As forest fires blaze and temperatures rise to record-setting levels, reducing our carbon footprint is more important than ever. For many of us, living an eco-friendly lifestyle just doesn’t feel like it’s enough to make a real difference on a daily basis.
Imagine, for every purchase you make daily, you could swipe your way to a greener planet. A credit card that offers eco-benefits from planting trees with every purchase you make to supporting a variety of eco-causes. Aspiration Zero is a carbon-neutral credit card on the front lines of reducing our carbon footprint by doing just that.
“We have a responsibility as a company to help the planet,” says Aspiration CEO Andrei Cherny, “and we’re bringing this card to people who feel they have a responsibility, too.”
What does it mean to be carbon-neutral
Is net-zero carbon possible?
While it’s pretty difficult to completely avoid releasing carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere, carbon-neutrality can be a more attainable goal.
Simply put, all of us – individuals and industries alike – can reach net-zero carbon by measuring what we’re releasing and then focusing on eco-projects such as planting trees, recycling, and so on, to make up for the harm we’ve caused.
Unfortunately, we’re a long way from getting anywhere near carbon-neutrality, but there are ways to get us closer every day—for example, by making purchases from sustainable businesses or donating to environmental non-profits.
Even better, each of us can make simple, eco-friendly changes in our daily lives, by walking to work or buying locally sourced produce, to name a few. But the fact remains, we can do even more – starting with our credit cards, what we buy with them, and especially where we use them.
How credit cards can harm the environment
It’s no secret that a credit card is made of plastic (most commonly PVC), so manufacturing it – and later disposing of it – can harm the environment. However, a card’s harm can go far beyond the material it is made from.
Did you know you could be using a card that also supports fossil fuel production? With many large financial institutions investing in non-environmentally-sustainable projects, it can be tough to discern exactly where your money is going.
That’s where the Aspiration Zero carbon-neutral credit card is different.
Not only is Aspiration Zero a biodegradable card, but the neobank Aspiration only invests in eco-friendly causes – unlike the countless other financial service providers that support the fossil fuel industry with billions of dollars every year.
Carbon-neutral, net-zero carbon, or carbon-negative: what’s the difference?
For most of us, carbon-neutral, net-zero carbon, and carbon-negative may seem like different terms for the same idea, but there are a few key differences among them:
Carbon neutral: Carbon neutrality refers to the process of offsetting carbon emissions through carbon-reducing activities, such as planting trees.
Net-zero carbon: Net-zero carbon is a state in which we don’t release any CO2 at all, meaning there’s no need to actively offset our CO2 levels.
Carbon negative: Arguably the most difficult level to achieve, carbon-negative refers to a situation in which we’re able to remove even more CO2 from the atmosphere than we’re actually releasing. In other words, here, we’re able to create a positive, sustainable outcome for the environment.
How the Aspiration Zero credit card can help you achieve carbon-neutrality
Greener and smarter shopping
Rest assured, any deposit you make with Aspiration won’t be used to fund the fossil fuel industry or big oil companies.
Instead, in addition to planting a tree on your behalf for every purchase you make with the card, Aspiration will also provide you with a breakdown of how sustainable the stores are where you make your purchases.
Each company will be rated based on the extent of its carbon footprint and social factors such as how it treats its employees, helping you to make wiser, greener purchases from environmentally-conscious stores.
Swipe, pay, and plant a tree
For every purchase you make, Aspiration will plant a tree, getting you – not to mention, the planet – even closer to carbon-neutral status. What’s more, for every purchase of at least $1.50 or more, you can opt for Aspiration to “keep the change.” This means the price of your purchase will be rounded up to the next whole dollar amount—and Aspiration will plant a second tree with that difference.
Even better – if you plant a total of 60 trees each month (the number Aspiration has calculated to equate to carbon neutrality) – you’ll receive an interest boost on your purchases.
Paperless billing and an app to track your spending’s carbon footprint
Nothing says eco-friendly more than an app that allows you to not only pay your monthly payment but also track your carbon footprint along the way.
You can easily view this data along with any spending trends that might help you minimize that footprint even more. Aspiration provides you with all of the information you’ll need to make smarter, greener decisions for yourself and the planet.
Take the guilt out of your commute
Many of us refill our gas tanks several times a month. And while driving is often necessary and, in many cases, unavoidable, we all know it isn’t the most environmentally friendly.
With the Aspiration Planet Protection program, your gas purchases (particularly, your carbon output) will be measured and then offset when Aspiration invests in eco-friendly alternatives that’ll compensate for your commute time and exhaust emissions.
So, while we carry on with our daily commute, Aspiration has our (and the planet’s) back.
How to apply for the Aspiration Zero
Early Release Phase
You can currently sign up for the early release of the Aspiration Zero by:
- Registering your email here.
- When you register, Aspiration will plant ten trees in your honor, regardless of the outcome of your application.
- Once you submit your registration details, Aspiration will give you a link to share with your friends. Here’s the best part— for every friend who registers for Aspiration Zero, 10 trees will be planted in their honor.
Rewards offered on the card
- Eco-incentives: For every purchase you make Aspiration will plant a tree and give you the option to plant a second (by rounding up your purchase to the nearest dollar).
- Cashback: From the get-go, Aspiration will give you .5% cashback on all of your purchases. If you reach carbon-zero status each month, Aspiration will give you up to 1% cashback every month that you achieve this status.
- Low, annual fee: A $60 annual fee is all it takes to invest in a greener lifestyle, and ultimately, an eco-friendly planet.
- A greener future: Aspiration has partnered with numerous eco-charities and causes, including One Tree Planted and the Arbor Day Foundation – reforestation non-profits that will plant a tree in your honor for every purchase you make of $1.50 or more.
- Dime’s Worth of Difference: For every dollar Aspiration earns, it will donate 10 cents to eco-charities that focus on sustainability, reforestation, and economic development.
We can help you swipe your way to a greener planet
While the Aspiration Zero card hasn’t been released just yet, you can join the waiting list here.
We only have one life, and one planet, and the future is green – to learn more about sustainable financing reach out to Aspiration today.