The United Nations calls climate change “the defining crisis of our time.” In a culture obsessed with instant gratification — and with world leaders caught up in the politics of it all — the rest of us can be left feeling helpless about it.
What exactly can we do to have an impact? Stick expensive solar panels on the roof? Switch to a plant-based diet? Take shorter showers?
Of course, all these endeavors are worthwhile, but there’s a surprisingly simple move you can make to have a big impact on fighting climate change: changing where you bank.
Banking’s dirty secret is that banks are huge contributors to the climate crisis, investing trillions of dollars of their customers’ deposits into fossil fuels.
That’s why we like Ando, an online banking platform that only invests in companies that are directly fighting climate change. On top of that, Ando lets you get paid two days early and never charges a fee for any of its features.
How Switching Where You Bank Can Fight Climate Change
Ando is a state-of-the-art mobile banking platform with all the features you’d expect in today’s digital-first world. Once you set up direct deposits, it won’t charge you any fees for anything, ever. Here are some of our favorite features:
Get paid two days early: When you get paid via direct deposit, you can access those funds up to two days early. Unlike many financial institutions, Ando gives you access to your money when you need it.
No overdraft fees: Unlike virtually all the brick-and-mortar banks, Ando doesn’t charge you for overdraft protection.
Checking account: Ando comes with a Visa Debit Card with no minimum deposit required and easy remote deposits and digital payments.
Referral bonuses: Invite up to five friends to join Ando, and you can boost your savings account interest rate up to 5% APY. Plus, you and each friend can earn up to $15 with Ando friend referrals.
ATMs: You can get cash with your debit card at more than 34,000 ATMs across the country with no fees. There’s a $2.95 fee for out-of-network ATMs.
Customer service: Available seven days a week via email or phone.
Insured: Money in your Ando account is FDIC-insured for up to $250,000.
How the Other Guys Use Your Money
Where do most banks invest your deposits — more than 90 cents of every dollar? Fossil fuel companies and their ultra high polluting projects. They’re using your money to contribute to the climate crisis.
“Most people don’t realize that the money we have on deposit is utilized by the bank to make loans and purchase securities,” says Ando’s founder, JP McNeill. “This is how traditional banks make money.”
The big banks are largely bankrolling the fossil fuel industries, to the tune of nearly $3 trillion in the last five years alone.
Where does Ando invest your deposits? Clean, renewable energy, sustainable transportation, regenerative agriculture and green buildings. Ando invests exclusively in green initiatives and is 100% transparent as to where those investments are made.
How to Get Started
For too long, you’ve had no control over how your bank uses your hard-earned money. Now there’s something you can do about it. Sign up with Ando via their app, which is available for iOS or Android.
Mike Brassfield ([email protected]) is a senior writer at The MM7.