In about three weeks, I'll be heading out for a two-week vacation. If anyone is interested in submitting guest posts to be featured at Money and Values while I'm away, please let me know in comments or by e-mail. Obviously I have a preference for money-and-values posts but you can really write about whatever you want!
Saturday, July 28, 2007
One of the fun perks of summer in a city is watching classic movies outdoors on a big screen for free. We used to do this in Chicago, where they call it the Chicago Outdoor Film Festival and hold it in Grant Park-- and I was glad to find out they do it in Washington DC on the Mall (and call it Screen on the Green). Here in DC we have three weeks of Monday movies left, and I'm hoping to make it to see All the King's Men on August 6th and Casablanca on the 13th, both movies I've wanted to see for a long time but never gotten around to.
Do they have these in your city or town? If you're not sure, it's certainly worth a quick Google of "outdoor + movies + yourtown"... seems like almost every big city and a lot of smaller ones do this, and it sure is fun, frugal entertainment!
Friday, July 27, 2007
Didn't want to post this yesterday to distract from the Carnival, but I have a guest post up at Get Rich Slowly: Community Investing and Other Socially Conscious Banking Options. Please go check it out if you haven't seen it already! I spent a bunch of time on it and am very proud of how it turned out. (I am not sure what the etiquette is around guest posts; I would like to put the post up here at some point, but it certainly won't be at least until J.D. gets back from vacation in a couple weeks and I can ask him about it, so I'd suggest you read it there for now.)
When you put your money in a bank to earn interest, the bank is actually turning around and loaning your money out again, to earn enough to pay you plus turn a profit. When you invest in a typical bank, the bank makes investments it thinks are best based solely on financial criteria, and you don't know where the money is flowing — it could be spent on manufacturing cluster bombs or financing companies that enrich and support the government in Sudan , to name just a few of the unsavory possibilities.
Other financial institutions, on the other hand, use a broader set of criteria — making investment decisions based on a combination of financial and social and/or environmental factors. This doesn't just mean avoiding negative investments — it allows funding to be targeted to specific causes in order create positive social and environmental impacts...
There's a wide range of community development/socially conscious products available, from checking and savings accounts to money market accounts and CDs, at hundreds of financial institutions. In general, the interest rates are considered market rate and are roughly comparable to what you'd find at an average bank– although they're not always going to match the very top rates available. Here are some of the highest-earning (as of 7/07) and/or most interesting options I've found: [click to read the full article]
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Hi there, and welcome to the 13th Carnival of Ethics, Values, and Personal Finance! As most of you know, this carnival is for posts exploring the connections between personal values and financial decisions, and appears every other Thursday.
Take Inventory: Identify Your Spending Values (Baby Step #2) is a great post at Millionaire Mommy Next Door talking about how to identify your values and priorities in order to shape money decisions around them.
Other top posts:
A Fantasy Social Finance Portfolio, by Betsy Teutsch at Money Changes Things, profiles some socially responsible and socially beneficial companies.
House obsession, by Beth Dargis at My Simpler Life, talks about what really makes a house a happy home-- and whether stylish decor and brand-new appliances have us on the wrong trail.
- Business and Ethics
- Steven Silvers presents Despite the PR pundits, there’s not much to learn from the Whole Foods fiasco posted at Scatterbox at stevensilvers.com
- Leon Gettler presents L'Oreal found guilty of racism posted at Sox First.
- Personal Values and Priorities
- Ryan presents 101 Ways to Trim Your Budget posted at Care on Credit.
- David Gross presents Moral Courage posted at The Picket Line.
Posted by Britt at 7/26/2007 02:20:00 AM
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
I wrote about how to find coffee, tea, chocolate and handicrafts here and here, so let's move on to some of the newer products:
- According to this search using the Transfair store finder, there are 162 stores nationwide selling fair trade sugar, rice, and/or fruit. These 119 sell fair trade sugar, here's 91 selling fair trade rice, and 110 stores offer fair trade fruit. And I am sure that I will shortly be in the happy position of having my numbers be out of date, as new stores start offering the products.
- You can order Frontier fair trade vanilla extract through their website-- or through Amazon Grocery. A few stores, including some Whole Foods/Wild Oats locations, stock it too, and more will soon!
- Etica fair trade wine is available in a few stores, in states like Minnesota, California, and Illinois, or can be ordered online if it's legal for you to receive it by mail in your state.
- Buy fair trade olive oil online and keep an eye out for it to appear in stores.
- Mountain Rose Herbs say they are the first U.S. distributor of fair trade spices and herbs-- at the time of writing I can't find confirmation on their website, but give them a call or order their catalogy!
- Fair Trade Sports has fair trade sports balls online, and I've seen them occasionally in stores as well.
- Alter Eco, which sells fair trade coffee, tea, chocolate, sugar, rice, and even quinoa and hearts-of-palm, sells products in these stores (no details on which stores carry which products) and online.
- And the National Green Pages are a good tool to find all sorts of online and offline stores selling fair trade products-- so if you haven't found what you were looking for yet, search away!
- If you can't find what you're looking for near you and/or would like to help expand the availability of fair trade products, Co-op America is always working on this-- right now they have a letter-writing campaign to get supermarkets to carry fair trade bananas.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
I have not had a hot dog at a baseball game since I was ten or so, back before I became vegetarian, so the first time I saw vegetarian hot dogs for sale at a baseball game, I thought it was pretty darn awesome.
That said, usually I do everything in my power to avoid buying food at baseball games. It is ridiculously overpriced, and I go to enough games that it's important to make a practice of keeping costs down because it all adds up. Plus, I just have a very difficult time overpaying for things... a little voice shouts, "No! No! They're ripping you off, don't give in!"
But on Friday, there was a last minute decision to go to the 7pm Nationals game after work. No advance planning, no time or ability to stop and pick up food on the way. There I was, at the game, hours from my last meal and hours from my next chance to eat outside the ballpark.
So I had a veggie dog. It was $4. I can get an eight-pack at the grocery store for $2.50.
It was fantastic. There is something about a hot dog and a ballgame...
Posted by Britt at 7/22/2007 02:05:00 PM
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Saturday, July 14, 2007
I'd be remiss if I didn't start off by stating that the most socially conscious gas choice you can make is not to buy it at all, or barring that, to buy less. So try walking/biking more, car-sharing, and getting better gas mileage, for starters.
Nonetheless, most of us will be buying gas at least occasionally, and for many of us, we do it all the time. And gas is a very unique purchase in many ways-- we typically have almost no brand loyalty and often a lot of options. So it's worth exploring what the social and environmental implications are of the brands we choose.
This is going to be a multi-part guide, since there is a ton of information I've found to share, but we'll start with the impact these gas companies have on the environment. There are a lot of information and rankings out there, which I tried to compile for you in one place. (Let me know if you know of more for me to add!) So without further ado:
Specific Environmental Issues/Areas
Corporate Governance and Climate Change rankings from Ceres:
- BP: 90 (out of max 100)
- Royal Dutch Shell: 79
- Statoil: 72
- Total: 62
- Chevron: 57
- Anadarko and Sunoco: 39
- Amerada Hess, ConocoPhillips and ExxonMobil: 35
- Less than 35:
- Marathon (26), Occidental (25), Valero (24), Apache (22), Tesoro(15), Burlington (13), Devon Energy (11), El Paso (9), Murphy Oil (6), Williams (3)
- High performance: BP, Shell, Suncor
- Low performance: Burlington, Marathon, ExxonMobil
- #3: Conoco-Phillips
- #6: Exxon-Mobil
- #22: Tesoro
- #28: Valero
- #55: Sunoco
- #64: Chevron
- #81: Amarada Hess
- #84: Marathon
- Sunoco: +40%
- Chevron: +18%
- Citgo: +17%
- Conoco Phillips: 0
- Total: 0
- BP: -10%
- ExxonMobil: -33%
- Shell: -43%
Overall Environmental Ratings
Innovest's EcoValue21 rating (AAA best, CCC worst):
- Shell: AAA
- BP: AA
- Suncor: AA
- Marathon: B
- Nexen: 7.6
- Petro-Canada: 6.3
- EnCana: 5.4
- Suncor, Shell Canada, Syncrude, Imperial Oil: 5.0
- Talisman: 4.9
- Husky: 4.0
- Canadian Natural Resources: 3.0
- Top of the Barrel
- Middle of the Barrel
- Valero ie Corner Store/Shamrock/Ultramar/Stop N Go/Beacon
- Bottom of the Barrel
- ConocoPhillips ie 76/Conoco/Phillips 66
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Hi folks! Here's the Carnival of Ethics, Values, and Personal Finance again... we're up to edition #12!My top picks:
- Values, Priorities, and Choices:
- Penelope Trunk tells her own story, a tale of priorities and sacrifices, in My financial history, and stop whining about your job at Brazen Careerist by Penelope Trunk.
- Mer reminds us that money is nothing but a tool in You Don't Have to Have Money to be Rich at Living Behind The Curve.
- Ruby has a guide on how to act on your priorities and passions in How to Quit Your Job If You Keep Saying: “I Hate My Job, But Quitting Isn’t an Option Because…” at Advice and Rants.
- War and Peace:
- Nina Smith talks about going to war as a financial move in WWYD: Would you risk your life to get out of debt? at Queercents.
- David Gross offers survey results in What sort of people are war tax resisters? at The Picket Line.
- Loved Ones, Friends, and Family:
- Travel Minx looks at the balancing act between love and trust, and financial protection, in Prenups: I Do or I Don’t? at Rich Minx.
- John takes on an issue that's suprisingly relevant to ethics and emotions at Sleeping With Money: Baby, You Can Drive My Car, But Let’s Talk Insurance at Queercents.
- And for something completely different, Silicon Valley Blogger looks at The Cost Of Living With Pampered Pets In Luxury And Some Really Weird Pet Products at The Digerati Life.
- Christine Kane presents Are You Saving Money or Wasting Time? posted at Christine Kane's Blog.
- Smith presents Lesson 9: A Healthier, Happier Lifestyle posted at Smith's Trading Post.
- Leon Gettler presents Why business schools struggle to teach ethics posted at Sox First.
- William Dvorak presents Free Trade cannot be Forced posted at The First Creation.
- Golbguru presents The Interesting Problem Of A Railway Trolley - What Is Ethical And What Is Not? posted at Money, Matter, and More Musings.
- Warren Wong presents Why You Should Start Saving Money Today posted at Personal Development for INTJs.
- Larry Russell presents PIRATES OF THE CREDIT SEA - Part 6: Default under the Citibank credit card contract posted at THE SKILLED INVESTOR Blog,
- Coach Peter Khoury presents Beyond The Secret! posted at InControlCoaching.com.
- lonelyhu presents Love or Money?. Love and Money?. Love only?. Money only?. which one?lonely day in Lonely Hurts.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Yes, I have indeed made it back from vacation. You know how there are some vacations that are relaxing and refreshing, and others where you're doing something every minute and then at the end you're happy about making the most of it but you also kind of want another vacation so you can recover from your vacation? Yeah, this one was the latter.
Anyway, real posts coming soon, but for now, don't forget that tomorrow, 7/11, is 7-11's annual free slurpee day. The slurpees are only 7.11 ounces, but that's not too bad for a giveaway. (store locator) And, if your birthday happens to be July 13th, you get a free dozen donuts at Krispy Kreme this Friday the 13th-- and happy birthday! (store locator)
Posted by Britt at 7/11/2007 12:22:00 AM