Wearing Your Heart on Your Sleeve (and Backing It Up with Your Wallet)

I can take a look back at photos of myself in yearbooks and on Facebook and identify the causes that were rousing the rabble.

 
 

I can take a look back at photos of myself in yearbooks and on Facebook and identify the causes that were rousing the rabble. I see the yellow ribbon I wore in high school in support of troops during the first Persian Gulf War. I see the black armband as I hold a candle during a memorial service for Matthew Shepherd. I see the yellow rubber LIVEstrong bracelet around my wrist, and the bowl of bright pink M&Ms co-branded with Susan G. Komen for the Cure for Breast Cancer.

Now I’m a little older, but it’s still clear what causes are important to me. Right now, the back of my Toyota Prius is filled with cardboard and paper bound for the recycling center. I find, like many people my age, I’ve made the shift to more sustainable and ecologically responsible products and services in most facets of my life. That move is based more in practicality and fiscal reality than in simply getting swept up in the cause du jour.

The title of the Nielson Company’s most recent Energy Trend report sums up reality pretty well:  “Saving green is the main driver for consumers to go green.” As the economic situation fluctuates, consumers are keeping their eyes peeled for wasteful spending. Members, likewise, are starting to understand paper statements, mailed credit card offers, and monthly newsletters cost money. Those things also drive up operational costs and affecting their product interest rates.

Then again, everything we read about Gen Y/Millennial/Echo Boomer reiterates how important social responsibility is to them. It explains the appeal of North Jersey Federal’s new “Organic Banking” program, which touts decreased carbon footprints for members via paperless statements and transactions, as well as lower credit card rates designed expressly for college-aged members.

Going green appeals across the spectrum.  How come more credit unions aren’t using this as an opportunity to attract members?

 
 

March 4, 2010


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