Yup, it’s possible to do both, and at the same time too. For all you environmental junkies, tree huggers, nature lovers, and ecofreaks, we support you and your wallets. The increasing pressure of a changing climate and a dying planet continue to threaten our livelihood, the livelihood of other species, and our peace of mind. For many of us, we find the answer to our problem in politics or philanthropy – protests, elections, charities, volunteering, and practicing your three “R’s” – are a few of the many ways we voice our environmental concerns and ease the surmounting stress of a terrifyingly conceivable fate.
The collective human race needs people to continue addressing these concerns in the ways that they have in the past. However, not everyone enjoys protesting, voting, or donating their time and money for a just cause. Meanwhile, others simply wish to deny and discredit these issues altogether. It simply is what it is, as unfortunate and upsetting it may be.
Money makes the world go ’round
Money is a very powerful force, and one to be reckoned with. The word “rich” tends to be used hand in hand with the word “powerful,” and deservedly so. Those with lots of money have the convenience of using their wealth to influence and encourage the trends of our times within politics, fashion, technology, and especially the environment. Corporations, wealthy individuals, and large businesses are the largest donors to lobby for causes that promote their own personal agenda. This, in turn, leaves us, the ones without the riches and power of monetary influence, feeling helpless and discouraged by our efforts to conserve the planet we love. While money does make the world go ’round, it seems that only big money has the true influence to do so.
Use your money to grow your money
If that headline was a sales pitch, it would sell every time. Use my own money to make more of my own money? Yup. They even have a term for it – investing. (If you are unfamiliar with this concept, you can learn more about it here). Investing is a main reason why BrightDimes exists, and is what allows people of few means to become people with many means, while contributing little effort of their own. It allows individuals to purchase small portions of companies who return their growth and profits back to you, the shareholder.
Here is the gist of investing: You give your money to a company in exchange for a fraction of ownership within said company, and in doing so permit the company to use your money for anything they feel will grow their business and profits. In return, your fractional ownership of said company will grow (and on occasion, shrink) in size and profits as they do.
With this concept in mind, the secret to growing your money and saving the planet is to invest with companies who are taking actions to save the planet. It’s called socially conscious investing.
Socially conscious investing
This type of investment philosophy is not a new concept, however, has gained significant attention in recent years. The socially conscious investor was born amongst the surmounting chaos of evidence that the planet is dying, and that humans are a significant factor to its detriment. However, there is also evidence that we have the power to reverse the damage we’ve inflicted, and within this opportunity arises the purpose of the socially conscious investor.
Socially conscious investors are those who want to grow their wallets, save the planet, and develop their Money Mindset. These types of investors fall into various categories of values and invest their money with the intent to support causes they care about. Some common categories of values include:
Environment – Investors who care about the environment and the ecological impact of corporate businesses will invest their money in companies who make efforts to decrease their negative ecological impact or historically make environmentally friendly business practice choices.
Social Equality – Investors who care about gender equality, fair wages, and employee fairness will invest their money in companies who promote their employees from within, pay livable wages, and hire men and women equally and from different socio-economic and cultural backgrounds.
Governance – Investors who care about the way a company governs itself, its employees, and its affiliates with other companies is an important aspect to this side of socially responsible investing. They avoid investing with companies who have a history of shady business practices or make profits from tobacco, alcohol, or nuclear industries.
Faith Based – More recently, faith-based investing allows investors who are deeply rooted in religion to invest their money in accordance with their religious values. The most popular faith-based investing strategies are Christian and Islamic.
These classifications of socially conscious investing allow companies to tailor their businesses to attract a socially conscious investor. More and more people are now being attracted to investing for the values that it provides, in addition to the compounding profits associated with investing.
Develop Your Money Mindset
What is the relationship you have with your money? For the socially conscious investor, the money-mindset relationship has everything to do with their values and beliefs. The benefit of investing in your values is that you give your money to companies who value the same causes you care about, while also giving you the opportunity to grow your individual wealth.
Determine and familiarize yourself with the values you cherish the most. Which values best determine the relationship you have with your money?How do those values classify you amongst the new wave of socially conscious investing? You have the power to use your money to develop and disseminate those values back to the planet and back to your wealth. Invest your money into those values, and in doing so you can save the planet and grow your wallet. It’s a win-win.