5 Green Debit/Credit Card Solutions for Conscious Consumers in Europe and the US
Since the adoption of the Paris Agreement in 2015, 35 of the world’s major banks have contributed $2.7 trillion tons to the fossil fuel industry 1. To tackle this issue, innovative finance solutions that promote conscious purchases and commit to sustainable investments are on the rise, as conscious consumers look for ways to green up their banking accounts and purchases. Promising to use more sustainable materials such as recycled, biodegradable, or reclaimed materials, Green credit/ debit cards include carbon footprint calculation, carbon offset options per purchase, and green rewards cashback. However, a major sustainable contribution that green debit/credit cards make is through donations made to environmental nonprofit organizations, as this money, in many cases, is a financial lifeline for the organization 2 . Here are 5 green debit/credit card solutions to help you sustainably manage your finance and purchases and track your progress through them.
Instagram | @aspiration
Available in | United States
Certifications | B Corp, 1% for the Planet
Options | Aspiration Spend & Save Debit Card, Aspiration Plus Debit Card, Aspiration Zero (Credit Card)
Aspiration promises that your savings and debit card purchases will never be used to fund the oil or coal industries. Aspiration’s Spend & Save account is technically one account with separate checking and savings balances. There are no minimum balance requirements or monthly fees.
If you upgrade to Aspiration Plus for $5.99/month (billed annually), Aspiration will buy carbon offsets to match the calculated carbon output for every gas purchase you make. You can also get up to 10% cash back on purchases from socially and environmentally conscious brands that are part of Aspiration’s Conscience Coalition (3-5% for Aspiration, 10% for Aspiration Plus members). And as a certified 1% for the Planet company, 10% of monthly fees paid by customers are given back to charities 3.
With Aspiration Zero, Aspiration’s credit card, every time you make a purchase, Aspiration will plant a tree and let you round up to plant one too through its Planting Tree Program. The company has a goal of planting one billion trees by 2023 and has planted 101,379,510 since 2020 4. You can track your daily carbon footprint on the Aspiration app, and for every month you reach carbon zero, you can get up to 1% cash back on all of your purchases.
2. Doconomy’s DO Card
Instagram | @doconomy
Available in | Sweden
Options | DO Credit Card, DO Black
Doconomy, a Swedish fintech company that integrates sustainability into digital finance solutions, aims to promote responsibility and accountability in finance by launching the DO Credit card with Mastercard that calculates the carbon footprint from your purchases and enables you to offset your carbon impact through UNFCCC-certified projects via the DO app.
The premium DO Black includes all the features of the DO card as well as a monthly CO2e limit for purchases, launched as the world’s first credit card with a carbon footprint limit. The credit cards are made with bio-sourced materials and printed with ink made from recycled air pollution particles. A company impact dashboard is under development where companies can use management/ reporting to help their clients understand their environmental impacts, fulfilling carbon requirements, and set up action plans and targets to become net zero 5. CO2e, supply chain screening, and carbon reporting will also be offered.
Download the DO app to first open a climate-smart savings account and apply for the DO Credit card. The DO Black will include all the features of the DO card, as well as, a monthly CO2e limit for purchases, being the world’s first credit card with a carbon footprint limit.
Instagram | @thefuturecard
Available in | United States
Options | FutureCard Visa Card
The FutureCard Visa Card is a green rewards charge card that rewards you for climate-friendly purchases. Enjoy 5% cash back on public transport, electric charging, bikes & scooters, and online marketplaces for renewed clothes & thrift stores, and 1% cash back on everything else. You can also receive 6% cash back for purchases from FuturePartners promote climate-friendly living such as Just Salad, Earth Hero, and Ministry of Supply. FutureCard also offers rewards for purchases of secondhand products from brands like lululemon Like New, REI good & used, or The North Face Renewed 6.
Instagram | @we.are.tomorrow
Available in | Worldwide
Options | Tomorrow Visa Debit Card
Tomorrow, a German fintech company, offers sustainable banking without any compromise and commits to using your money for only sustainable industries - no weapons, no coal power, no factory farming. In addition, for every 5 euros paid with your Tomorrow card, you restore 1 wheelbarrow of habitat. Tomorrow supports sustainable projects like ecosystem restoration, renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, and affordable housing. A part of the funds in clients’ accounts are used to fund environmentally and socially sustainable projects like low-impact transportation and affordable housing. Investing through Tomorrow is used 100% sustainably through The Tomorrow Better Future Stocks, which align with the Paris Climate Agreement. An example of such efforts is Tomorrow’s contribution to 35, 116,071 liters of clean water to Eritrea through Zero accounts in 2021 7.
You can open your bank account using the Tomorrow app and receive your free Tomorrow Visa card made of 90% recycled materials. Opening a Tomorrow account is available in 3 plans - Now (3 € / month), Change (7 € / month), and Zero (15 € / month), and with the Tomorrow Zero premium plan your subscription fee will be used to buy CO₂ certificates that offset the yearly carbon emissions of an average German as well as Tomorrow’s wooden Visa card.
Instagram | @treecard
Available in | United States
Options | Treecard Wooden Mastercard
Tree card, made from sustainably sourced cherry wood to reduce plastic waste, reforests the planet as you spend. They are on a mission to become carbon negative, promote and provide a way of banking that actively helps to restore and protect the planet, and raise climate awareness to help people track and improve their consumption impact. They work with Ecosia to plant trees using fees incurred from Treecard purchases, and 80% of profits go to reforestation and climate investments. 300,000 trees have been planted worldwide in conjunction with Ecosia. Additionally, thousands of jobs have also been created through planting trees 8.
Start by linking your Tree Card app to your bank accounts. You can track and categorize your spending history. For every $60 you spend, Tree Card plants a tree. As a result, you get a whole view of your impact over time and check how many trees you have planted. You can also earn environmentally conscious rewards such as sustainable travel and clothing from conscious brands.
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