Money is less of a dirty word these days – making more ethical choices with spending and investing is something we’re getting used to. Once seen as a bit of a niche interest, ‘good money’ has become an idea that’s hard to ignore. It’s also much easier than it used to be to do your bit – even if you don’t have much to spare (like most of us), you can help others and feel better about yourself without breaking the bank, nor a sweat.
Ethical and green investments are becoming a big deal, with even major investors turning from fossil fuels to renewables. But what can you do with the few quid you’ve got burning a hole in the pocket of your organic textile trousers? Here’s some ideas.
Invest on the bright side
‘Positive investment’ or online ethical share platforms like Ethex help you put money into community, housing, renewable energy, and even delicious, life-giving coffee. Positive investment means investing directly in fair trade and organic food and the like, while ethical investing is more to do with ruling out the kinds of businesses you’d rather not support. It’s all good.
Charity begins with bonds
Similarly, platforms like Retail Charity Bonds give investors the chance to put something into projects that create social benefit, helping charities get finance to do more good. Charity bonds let investors share their interest with the charity of their choice.
Lend a little help
Microfinance schemes like Lend With Care are based on the idea of loans rather than donations to help people innovate their way out of poverty – think “teach a man to fish and also lend him the cash for a decent rod”.
It’s always worth comparing finance providers on their ethics before you choose who to go with for a current account or credit card. More providers are setting out their stall for ethical interests, promising to lend to and invest in organisations that benefit others.
Be fashionable with a conscience
To reward yourself for thinking globally, you might want to do a little sustainable clothes shopping. There are so many ethical fashion brands around now, like the UK-based People Tree, it’s easy to cover yourself in ethical glory. You might have to pay a little more, but it might be worth it for the warm glow of knowing you’ve done a little good. You can keep on greening up your shopping with a little effort – try Green Choices to guide you. The Lost Lanes is worth a look too, with its claim to be “the UK’s largest ethical marketplace”.