How to Use a Credit Card to Save the World

Author Bio: Ally is part of the team that manages Home Loan Finder, a free home equity loan comparison service in Australia. Before joining HLF, she was a Media Planner with McCann Worldgroup Philippines, Inc., with award-winning executions, including the Levi’s 501 “Live Unbuttoned” global campaign.

Wanna go green? Looking for ways that you can do your part to help save the environment? Well, there are plenty of big things that you can do, like driving a hybrid, recycling whenever possible and powering your home with clean and renewable resources. But there are a lot of little things that you go can do to help save the environment as well. Many of these little things can be easily incorporated into your daily life. And because the little things things in life can really add up, let’s look at how you can help to save the world using one tiny everyday thing: your credit card.

How A Credit Card Could Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Can something as small as using a credit card on everyday purchases help the environment? Yes it can. Using a credit card can help save trees by removing the need to use paper. So you can help simply by going paperless. Check with your bank to determine how to set up a paperless account. You can view your credit card balance online and this simple act could save thousands of trees. If you like to use paper statements as hard copy back-ups, see if your bank offers the ability to store back-up copies on your hard drive. Also when you are out making purchases on your credit, decline a receipt if possible. Unless you need the receipt for business or tax purposes, you are just going to throw it out anyway. Save the paper.

Another way to save paper and therefore trees is to set up online bill paying. Not only is online bill paying easier to do, but it removes paper clutter from your home or office. It saves you on checks, stamps and envelops too. While you are at it, go through all of your mail and figure out how to reduce junk mail. No one likes junk mail and it is wasteful. There are a few companies that can help you rid yourself of unwanted junk mail.

If you want to use your credit card to help out the environment, you can always get yourself a affiliate card from one of the big conservation or environmental groups. This lets you donate a small portion of your spending to the cause. Every little bit counts, so an affiliate card can really make a difference. Some credit cards allow you to use a credit card to purchase carbon offsets, meaning you can help reduce carbon emission’s by spending with your card. Another way that you can contribute to your favorite environmentalist group is by getting a credit card that offers environmental donation rewards. So instead of earning free airline points, your earned points could translate into a donation to your favorite group or environmental organization. Also, use your credit card to purchase eco-friendly products. You have to buy stuff all of the time anyway right? Why not help save the Earth and buy stuff that helps maintain its natural beauty.

Getting Involved

If you are really serious about doing all that you can to help reduce the impact on the environment, then you should seriously get involved. Large companies will listen to their consumers if enough of them make a compliant. Getting involved and joining others in doing so is the best way to force large companies to change.

A sad fact of most of the large financial institutions that offer us credit cards is that these companies often provide funding for non-environmental industries like coal. In fact, many large banks are solely responsible for the financial arrangements of large companies like coal and other industries that pollute and destroy. In some countries such as Australia, the four large banking companies represent the largest contributor to the coal industry in the entire country.

One option is to only grant your business to banks that only fund responsible and sustainable industries. There are many reports and figures available online that can help you to determine what types of business enterprises your bank funds. After all, these banks are using your money to fund these businesses. As a customer you have the right to know where your money is being spent on on what. If your bank does support businesses and companies that endanger the planet, then you may have to do more. You can join an effort to let your bank know that you want it to contribute to environmentally responsible enterprises. This could mean writing letters and sending e-mails to the CEOs of major banks letting them know that enough of their customers want change.

Cleaner and more renewable energy sources are growing in today’s economy. These companies need banks to invest in them so that they can become both productive and effective. By joining a campaign directed towards convincing bank CEOs that they should be investing in renewable energy, you may just end up helping to turn the tide into the Earth’s favor. Its up to you how much you want to get involved.

Convince Others To Help Out

Because the little things in life can really add up, each tiny step that you take towards helping to protect our planet is useful. Even the little things that you can do to reduce waste and save trees with your credit cards can result in big changes. These big changes can happen if many small things come together as one. So, even the tiny act of going paperless with your credit card statements or donating a percent of each credit card purchase you make to an environmentally friendly group can help. The more people who alter their daily lives around these little sacrifices, the more change is possible.

So on top of using your credit card to reduce waste and support helpful organizations, the more people that you can teach these tiny tricks to the better. So take the time to convince your family and friends to take the same Earth friendly steps with their credit cards as you. These little things don’t take up too much time and can really have a huge impact.


Comments

How to Use a Credit Card to Save the World — 9 Comments

  1. I have recently gone paperless with all my financial statements and even my cell phone. Definitely helps with not having clutter and a lot of papers to sort through. Setting up direct bill payments has helped out too because not only am I doing my part to go green, but I am never late on any bills and I don’t even have to think twice!

    • @ Dino Yes going paperless definitely helps with getting the bills paid on time. We made anything we can paperless and it has definitely helped with clutter. Glad to hear you have found some benefits too.

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