03.0 Money and Stuff

3a. Money:

  1. Patronize and invest in companies that are working to solve the problem.[1] [2] Help change our business culture.  (high impact)
  2. Boycott ExxonMobil.[3]
  3. Consider investing in climate change oriented mutual funds.[4]
  4. Bank and pay bills online – get statements via email.
  5. Don’t ask for ATM receipts.
  6. Use a green credit card. They offer points specifically for use towards carbon offsets or renewable energy credits.  Brighter Planet from Bank of America is one option.

3b. Stuff:

  1. Every consumer dollar spent on new stuff puts approximately .5 lbs of carbon into the atmosphere. The average American spends $10,000 per household, per year on consumer goods. (Things like gifts, toys, music, books, tools, household goods, cosmetics, toiletries, paper goods, etc… But not including things like mortgage, health care, debt service, car payments, etc…) A 90% cut would be $1,000 per household, per year.[5]
  2. Watch the online video “The Story of Stuff with Annie Leonard”.  And monitor what you buy.  (high impact)
  3. Give special attention to major purchases.
  4. Purchase recycled products.[6]
  5. Purchase green products and avoid “green-washed” products. They say they’re green but the labels may tell a different story.
  6. Shop locally at locally owned businesses. Invest in a vibrant local economy – so you never have to drive.
  7. Purchase natural and concentrated cleaning products.[7]
  8. Buy Green beauty products.[8]
  9. Use organic dry cleaning.
  10. Or avoid buying clothing that requires dry cleaning.
  11. Consider natural, organic-fiber clothing.[9]
  12. Use Freecycle – people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns.
  13. For fashionistas: Clothing Swap and Swap Style.
  14. More green wardrobe choices.
  15. Reuse construction material and equipment.  Planet Reuse.
  16. Online vendors in green goods:  Make Me Sustainable.
  17. Rediscover your local library.
  18. Buy staple items in bulk or in the largest size possible.
  19. Don’t buy over-packaged items. Avoid individually wrapped single servings.
  20. Buy fresh foods instead of canned.
  21. Buy music downloads and avoid the packaging altogether.
  22. Say no to Styrofoam.
  23. When shopping, bring your own bags to use.
  24. Employ a mix of the above strategies that work for you.  (high impact)

[1] Find out which are and which aren’t at Climate Counts.  Some of the scores are bound to surprise you.

[2] McKinsey Global Institute reports that with targeted annual investment of $170 billion, investors could cut by half the rate of projected global energy growth over the next 13 years – while earning an average annual return of 17 percent.

[3] While all oil companies are problematic, ExxonMobil is alone in denying the urgency of the problem and is actively undermining the public’s understanding of climate change by funding bogus front groups and think tanks. Exxpose Exxon.

[4] Calvert Global Alternative Energy Fund, DWS Climate Change Fund, Spectra Green Fund and Winslow Green Solutions Fund.

[5] Riot 4 Austerity.

[6] Making products from recycled aluminum uses 95% less energy than from virgin aluminum.

[7] Biokleen, Ecover, Method, Seventh Generation, Shaklee, Solay Simple

[8] Farmaesthetics, Burt’s Bees, L’Artisan Parfumeur, Ecotools, Acquarella, Jurlique, Korres Natural Products

[9] Under the Canopy, Patagonia and Prana.

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