Dear Partners in Green,
Such an unsettling time we are living through! We are still dealing with COVID-19 which has shown no signs of abating, and we are in the midst of a disputed election. It seems that now we are living in the meantime, which can be the most uncomfortable place to be.
Our hopes for a better future are hanging on a vaccine, and dependent upon a new administration pledged to address the degradation of our natural world. A sigh of relief would be much appreciated, but can we afford that, if it means letting down our guard and putting the needs of the planet on hold? How do we spend this meantime?
Regardless of what the future may hold, today we must recommit ourselves to adhering to green or life-sustaining values. Not only will the planet benefit, but it has been suggested that we will be happier and more fulfilled, less cluttered with things that provide only short-term pleasure.
We are entering the season of giving when it seems our good intentions easily give way to the ploys of marketers, the proverbial titans of Fifth Avenue for whom we are the prey. Their message is that gifts equal love, and the more gifts the more love. And many children have been weaned on that concept. Gifts are fine, but what gifts, and how many, and what is the environmental cost of the gift, the packaging and the mailing to the destination? December is a good month to thoughtfully reflect on our giving habits. Perhaps we each need a partner with whom we can pledge to help one another to be mindful and loving givers. And let’s wrap those gifts in recyclable brown craft paper topped with nature’s pinecones.
And thinking of gifts and the estimated $1 trillion spent in this season, my mind turned to money and the banks that hold it and use it. If we are committed to reducing our carbon footprint, and spend time recycling, protesting, and purchasing eco-friendly products, it is essential that we ensure our money in banks that don’t undermine our efforts.
Banks use our deposits to make loans and investments for all kinds of projects, and depending on the bank, our money could be funding anything from solar farms to small business loans to financing for coal mining. If we are like most people in the US with a bank account, our money is likely in a bank that is one of the top funders of fossil fuels. And unfortunately, some banks are notorious for discriminating on the basis of race or neighborhood.
If you haven’t already researched your bank, the following site might be helpful:
If you believe a “break-up” is in order, below is a sample letter you might find useful, but please proceed slowly, thoughtfully, and very carefully. You may want to seek advice from an expert.
So here, in the meantime, we can make a difference. It is not wasted time, but time to develop courage, to establish new habits, and to literally put our money where our hearts are.
It seems that this song might have been written for us, yet again.
Wishing peace and health to you and your loved ones.
Thank you for being on this journey.
Till next time,