Charity Water has come up with a concept I love, donations for your birthday! A pretty simple concept, but Charity Water allows you to create your own custom birthday donation page with goals to share with friends called the Birthday Donation Project. Wonderful!
What is this Charity Water you may be asking? Their mission is to bring clean water to the world, particularly developing countries where they need it the most. This can mean anything from drilling wells to water treatment.
90% of the 30,000 deaths that occur every week from unsafe water and unhygienic living conditions are in children under five years old.
-World Health Organization
I am still a big proponent of investing in and own several mutual funds and stocks in green technologies and companies, but I often wonder “will that actually affect the biggest change?”
Most investments now days have been marred by scandals. The stock market was hit with internet bubble stocks, declining bank stocks, failing financial institutions, bankruptcies, real estate, you name it, it has suffered somehow. Almost makes you want to go back to your local savings account. Rather than leaving your money to wallow under inflation in a piggy bank or mattress, try investing in people.
Microfinance has been around for some time, however, companies like Kiva are making it even easier to select people and causes close to your heart (or investing strategy) while providing more security from default than with individual investing. Each loan is carefully selected by field partners and volunteers, but it remains a very personal feel. You get to essentially meet (via a personal profile) the individual you are loaning your money to and understand their pursuit and the needs of the community. › Continue reading
One way I like to try and make a difference is supporting sustainable companies that I can feel good about. There are two ways to do this, one is by buying their products, the other is by investing in their future and showing your support and investing in their future. The second way also leaves you an opportunity to benefit from the success of that company.
I try and keep an eye out for new and sustainable companies, environmentally responsible stocks and mutual funds that promote eco-friendly and socially conscious values. Honestly this has paid off for me much better (especially in the long term) than most of my other stock or mutual fund picks. I recently found and interesting investing tool called the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI), which are a collection of global indexes tracking the financial performance of the leading sustainability-driven companies worldwide.
A partnership between the Dow Jones Dow Jones Indexes, STOXX Limited and SAM they provide asset managers benchmarks to manage sustainability portfolios. The nice thing is that you are able to access them as well for your investment decisions. You are able to look up companies and filter them by key factors outlined by the index.
For each company, the input sources of information for the Corporate Sustainability Assessment consist of the responses to the online questionnaire, submitted documentation, policies and reports, publicly available information and SAM Research analyst’s direct contact with companies. Each sustainability assessment is verified by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Now may not be the best time for this post, or is it? Market wisdom dictates to buy low, sell high. Well guess what, the market is pretty low right now and some technologies seem to have a rosy future. The Obama administration has made it clear that they will be investing heavily in alternative green energy sources, breaking our dependency on oil and dirty power generation. This opens up a great opportunity to possibly make some money, and support green initiatives that are important to you as well. › Continue reading
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