Money & Economy
How we spend and invest our money (indeed, how we earn it in the first place) arguably has the single-biggest impact on the well-being of our planet. Spending our cash in local and/or environmentally-responsible businesses and ensuring that our pensions, savings and other investments aren’t held with institutions that are financing ecological destruction are two of the most powerful ways we can all help combat climate change and ecological breakdown.
Actions to take
- Support local shops and businesses as much as you can – including by using the Lewes Pound (see below)
- Move to more ethical and sustainable banks such as Triodos and the Co-operative – or use your local credit union to save and borrow.
- Check out the Make My Money Matter campaign to get your pension to stop investing in socially and environmentally harmful companies
- Explore platforms like Ethex for investments that aim to do social and environmental good
- Get involved in Share Action to use shareholder power to get companies to improve their green and ethical practices
What we’ve been doing
Here are some initiatives in which TTL is involved in, or supports, to help money help the planet:
Launched in 2008 during the global credit crisis, the Lewes Pound work on the principle that money spent locally stays local (whereas money spent in national chains quickly exits our town, leaving it poorer). By encouraging people to shop locally, it can also help decrease carbon emissions by cutting down on the number of goods that are transported long distances.
The Lewes Pound is accepted by many Lewes shops and businesses, some of which offer discounts for purchases made using LPs. Sterling can be swapped for Lewes pounds in a range of denominations and eye-catching designs at a number of issuing points. Read about the thinking behind the Lewes Pound’s 2020 issue designs here
Keep It In the Ground Lewes
Affiliated to Divest East Sussex, KIIGL was set up by TTL to encourage major local investors such as council pension funds (in particular East Sussex County Council) to put pressure on fossil fuel producers by selling out of (‘divesting’) their share-holdings in oil, coal and gas companies. Contact Arnold Simanowitz on 01273 480011 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
Transition Town Lewes has explored the possibility of setting up a local bank but this has proved too complex and expensive. We therefore strongly support Wave Community Bank (formerly East Sussex Credit Union) as an ethical way to save and borrow in a way that also supports the local community. Learn more at: https://wavecb.org.uk/.
Useful articles and resources
- Check your community’s carbon footprint
- Invest in the Credit Union
- Why change your bank account
- Investing to save the planet
- Investing in local community energy
- Issuing green bonds to fund climate initiatives
- Building back better with ‘Doughnut Economics’
- Demand a sustainable development for Old Malling Farm