Equity and Local Economy
As an individual, your spending power is one of the most powerful tools you possess to support local prosperity and international fair trade. The New Economics Foundation found that when people consumed locally rather than from large chain stores, twice the money remained in the community.
How to make a change
- There’s as much as three trillion pounds currently invested in UK Pensions – much of it is being used to fund fossil fuels, weapons sales, human rights abuses and environmental lobbying. Check how ethical your bank and pension provider are, and switch to a provider with more ethical investments if you need to. This can have an enormous impact.
- Support local businesses whenever you can, for example buying coffee from a local independent café instead of a large chain like Starbucks. This ensures that more of your money goes back into the local economy.
- Support sustainable and equitable businesses. For example, look out for Fairtrade certified goods, which ensure that standards around sustainability, fair pay and working conditions have been upheld.
- Boycott businesses which are known to have unethical businesses practices, to push them to change.
- Pass on your own knowledge through skill swapping and make learning more widely accessible and affordable. Examples include gardening, woodworking, cooking, or DIY. Talk to friends and family about things you can do, and offer to teach them, or post on your social media or local message boards.
- Inclusion is central to a sustainable society, based on respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms. Research online how we can build a more inclusive society, and get actively involved with your local community.
- Replace (x) food items with a Fairtrade equivalent
- Buy lunch from a local café (x) times a week
- Check the ethical credentials of your bank and pension scheme, and make a switch if they engage in unsustainable or unethical practices
Independent Birmingham is an organisation that highlight independent businesses, a list of which can be found on their website. Their membership offer provides discounts at independents across the city. https://www.independent-birmingham.co.uk/
The Current Account Switching Service (CASS) makes switching banks easier and cover 99% of UK current accounts. https://www.currentaccountswitch.co.uk/
Make My Money Matter is an initiative enabling people to investigate the ethicality of their pension provider, their easy form allows you to ask your provider to ‘go green’, which can have 21 times the impact of going veggie. https://makemymoneymatter.co.uk/
Use Switch It to check how well your current bank is performing, to see whether changing could have a large impact. https://switchit.green/