Happy Earth Day!
While I like the idea of an annual Earth Day, gratitude for our planet on a more frequent basis seems appropriate. Everything in our daily lives stems from the Earth. At the most basic level, it is our home. We may think of our houses or apartments as our places of residence but without the broader view of a healthy, sustainable and supporting Earth under our feet, a high quality of life becomes challenging if not impossible. News about extreme weather and myriad other environmental challenges abound. It’s not always clear how we as individuals can make a positive impact on problems that seem so huge.
For me, when a problem seems overwhelming, I like to break it down into smaller parts until it feels manageable. Taking even small steps avoids the sense of helplessness that accompanies inaction. I’m on the board of Sustainable Contra Costa, a small, local non-profit that encourages education and action promoting sustainability in our communities. We have a program, newly revised this year, to encourage people to track their carbon emissions and commit to doing something for the environment. These are simple, achievable steps like taking shorter showers, packing school lunches in re-usable containers or growing some of your own food. Besides the collective impact, it reminds us of the importance of living sustainably and taking care of our planet. You can sign up here if you’d like to participate.
ESG / Impact Investing
Socially responsible investing has been around for decades. Initially the options were limited and there was also concern that investment returns would under-perform the market. These days there are many different funds with broad or specific focus on impact investing. Some of these take a modified indexed approach, screening out companies that don’t meet their criteria but still maintaining a diversified portfolio. Many are also aligned with my philosophy of keeping expense ratios in the very low range. ESG stands for a focus on Environmental, Social and Governance factors in investment selections. You can read more about it here. Feel free to reach out if you have questions or you’re curious about whether ESG or impact funds are right for your portfolio.
1% for the Planet
As readers of my blog know, I’m a big proponent of acting, spending and investing in accordance with what is meaningful to you. Taking care of the environment is one of my core values. For Earth Day this year, Honeycomb Financial will become part of the 1% For the Planet program and I will donate 1% of my yearly gross revenues to non-profits involved in helping the environment. I’m not going to change the world on my own but this feels like a small step in the right direction.
Take care and I hope you’re able to get outside and enjoy the day today!