Going green: How to ensure your invested money is far more ecological

By Chris Page
Monday, 17th January 2022, 8:00 am
Updated Monday, 17th January 2022, 12:41 pm
Greening your money (photo: Shutterstock)
Greening your money (photo: Shutterstock)

Green campaigner and consumer expert, Angela Terry, separates climate change facts from fiction and explains how you can take simple, practical steps to help save the planet. Follow @ouronehome & visithttps://onehome.org.uk/ for more advice.

Q: How do I green my money

A: Good question!

When it comes to the climate crisis, the way we invest our money is just as important as how we spend it. Banks and building societies aren’t just places to stash your cash.

Most Popular

    They drive the global economy and have an enormous impact on what happens to the world.

    Unfortunately, some are still trapped in outmoded ways of doing things and investing in new oil and gas projects.

    Considering that the International Energy Agency has warned that we need to stop all new fossil fuel developments, this is not a good look.

    In response, you can make a positive choice by swapping to a green bank.

    Greening your money (photo: Shutterstock)

    Green banks

    Green banking is all about only investing in companies and projects that bring real environmental benefits.Some banks have been built exclusively on this ethos – including The Co-operative, Triodos and Ecology

    Building Society

    Meanwhile, some conventional banks have ‘gone green’.

    NatWest, for example, was the first major UK bank to join the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials, which means the environmental impact of its loans and investments are independently verified.

    While most high street banks have made commitments to sustainable practices, not all of them are walking the talk.

    For example, Barclays has pledged to reduce its emissions to net zero by 2050 – but, out of all UK banks, it’s the top funder of the oil and gas industry.

    How to choose

    If you want to review your bank, you can find out how it is performing in the Rainforest Action Network’s ‘Banking on Climate Chaos’ report.

    Plus, the personal finance website ‘Good With Money’ offers lots of useful information.It uses the registered ‘Good Egg’ mark to denote a financial service that makes a positive impact.

    Pensions

    Greening your pension is one of the most effective things you can do to fight climate change.

    It’s akin to going vegan and giving up flying combined.

    In the UK, there is a staggering £2.6 trillion invested in pensions.

    This money is enough to power a truly green recovery post-COVID.

    The thing is, most of us don’t really think about our pension pot.

    The result is that a large percentage remains invested in activities such as the deforestation of the Amazon, cigarette sales and fossil fuel projects.

    This doesn’t need to be the case.

    You can check how your pension is invested.

    If you’re not happy, you can move it so your savings help create a better world. Visit the ‘Make My Money Matter’ website for more information.

    Celebrity spot

    A film ostensibly about a meteor heading towards Earth, but really about the climate crisis, has recorded Netflix’s biggest ever week of views.

    With a stellar cast – including Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, Jennifer Lawrence and Meryl Streep – Don’t Look Up is about two scientists trying to convince politicians and TV stations of the imminent threat faced by humanity.

    A biting satire, it is funny, scary and poignant. Definitely worth a watch! (Wait for the credits to finish for a secret extra scene at the end).

    Jennifer Lawrence is in new Netflix drama Don't Look Up (photo: Shutterstock)

    Green swap

    Many teabag brands still use plastic to stop the bag falling apart.

    To avoid drinking dangerous microplastics – and letting them seep into the soil or watercourse via your bin – why not try out a metal strainer and loose leaf tea?

    Try loose tea and a strainer as many teabags use plastic to stop the bag falling apart (photo: Shutterstock)

    Alternatively, PJ Tips teabags are plastic-free.

    There are many benefits to owning an EV motor

    What are the benefits of electric cars?

    EV vehicles make sense (photo: Shutterstock)

    With the UK government stopping the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030, electric vehicles (EVs) are the future of motoring.

    Indeed, their sales are already soaring and predicted to double in 2022.

    Is it time you joined the electric revolution?

    Here are just some of the benefits:

    Better performance

    EVs are easy to drive as they’ve no gears.

    They’re faster at accelerating than traditional cars, as they have instant maximum torque.

    This means 100 per cent of their power is immediately available.

    Petrol-run cars can take a while to build speed, due to the nature of their engine.

    Huge range

    In recent years, the advances in EV technology have been astounding – and they’re improving all the time.

    For a start, all those stories about a lack of range are completely out-of-date.

    The average range of many models is more than 200 miles.

    Some are much more.

    Mercedes has just unveiled a prototype electric car that’s the first capable of going 1,000km on a single charge.

    Even better, there are now more charging locations than petrol stations in the UK.

    Less pollution

    Crucially, EVs don’t produce toxic exhaust fumes.

    Petrol and diesel engines release carbon dioxide, along with a host of other pollutants, like nitrogen oxides and particulate matter.

    These tiny particles work their way deep into our lungs and severely impact human health.This causes respiratory problems, heart disease and shortened life expectancy.

    Indeed, air pollution causes up to 36,000 early deaths in the UK each year, according to Friends of the Earth.

    Lower cost

    EVs are powered by a battery charged from the electricity grid and so cost less to run than petrol or diesel cars – about 5p per mile instead of 15p per mile.

    They have simpler components

    There’s no spark plugs or oil to change, so services and MOT costs are lower as well.

    There is a government grant of up to £1,500 for new cars under £32k and a grant for installing a charging point at home.

    Climate crisis

    With an EV you’re also helping tackle climate change.

    Transport is the UK’s biggest source of the dangerous emissions that are driving global warming.

    Cars are responsible for the highest proportion of road transport CO2 emissions – and they’re currently increasing because we are buying bigger, more polluting petrol and diesel cars, like SUVs.

    Fact or fiction

    Air miles or shipping – the main factors in food’s carbon footprint. False!

    Transportation accounts for a small percentage of food emissions.

    Eating local is good. More important – buy grains, pulses and veg – rather than animal-based foods.