, although even with credit unions, you won't necessarily know exactly how they're lending your money. And if they're doing so in a way that sits right with you. Not all credit unions are created equal, so you can do your homework on them if you don't know what a credit union is. It's different from a bank because it's a nonprofit where you can become a member and a part owner. So it's a member, owns financial cooperative, and you can still make deposits, get loans and other financial services. But you know that the credit union is there to serve you and other members of your community, and you actually have a say in how things are run. There are a few disadvantages. To credit unions, the membership fee is generally 5 to $25 since credit unions air smaller than banks, you'll likely have less options in terms of branch locations and ATMs. And you'll also want to see if your credit union is insured by the government. Most are, but some aren't. Another difference is that credit unions don't quite match banks in terms of services. So if you want to take out a giant loan for your big business, they might not be able toe do that. And finally, not all credit unions have options for things like banking, APS or mobile deposits, although I'm sure that that will change as time goes on. But if these things aren't a great problem for you, then throw great alternative to banks. Green America dot org's has a wonderful directory listing to help you find a better financial institution being a credit union or a bank, you can just plug in your location and see what pops up. So Green America is a nonprofit. It supports social justice and environmental sustainability, and they provide great resource is in terms of cleaning your banking. In addition to their lists, of greener U. S. Banks and credit unions. They also have a list of socially responsible investing financial advisors, a green mutual fund companies, green money managers, green checks and green credit cards. And you can find all of this on green pages dot org's. Another option is looking for B Corp or values based financial institutions around the world. Banks that are committed to improving social and environmental issues can become A B Corp or a member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values. So a certified B corporation is a for profit business that meets the highest standard of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountabilities. So be corpse often use renewable energy and their buildings as well. So you can search the B Corporation directory for banks to see if there is one in your area . Otherwise, you can look for financial institutions that are a member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values. There are banks, banking co operatives, credit unions, micro finance institutions and development banks around the world remembers and collectively served 50 million customers. Thes banks support people, planet and profit. They make community investments, have transparent business practices and focus on sustainability. So on the Global Alliance for Banking on Values website, you can find a map to see where member banks are to see if he could join one, and will also leave the list of banks for you to check out in your workbook. Otherwise, you can look into community development, financial institutions or banks that are part of the CDF High Fund. They don't necessarily invest in environmental projects, but in projects that focus on social issues, you can find a list of certified CDF eyes on their website. Another alternative to banks are ethical community investment funds. The money we keep in the bank can, without much effort, be reoriented into projects that facilitate a sustainable transition. So if you have a bank in France, a bank account in France, you could move that money to a little young for examples that you're saving. Support small farmers. You could become a shareholder at Tell Danielle by putting your savings with them so you purchase shares and your savings. Start supporting your community so the funds placed with them are invested in buying land and farms to support. Producers were growing organic food on a small scale. Your savings basically help revive the countryside. You can assign which farm which region to support, where you can let them decide for you. It's an incredible alternative, and my understanding is that there are tax benefits from investing there as well. Otherwise, there's the Sustainable Investment Fund through RSF In the States, investors know exactly what their money is supporting. They know the exact organizations, and they get a small financial return of 1% on their investment. That's comparable to a bank certificates of deposit. So they get to support social enterprises that are tackling the planet's most pressing pressing issues. And those who borrow the money know that the loans come from investors who have similar values and want them to be successful. And the interest rate is determined by all participants during gatherings every three months. So instead of having your money at a bank, your money could be supporting Durica recycling, for example, which is the recycling company that emphasizes zero waste principles by running educational events. Toe prevent it raced. So wouldn't you rather support that, then funneling your money into projects that are destroying the environment? So when you invest your money here. You could also be supporting organizations like Farmer Food Share. We interviewed Jenny Bell from this nonprofit about how they support local farmers and bring their food to Children who need food. And if you want to join them, it's just $1000 to open an account to invest in their social investment fund. Otherwise, there are two other French options I want to mention in, actually pathology, where you invest your money in a fund that supports the creation of renewable energy Center is in France or blue bees, where the investments are riskier and you get to support sustainable agricultural projects or even zero way shops and making. So, of course, you can diversify your portfolio to make sure that your money is supporting things that you care about and that it's also bringing in the returns that you need 5. Impact Investments for Individuals & for Foundations: If we're talking about investing big bucks, then this next section is for us. We're about to delve into impact investments. So to learn more about all of this, I spoke with two environmental foundations about where they invest their money and to wealthy human rights activists felt where they invest. There's so if you're just getting started with socially responsible investments, you could interview various certified financial planners and investment advisors that specialize in this field. Or, if you have the time and the money, you could go to a conference like the SRE conference. You get to meet financial advisors, asset owners, asset managers, forward thinking companies, mission driven organizations, entrepreneurs and others who are all in this field of sustainable, responsible and impact investing. So, of course, I'm sure that you will have to have your greenwashing alarm system locked and loaded. But with enough practice and digging, you may find some gems. So when you hire a financial planner to help with sustainable investments or socially responsible investments, the idea is that you're using your money to not only grow your own wealth, but also to build environmental solutions, help local economies and owner human rights So instead of getting richer by investing in fossil fuels or cigarettes, you invest in things that make the world a better place. And in many cases, the return rates are the same as in classic portfolios, because the investments are smart. So it's crazy, really that not more people are switching to impact investments because they're the right thing to Dio, and the return rates are comparable for the most part, and return rates will be presented very transparently to you. So you know what you're getting into in advance and in some cases, with projects that are very impactful. The return rate won't be as good as stock return, but you'll know the trends in advance to like with the RSF. They offer investment options for wealthy individuals and foundations, and the return rate is comparable to a bank certificate of deposit of around 1%. So I like to say, if you really like something like RSF and you can afford it, consider doing it at least for part of your portfolio, especially if you're running a foundation for more on this later. So when you invest in impact investments, each money manager you work with should have an E SG criteria, which stands for environmental social governance. Basically, this is so that you can be sure that you're investing in companies that understand the limits of the planet and decide to either minimize their environmental impact or build environmental solutions. And these companies also work under ethical supply chains, fair treatment of employees with regard to communities they may impact and so on. And if you wanted to, you could go beyond the basic GSG screening for companies to invest in. Some financial planning firms actually choose companies that have a money manager that not only screens for SG, but they also actively works on the inside of these companies for positive social change. And you don't need to invest in Wall Street investments. You can put your money into community investments or other private placement investments. It's closer to home, and you can see the social impacts better. Some of these investments are often predictable and study, while others are not so predictable, and our fall more along the lines of Let's hope for the best. And if it fails, it was a good donation towards my community type of thing. Let's talk about foundations foundations are there to support the community through grants . If a foundation has $20 million you spend 5% of that on donations every year, you're donating about a $1,000,000 a year to projects that are making the world a better place. Awesome. But what's the rest of the 20 million doing? A foundation, just like wealthy individuals, invests its money so they can grow every year. Otherwise, foundations would be spent down and disappear. So if that 20 million is invested in projects that fund fossil fuels or generally the destruction of the planet just to get incredible return rate every year, then really, what good is a foundation? You're spending $20 million a year destroying the planet, and you whip out a magical one million to save it. That sounds like madness. So if foundations are not investing all of their money and socially responsible investments , then in my opinion, I really think they should rethink their mission. I don't see how you can justify investing in companies that are responsible for mining and deforestation just to get a higher return to then invest that money back into positive community projects. It doesn't add up. So as a foundation you can take more liberties and risks with your money. Of course, your portfolio should be diversified and it shouldn't be all invested in the riskiest of projects, but nobody will go hungry if some investments fail ends. Any investments that do fail should be seen as a donation. So if $100,000 of your $20 million portfolio was invest in a small farms project that ended up tanking, maybe you concede as a donation. Is Justus risky as your $100,000 grants to the five, a one C three project you gave last year that you were fully willing. Toe. Take the gamble on then, since you weren't expecting a return. So if you're a foundation and you're not investing in socially responsible investments, here is my invitation to think again. As a foundation. You could be investing part of your portfolio in RSS Regenerative Economy Fund to support organisations working in clean energy, sustainable manufacturing or diverting waste where you could invest in their food system Transformation fund to support organizations that work on improving food and agriculture supply chains that help health outcomes and boost local economies these are just a few ideas to get started. So I wanted to give an example of a foundation that is doing things beautifully. Jennifer A. Stone, who is the executive director of the Swift Foundation, explained how they have shifted their investments towards climate solutions and supporting indigenous people. They have $10 million placed in highly Mission Align investments, and they also have investments that include funds, direct investments and angel investments. It's an amazing case study in case you want an example of foundation doing impact investments beautifully. 6. Responsible Credit Cards: way discussed banking in general, but we didn't yet touch upon credit cards. So when you use a credit card from a megabank, your funding that bank through your annual fees balance transfer fees, late fees thes that the merchants may have to pay an interest you pay on your credit card balance. So the megabank takes this money to give loans, often to support fossil fuel projects and other projects that admit large amounts of greenhouse gases. So if you choose a credit card that has no annual fees and you make sure to pay off your credit card every month to avoid overdraft fees and you skip the balance transfer fees than the only amount of money that you're sending to the mega bank is the fees that the merchants have to pay. But you can choose a clean credit card from a community development bank or a credit union . Then you'll know that any fees are supporting community projects or sustainable projects at that. If you went with a particularly good credit union, you might have seen your favorite nonprofit offer affinity credit cards where you can support them with every purchase that you make, according to bankrate dot com. The bank that issued your credit card donates, on average, half a penny for every dollar that you spend. So if you spend $100 they donate 50 cents. And the concern is the issuing bank of affinity. Credit cards are often megabanks, so any fees you get on that card are still supporting the megabank theme. So how do you find a clean credit card where any card fees will finance at local community projects? Well, Green America has done a great job here. You can visit break up with your megabank dot org's to find either a credit union or a local community development bank that can issue a credit card. Green America provides a list of clean credit card alternatives, including their own. The Green America credit card is issued by TCM Bank, which is a subsidiary of the independent Community of Bankers of America, which supports over 500,000 community banks in the states. So when you use the screen America credit card, you support both I C B A with your fees and green America with your purchase. Since a portion of every purchase goes towards Green America's environmental work, so the list they provide is a pretty great starting point, and they provide annual percentage rates as well as whether or not there's an annual fee. So it's a great list that will link to in your workbook. 7. Next Steps: paper crafters. I hope that you love this mini course and that it's encouraging to analyze your finances. There's a whole lot more where that came from. I hope you'll follow us on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook. We have a great community on those platforms and please join our weekly newsletter by setting up on our website at Perma crafters dot com, where we have many more free resource is so yes season. 8. Our Story: Hi, I'm Chris itself. And then we've seen and we are the premier drafters from a crafters is an online school that offers courses on environmental topics you wish you had learned about in school growing up, like how to reduce your exposure to toxins in your home, how to care for the environment by reducing your Trash or your waste. And probably most importantly how to cut through the greenwashing BS. Then lookup symbol is born out of a friendship between myself and we sell. We may have a beakers or 9A I2, the piazza in Burma culture that we saw with teaching. And I'm an environmental educator with a background in natural resources management, sustainable development, permaculture and urbanism. And I was teaching this eight week permaculture class there. And we were introducing topics like natural building, worm composting and foraging, and permaculture is an ethical Design System for sustainable human culture. And it was created as a response to Earth's diminishing resources and energy and had never heard of permaculture OWN SU, much thoughts to environmental topics. I come from a very different world. I used to work in business management and middle. And when n mess this up and just key, I need to turn out and we had so much in government. It's true the moment Christina step foot in the class, she had this infectious smile and it was just impossible not to get close to her as she's also this incredibly creative DIY lover. She was constantly coming up with new crafting project. It's really inspiring. Chrysostom, a butcher glass, changed how I view the word. She shared her fat that opened my eyes to environment, that crisis. But noting away that I left me hopeless, it encouraged me to get out of my comfort zone to find creative solutions to environmental problems until even for positive change. Not for perfection. Crew cell made environmentalist and soy inclusive people of all backgrounds. As you can see, that's initials promotion for boasted environments are crisis, makes so much sense. Your lists no, going back. And after that class, we decided to combine forces and share our permaculture and crafting skills through online classes that would be available to anyone anywhere in the world. So now we offer courses on growing sprouts and micro greens at home on green cleaning minus the green washing BS on 0 waste living and how to reduce your trash. And following the Zero Waste theme, we also teach about Zero Waste menstruation, stairways, body carrying cosmetics and herbal remedies for common ailments as well. He feels so grey fur further, sponsor first courses on glory in Luke's become weights develop new ones for you that can fermentation as the Ysom eco-branding and so much more so thank you so much for being on this adventure with us. We hope that you'll keep enjoying. Our blog posts are classes or online resources and all that good stuff. Do you send these in?