With the inspirational 16-year-old Greta Thunberg speaking at summits of global leaders and Glastonbury Festival banning single-use plastic bottles, individual action against environmental damage and climate change is hitting the headlines.
While saving the planet may sound like a formidable task, we can all take small steps to help the environment: from switching energy provider and eating local and organic produce, to installing better insulation in your home or even plogging (that’s picking up litter while jogging!)
Another step is to move your money.
Have you ever thought about what your money is doing when it’s ‘sat’ in your bank account? It’s not something that we often consider, but money doesn’t just stagnate in a bank vault – it’s lent out to or invested in organisations that your bank chooses.
It doesn’t matter whether you have a modest inheritance in a savings account, a pension that you’ve saved hard for, or simply a current account that sees your monthly pay check come and go – every penny has a collective impact.
Triodos Bank wants to encourage people to really think about what their bank is doing with their money. For example, with some banks, money can be invested in industries, such as arms trade, fossil fuels and tobacco, which may be against your own values.
If you flip that around, money can also be used to do good things that actually help build the society we want to live in.
Triodos Bank only invests in projects that are good for people and the planet. It offers current accounts, savings and investment options for individuals and complete transparency on where your money goes.
Switching your bank account should be no more difficult than switching energy supplier. Indeed, moving to ethical banking is one of the few one-off actions you can take, and it sends a clear message to your bank that you demand transparency and accountability.
Triodos Bank’s current account meets your everyday needs, but also fits your values. The account has everything you would expect, including management online and via the app, as well as a biodegradable contactless debit card made from 100% renewable resources, such as plant leaves and corn. It’s also easy to switch as Triodos is part of the Current Account Switch Service. It offers all of this for a fair fee of £3 a month.
Not used to paying for your bank account? Here’s why. Typically, banks fund their ‘free’ accounts with hidden costs and high charges on overdrafts – often with financially vulnerable customers footing the bill. Triodos don’t think that’s right or fair. Its £3 monthly fee goes towards the cost of running your account and is shared equally by all current account customers.
Triodos Bank also offers a choice of savings accounts, all of which allow you to use your savings to make the world a better place – while earning interest for you.
Its mobile and online services help you manage your daily finances and the bank has a friendly team at the end of the phone at its head office in Bristol.
Triodos Bank is known for financing some of the early pioneers of important trends such as renewable energy, fair trade or organic farming. It financed Ecotricity’s first wind turbine and helped Cafédirect throughout its development. Business customers include Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage and the Big Issue.
If you want to see more about the organisations that the bank lends to, its commitment to transparency means that anyone can go to knowwhereyourmoneygoes.co.uk to find out who and what is benefiting from Triodos funding.
But don’t just take our word for it, here’s why Triodos Bank personal current account customer Hannah chose to bank ethically.
Hannah is a 28-year-old student medical herbalist and youth worker. She tries to live as ethically as she can, buying local organic food wherever possible. She lives with her parents and fiancé in Gloucestershire and has two dogs, which she adopted while living in Colombia.
“I chose Triodos because I wanted to know where my money is lent. It’s not like I have lots of money, but I don’t want even £10 of my money going into unethical practices like the arms trade or the oil industry.”
“Whether I’m buying local vegetables, cutting down on plastic, recycling or composting, I think everything I do can be aligned to my values – and my money is a big part of that.”
Join a community of like-minded people who want to make the world a better place. To find out more about banking with values, go to: triodos.co.uk