You are looking at the face of someone who has finally got around to changing to a much more climate/environmentally friendly bank, having first thought of it nearly a decade ago! As I showered this morning, it was like washing away all the negative vibes and latent guilt/sense of powerlessness about climate crisis.
When I was seriously ill 5 years ago, I was mainly reduced to walking everywhere, as I didn’t want to get the bus (having low immunity), and, being unwell, I didn’t always feel safe driving. Because I wasn’t contained in a box on wheels, I became much more aware of the pollution, vehicle noise and litter in the city. I drew this cartoon, and resolved to drive less going forward, and give the earth and all of us a rest from it all:
A friend subscribes to ethical consumer magazine, and when we borrowed a copy a couple of years ago I was shocked to see from their tables that most of the major banks were still investing in fossil fuel production, despite all the media attention on the issue. I resolved to change my savings account and current account to more ethical banks, but, you know how it is…
Then, last year, on Earth day (22nd April, uncannily close to my birthday), another friend led an online reflection about the Earth, which made me decide to publicly commit to this action I had been thinking about for years. I posted my intention on social media and shifted my savings account from Santander to Triodos (rated top from a climate/environmental point of view, and generally streets ahead of the other banks in this) as a starter for ten, and felt lighter. A step in a good direction.
But it has taken until today for me to finally fully shift my NatWest current account to Monzo, whose environmental policy is way better (as is their app!).
In September-December 2019 I travelled around the world (not the most environmentally friendly thing to do, I know, but I paid to offset the carbon from my flights and ate a lot of vegan food!). I was shocked that within a week of the sixteen year old Greta Thunberg sailing to the USA on a carbon neutral yacht, I arrived to find most people I met there had never heard of her.
Everywhere I went, I found myself speaking with all kinds of people about the climate crisis, and often encouraging young women to look Greta up on YouTube and be inspired by her example to step into their power.
It’s easy to feel powerless in the face of climate crisis, but changing bank accounts has actually made me feel like I am taking back my own power from those banks who haven’t grasped the urgency of the situation and acted quickly enough. And it feels so positive to effectively be encouraging and rewarding those banks which have taken this whole thing seriously with my custom. I don’t have much money in the grand scheme of things. But the money I do have I want to be invested and spent on things that will renew the planet not destroy it.
I don’t have any children, grandchildren or nephews or nieces. That’s just the way life has turned out for me. But I have no desire to saddle other people’s children and grandchildren, and people in the poorest parts of the world with the terrible and worsening consequences of climate change.
Here’s to doing what we can, as soon as we can. And here’s to all the people and organisations who have taken action much quicker and more effectively than me. And here’s to you, for reading this far! I wonder how you might begin to, or continue to step into your power with this…?