This site talks a lot about food, but there would be no food without water. In fact, as you know, there would be no life without water. Recently, it came to my attention that my two banks – TD and HSBC – were leveraging my hard earned dollars
4:1 to invest in the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). The DAPL has many environmental consequences, among them that the pipeline would cross under the Missouri River, threatening drinking water downstream if an oil spill occurs. Oil and gas companies constantly assure us that spills like this are rare, but that’s simply not true: A recent study showed that 6,648 spills
occurred in just 4 states over 10 years – more than 20 times what was originally reported.
So basically, for many years, I had been protesting and donating money to organizations that support the pro-environmental policies and clean water, only to be under handing my own values and interests whenever I deposited a check in the bank. That left me feeling a little:
If your money is with Citi, Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Barclays, US Bank, Compass Bank or these 30 other banks you’re stuck in the same chestnut.
So what to do?! It’s actually pretty easy (and impatient friendly)! You’ve just gotta close your old account and open a new account at a bank or credit union that doesn’t fund DAPL and dirty energy projects. How do you find them? Easy again! Grassroots Action NY and I helped to compile a spreadsheet of all the banks and credit unions around much of the world that do NOT invest in DAPl and environmentally destructive projects. This Excel includes national banks, regional banks, and credit unions based in the USA, Canada, the EU, and UK. The majority of these banks are backed by FDIC/NCUA and have the same exact services and capabilities of “big” banks (online banking, mobile apps, etc), so you’re not missing out on any services or conveniences! Also, since credit unions are publicly held and not privately owned, the interest rates are better – a win-win!
If you’re thinking to yourself, “I have like $100 in my account, it doesn’t matter if I divest or not” think again. Your bank is able to leverage each dollar and turn it into $4. So $100 becomes $400, $1000 becomes $4000, and so on. So you moving your money to an alternative bank or credit union absolutely DOES make a difference. Also, it’s essential to remember that defunding/divesting from projects like this can be a “fatal blow” in even the most entrenched systems, like apartheid
(I mean, HELLO). I moved all my money and accounts over to Amalgamated Bank: it took 92 minutes for me to open the account at one of their branches, and then it took a few weeks to slowly transfer all my utility bills, direct deposits, and apps-type-stuff over.
If you want to participate but don’t want to do it alone, I got your back! Join Grassroots Action’s Divestment Day campaign by signing up here
! We’re sending out baby step reminders every day, so the divestment process is all easy and “bite sized”, and nothing overly time consuming, or dramatic. Then we’re rallying at Union Square at 10AM on March 18th to close our old accounts all together
! Join us – I’ll be there and can’t wait to see you there and high five you when you finally close your old account 🙂