This article is contributed by our friend at well.org
It turns out that where your money sleeps at night is a big deal. Banks use our money to invest in derivatives and other financial vehicles. They pay little to no interest and, with blatant disregard, will place this money in whatever yields the most returns. This includes weapons, coal, oil, and companies with bad labor practices.
Upon learning this, I began searching for the most socially responsible banks in America. It isn’t easy to find them as the big banks crowd out all the SEO and buy their way up in search engines.
The good news is that sustainable banks are out there. There is likely an ethical bank within your state. Many are credit unions or local banks that reinvest in community initiatives and some new ones have recently emerged online. I found this to be the best option since I’m the kind of guy who doesn’t really go into a branch.
In looking at the options out there, I didn’t really want a bank alternative but an account that functioned just like a bank where I knew my money wasn’t supporting the demise of the planet. The best bank I found was actually also the best online bank in my opinion. It’s called Aspiration Bank. They are divested from oil and gas and they put MY MONEY in places I can feel good about. They also have other great benefits, including:
- An app that tracks the social and environmental impact of your spending habits
- A checking account that pays 1% (about 100x more than big banks)
- Worldwide reimbursed ATM fees
- No minimum balance, service fess or minimum deposit
- They also donate ten cents of every dollar to charities that help struggling Americans get off the ground (micro loans)
For my business banking, I’ve moved our money to the best business bank out there in the conscious space, called New Resource Bank. They have an amazing charter and only put money into things that align with their mission. Here’s a link to their charter.
Good banks are out there. There are more coming every year. You want them to invest green, practice renewable energy banking, and make socially responsible investments. You don’t want to fund the decline of civilization. I’ve moved my money and feel better about it. After all, as I learned in the Prosperity Movie, it’s not enough to eat organic and drive an electric car. Where we keep our money is a vote for the world we want to see.
Kevin Gianni is co-founder and CEO of Annmarie Skin Care, an award winning skin care company that produces organic and wildcrafted facial oils, serums, and cleansers. Annmarie Skin Care has been one of Inc500’s Fastest Growing Companies and also was recognized as one of Inc500’s Best Workplaces. The company and products have been featured by many media outlets including The New York Times, Huffington Post, Forbes, and Organic Spa Magazine. He is also the author of Kale and Coffee: A Renegade's Guide to Health, Happiness, and Longevity published in 2015 by Hay House.