5 Ways Managing Your Money Will Save the Planet
It is clear to see that practices such as over-consumerism, over-consumption, inbuilt obsolescence and profits over the planet are fueling the ever increasing destruction of our finite world. It is vital as individuals that we stand, as one among many, to do our part in reducing our personal impact on our home. We have compiled a list of actions and practices we can implement now, as we wait for governments and companies to catch up to the growing public sentiment about caring for our planet.
1. Understand That Our Purchasing Power Has Consequences
You the reader are probably part of the 1.7 billion people worldwide that belong to the "consumer class". A class characterised as people that are able to purchase goods and services above our basic need for survival; i.e. to feed, cloth and shelter our self. As this class, we have the purchasing power that contributes to problems such as food waste, fast fashion, non-recycled and non-recyclable products and packaging.
Regardless of whether we believe we have the power to control or influence companies, history has shown time and time again, that consumers are the ones that determine the fate of many businesses. Just look at the examples of when Brands get it wrong and are served a large dose of public backlash. Or when consumers leave in droves, such as the death of Motorola, the creator of the first mobile phone or Blockbuster's fateful meeting with Netflix.
To help, you might want to repeat this mantra "I can control the fate of any corporation or company — one purchase at a time!" These purchasing decisions should be based on ...
a) Do I truly need this product or service?
b) Is the product AND packaging (there is a difference) recycled or recyclable? If not, consider question a) again?
c) Is it local? Consider the fuel consumption and carbon footprint to get this product into your hand
d) What has been the environmental impact of the product or service being created or delivered? Meaning you might want to reconsider buying beef steak from Brazil. That may also mean you might have to stop going to your favourite burger joint. Short hand question ... "Is this profit over the planet?"
2. Do No Harm
What has been the social impact of this product or service? Has anyone suffered in the production of these goods or services? Have they been toiling in terrible working conditions or are they on slave wages? Short hand question ... "Is this profit over people?"
3. The Clean Money Revolution
You might not be aware but there is a revolution happening ... a #financialrevolution. Banks, Investment and Superannuation companies are cleaning up their financial instruments such as bank accounts and investments products that do no harm to people and the planet. These organisations for example, do not invest in fossil fuels rather invest in renewable energy projects. Affordable housing schemes rather than in gambling products. They are investing in Not-for-profit organisations over arms and military industries. Check out what your bank and superannuation scheme are doing, and make the switch, today!
4. Built-in Obsolescence or B O ... STINKS
Yep, this is a real stinker! As Wikipedia puts it, it is a profit strategy whereby companies employ a "policy of planning or designing a product with an artificially limited useful life, so it will become obsolete (that is, unfashionable or no longer functional) after a certain period of time."
In recent years we have seen some companies being slapped with a fine for overtly using this practice. But to better stem its use by corporations, we should be lobbying our policy makers to classified Planned obsolescence, or built-in obsolescence as an environmental crime. Until this happens we must guard ourselves against this with our purchasing power and resist the 'unfashionable mentally', that we are being feed and taking personal responsibility, lapping up!
If you find that you must keep up with the Jones', needing the latest iPhone or fashion item as a way to feel good about yourself at the risk of what is happening on your global doorstep, you might want to consider getting some help. The global pollution and climate issues are real, and doesn't matter how fashionable you look, worrying about a dying planet.
5. Stop Trying to Buy Self-Esteem
Retail therapy, over-consumerism and over-consumption are starting to be acknowledged as mental health issues. When products and services are consumed in a way to fulfill some deeper self-esteem or self-acceptance issue AND their use is severely impacting our world, we have a mental health crisis. Financial Therapist Jane Monica-Jones says "We are conditioned to believe that the source of our happiness will comes in the form of a shining object or a stick of cream. Yet moments after the initial purchase, we are still left with that deep ache, that will never be filled by a thing". If you are continually looking for that object that is going to make you feel better about yourself and paying for it with ... say a planet! again, it might be time to get some help. Better still, swap that shiny thing purchase for a tree purchase and we will all be able to sleep and breath better.