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The Importance of Banking & Investing for the Climate


People often debate the best things individuals can do to help reduce their contributions to the climate crisis. An often-overlooked action with one of the biggest effects is to avoid investing in fossil fuels.


It is estimated that avoiding oil and gas investments in your 401(k) can save 22 tons of carbon emissions per year. The following actions combined only add up to 16 tons: getting an electric car, installing solar, going vegan, not flying, buying recyclable materials only, composting waste, installing a heat pump, buying organic, buying local, upcycling waste, and unplugging devices. Banking and investing thoughtfully takes a bit of time but can have a big impact.


Roughly $1 trillion is invested in fossil fuel companies through Americans’ retirement plans. Find out how you and your workplace can make your retirement plans more climate friendly, and learn more about approaching your company about revising their 401(k) options. Make sure you have a stable planet to retire on as well as savings to retire with! 


You also can investigate savings and checking accounts that have a lower climate impact. According to Project Drawdown, every $1,000 a person has in savings is roughly equivalent to the direct emissions generated by flying from New York to Seattle every year. They claim that moving from a carbon-intensive bank to a climate-responsible bank could reduce the personal banking emissions of an average person in the U.S. by 76%. Learn more about reducing the impact of your bank accounts