Ecological Finance

Being green does not have to be complex or expensive. The greenest things we can do are often the simplest: buying used furniture and clothes, recycling, turning off the lights, and taking our own bags to the grocery store. Instead of spending money at organic restaurants or buying packaged organic foods, try cooking with produce grown in your garden or bought at a local farmers’ market. Eat at least three more vegetarian or vegan meals each week than you currently do—or go all the way—to cut down on the environmental devastation caused by livestock. Contrary to popular belief, going veg can reduce your monthly outlay; sources of protein like tofu and beans are 30 to 40 percent cheaper than their animal-based counterparts like beef and chicken.

Look to green other areas of your life, too. Greening your transportation doesn’t have to cost a lot. Instead of buying a Prius (the manufacture of a car releases more than four tons of carbon emissions), try carpooling, riding a bike, or using mass transit.

If we focus on the basics, we can achieve much of the good we intend. Have you mastered Down Dog? We often get carried away trying more advanced poses instead of deepening our practice with the basics. As with yoga, focus on the basics of planetary welfare, and watch your pocketbook thrive at the same time.

Brent Kessel and Spencer Sherman are the cofounders of Abacus, a nationwide sustainable investing firm. Submit a question about being more yogic with your money to