MADISON, Wis. (4/23/14)--On Tuesday, credit unions focused their Earth Day messages by offering members solutions to be more environmentally responsible.
Spokane Teachers CU, Liberty Lake, Wash., put the word out that for every member who switches to e-statements until June 30, the $1.8 million-asset credit union will cover the cost to plant one tree along Deep, Coulee and Hangman creeks. The campaign, which was noted in Tuesday's Spokesman-Review, caught the attention of Twitter account holders.
Other credit unions shared their eco-efforts not with printed press releases but with their Twitter and Facebook accounts. Reliant Community CU, a $364 million-asset credit union in Sodus, N.Y., broke down its energy-saving practices of putting timers on its lights and its diligent participation in industrial recycling tweet by tweet.
Capitol CU, a $124 million-asset credit union in Austin, Texas, shared tips from PayItGreen.org in its Go Green to Get Green campaign. E-statements are one way members can quickly make a difference in the amount of paper they receive. Paperless statements and billing are cost- and tree-saving.
When possible, members should look at auto-bill payment programs that mean fewer checks to write each month, according to the April 22 blog post on Credit.com. Even small acts such as saying, "No," to receipts at ATMs and checkout counters can make a difference.
Many credit unions hold true to the green theme throughout the year. Redwood CU, a $2.2 billion-asset credit union in Santa Rosa, Calif., has a sustainability committee that meets regularly to guide and promote environmental awareness. Its administrative offices are Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design certified, and it offers lower loan rates on qualified hybrid vehicles.
Redwood CU volunteers Wrynn Reynoso, left, and Brittany Gaddis plant a tree during the credit union's fifth annual Re-Leaf Day at Laguna de Santa Rosa, Calif. (Redwood CU photo)
Recently, 21 Redwood CU employees and family members joined community volunteers to plant more than 600 trees and shrubs along a degraded habitat near the freshwater wetlands of Laguna de Santa Rosa.
Credit unions also help keep thousands of pounds of paper out of landfills by holding shred days for their communities. Last year, Arizona State CU, Phoenix, sliced and diced more than 48,000 pounds of information-sensitive documents, and the $1.6 million-asset credit union has seven events scheduled for 2014.
Shred events help prevent identity theft by securely disposing of personal information, but, said Kristyn Dix, vice president of operations, Kemba CU, "We're recycling, and we're making a difference in our world" (WLWT-TV 5 April 19). The $564 million-asset credit union collected more than 200,000 pounds of paper and documents during Saturday's shred event. All of the paper is recycled, saving more than 3,200 trees.