by Chris Gerlacher: It’s easy to think of business and only think of profits…
But some companies care about more than money. They care about the environment. They care about the people living on this planet. Some of them even care about both. But the most innovative companies are the ones that do social good and save customers money. Here are six conscious companies that you can trust to do both.
1. Forget Amazon. Shop this eco-friendly marketplace.
Earth Hero is an online marketplace that offers sustainably sourced products from companies that give back to people and planet. For example, SOLO Sunglasses restores one person’s vision in a developing country for each pair of sunglasses they sell. How cool is that?
Earth Hero products range from sustainably sourced headphones to wallets made of old sailboat sails. Even better, if you browse their site and find something you like, you can get $20 off your first order. This is a great place to find unique gifts for the important people in your life while remaining conscious of your environmental impact.
2. Invest with the good guys
Have you been looking to get into impact investing but don’t know where to start? We know that investing can be good for our wallets, especially over the long term. But information overload is a real thing. Swell Investing makes investing easy by placing your money in high growth companies that are solving the biggest challenges facing our planet. Swell gives you six impact portfolio “themes” to choose from:
- Green Tech
- Renewable Energy
- Zero Waste
- Clean Water
- Disease Eradication
- Healthy Living
That means you are investing in your future and the future of the planet. Four of these six have outperformed the S&P 500 from September 2016 to September 2017. We did an in-depth review of their services. The best part? You only need $50 to get started. Investing with Swell is a great way to invest in both your financial and our planetary future. That sounds pretty swell, doesn’t it?
3. Save money with clean energy
Living in Boulder, Colorado, I know how expensive rent can be. Arcadia Power helps make it easier to pay for mountain views by lowering your utility bills. How do they do it? They identify ways for you to get the best deals on energy in your area with their Price Alerts service. They also switch some of your power to clean energy sources. You don’t have to install pricey solar panels or even own your home. All you need to do is link your utility bill to Arcadia, and they take care of the rest. It took 5 minutes to set up.
They offer both free and premium services, so they are accessible for everyone. (Even those of us living on a college budget). If you switch 50% of your utility bill to Arcadia, the service is free. You just keep paying your energy bill the way you normally would. If you switch your bill to 100% renewable energy, they add $0.015 per kilowatt hour. They will even give you $20 credit on your next power bill just for signing up. Arcadia is a great way to switch to clean energy and save money on your monthly utility bill.
4. Get smart about your money
Even though I’m not “credit savvy”, I pay attention to my credit score. I’ll pay attention to any number that could impact my bank payments or even my job prospects. If you want a good interest rate on your loans or a good credit card deal, your credit score is first thing you need to know.
Credit Sesame offers free credit score reports, identity theft protection, and personal tips to help you manage your finances and increase your score. Their benefits are valuable for those who obsessively check their credit score, or for those who don’t want their credit score to impact their ability to get low interest rates on loans or land a job.
Credit Sesame is conscious about the impact a company like them can have on your personal finances, and you can sign up for their services for free. They have helped millions of people reduce their debt and increase their financial literacy. If you want to become financially savvy in a way that is not scary or intimidating, Credit Sesame is a company that could help you.
5. Bank with a company that puts you and the planet first
When you put 10% of your paycheck into your savings account (like the savvy saver we know you are 😉 ), traditional banks could invest that money into things that you’ve never even heard of. Or, even worse, into things that are working against you and your conscience.
Aspiration Bank is different. They are an online bank that offers a high-interest checking account (100x more interest than other banks), allows you to pick your management fee (even if it’s zero), refunds all ATM fees worldwide, and tells you exactly where your deposits are going.
They are a fossil fuel free company that cares about the future of our planet. Now you can feel good about how your bank is using YOUR money. Banking here means you are empowered to vote with your dollars. Try finding that at a traditional bank. So if you want to divorce your bank and start voting with your dollars, check out our in-depth review of Aspiration here here.
6. Feel good about paying off your credit card debt
If you are carrying credit card debt, you can save money by consolidating to a much lower interest rate via a personal loan. Payoff is a company based in California that is taking a different approach to personal loans. They hired a team of financial professionals, psychologists, data scientists and technology experts to help people reach financial wellness. They are known for their excellent customer service and unique approach. Another thing we like about them: their partners. Their loans are originated by a marketplace of credit unions and industrial banks. In other words, no big banks.
In short: do well and do good.
All five of these companies are great choices for people who want to put money back in their pockets and make their money matter. By spending money with these companies you can become an impact investor who creates value and drives change. Check these companies out, and join a growing community of conscious consumers who care about the differences they make with every purchase.