Living the Change

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Unknown

We all see this quote from time to time. If you’re like me, you constantly wonder what more you could be doing to be that change. Watching the news and scrolling through social media feeds can feel extremely overwhelming. It’s easy for me to convince myself that there is nothing that I can do to make a noticeable or worthwhile change in society. After all, I’m just “little old me” with zero political influence (aside from my vote, of course) and limited monetary resources.

In this sense, we tend to miss the forest for the trees. We get so bogged down with the big picture problems that we forget how much power rests in the daily decisions that we make. We may be but a raindrop in the ocean, but the ocean wouldn’t be the ocean without each and every single drop of water that makes it what it is.

There are several things you can do to “be the change you wish to see in the world” that don’t involve massive political donations or lobbying in Washington. Here are three:

First, outfit your home or place of business (or both!) with some earth-friendly adaptations. With renewable energy costs dropping every day, it is becoming more and more affordable to install solar panels. Simple rain collectors built into your gutter system make for guilt-free watering for your lawn or garden.

Second, step away from the beef. Research suggests that 21% of baseline methane and nitrous oxide emissions will be caused by livestock by the year 2030.1 Changing to a completely vegan diet obviously isn’t necessary to accomplish some good. Just cutting your current beef consumption in half will give you peace of mind that you are doing the earth – and, likely, your health – a significant favor.

Last, you can rethink the way your money works for you. Chances are, if you work for a company that offers a retirement plan, or if you have saved up enough of your earned income to invest, you have plenty of investment options to choose from in your portfolio. Even if your retirement plan doesn’t offer funds that specifically have a socially responsible mandate, there are ways that your financial advisor can research various funds’ sustainability ratings to come up with choices that are better than others. For example, you could choose to invest in funds that have little to no direct fossil fuel investments or funds that invest in companies that have started paying attention to their water usage or waste-dumping practices. This is a great way to make that change with the resources that you do have, no matter how small.

Contact us today to find out more about investing in your values!

-Natalie Seber

1“Global Mitigation of Non-CO2 Greenhouse Gases: Livestock.” EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, 9 Aug. 2016, www.epa.gov/global-mitigation-non-co2-greenhouse-gases/global-mitigation-non-co2-greenhouse-gases-livestock.

Any opinions are those of Natalie Seber and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James. The information contained in this report does not purport to be a complete description of the securities, markets, or developments referred to in this material. There is no assurance any of the trends mentioned will continue or forecasts will occur. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but Raymond James does not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Any information is not a complete summary or statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision and does not constitute a recommendation. Investing involves risk and you may incur a profit or loss regardless of strategy selected. An ESG investment strategy may result in investment returns that may be lower or higher than if decisions were based solely on investment considerations.

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