Solutions / Buy and Invest Responsibly

Buy Responsibly - Vote with your dollars.

Whenever you buy something you are voting with your money. Every transaction is an action. By making more environmentally and socially conscious purchases you can create a higher demand for better products, lessen your impact on the environment, and support better working conditions for people around the world.

Next time you’re buying something ask yourself questions like:

  - Do I support the policies and practices of this company? Does it have a good reputation?

  - What are labor conditions for the workers?

  - Were any recycled or sustainable materials used in making this product?

  - Can I recycle or reuse this product myself? Will it last a long time?

  - Is there an alternative source that reflects my values better?

  - Where was this made? How far did this travel to make it here?

Many resources are available below to educate yourself on the benefits of buying local, organic, and fair made products as much as possible.


Consumer Resources:

  • The Better World Shopping Guide - This handy shopping guide ranks companies based on 5 key criteria: human rights, the environment, animal protection, community involvement, and social justice. It’s a comprehensive, easy-to-use guide that will help you make informed purchases ranging from coffee to cosmetics to cleaning products.
  • National Directory of Green and Organic Businesses - You can search for green services and products in your area on the Organic Consumers Association website.  They also list other green directories to help you find independent bookstores, farmers markets, non-corporate cafes, and more.

Invest Responsibly

If you have money to invest, you can help fund sustainable businesses and a healthier planet. Sometimes this is referred to as Socially Responsible Investment (SRI). You can put your money in an SRI Mutual Fund that screens, evaluates, and invests in companies based on environmental, social, and economic criteria or you can invest in companies that you already know are making important contributions to society.  However, SRI funds are not all equal.  Check out Paul Hawken’s article to see how many SRI funds are not actually responsibly invested.


Investment SRI Resources:

  • Natural Capital Institute – NCI has created a comprehensive public online database of complete equity holdings and screening categories of SRI mutual funds in the US and Canada.
  • Kiva – Kiva is a micro-lending organization that connects borrowers and lenders from around the world to alleviate poverty. You can easily find out who needs funding and contribute small amounts to various people and projects through their website.
  • Highwater Global Fund – A unique global equity fund investing in companies that provide solutions to environmental and social challenges. Minimum investment required.