Skip to main content

5 Ways to Make a Social Difference with Your Wallet

By Joshua Cameron

Published August 17, 2020 • 3 Min Read

It’s important that you feel confident you’re making an impact with every dollar you spend — and that’s easier to do than you might think. Here are a few different ways you can practice socially conscious spending when you shop so you can make a difference with your money.

Shop local. Support your community by keeping some shopping local! Whether that means getting your morning fix at a neighbourhood coffee shop, purchasing farm-fresh produce at the farmers market or ordering take-out from a family-owned restaurant near you. Not only are you buying products made with love and care, you’re also directly benefiting families in your community and enjoying some of the unique experiences your area has to offer.

Support independent businesses. Small and independent businesses don’t have to be local for you to support them. Online brands, services and shops offer anything you’re looking for. Find brands and businesses that uplift the values and representation you want to see reflected. By supporting them, you boost their visibility and advance the causes you believe in. Independent brands have the ability to offer niche, tailored product offerings — if you look around, you’ll be able to find exactly what you’re looking for from a small business that stands for the same causes you do.

Seek out sustainable brands. Carbon-neutral and eco-friendly brands have cropped up everywhere to help fight the effects of climate change. Green alternatives to everyday items like package-free soap, reusable grocery bags and upcycled furniture are just a few things they offer. Other companies use recycled materials in their products or set goals of sustainable practices for the future. You can also look into thrifted clothing or gently used appliances to support a sustainable lifestyle. Check out boutiques on social media groups for lightly used items – you never know when you might find a hidden gem.

Quality over quantity. Spending a little extra on a high quality item from a business you trust goes a long way to reduce your spending in the future, while reducing waste. Invest in items that can withstand some wear and tear and they will last you much longer than something cheaper. It will save you money (and the environment) in the long run!

Share the love. If you find a business that does great work and supports causes you believe in, spread the word! Businesses thrive through word-of-mouth promotion, and can do even better if you share your support on social media. Post a picture of your great new top or a cappuccino from your neighbourhood coffee shop, and tag the shop’s social media so more people can check them out.

At the end of the day, you get to choose where and how to spend your money. Paying attention to how your favourite brands are responding to movements and changes happening in the world goes a long way towards understanding how your purchases can make an impact. With a little research, it’s easy to find ways to be socially conscious and confident in every dollar you spend.

This article is intended as general information only and is not to be relied upon as constituting legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. Information presented is believed to be factual and up-to-date but we do not guarantee its accuracy and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the authors as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or any of its affiliates.

Share This Article


ESG Personal Finance Savings