Sandia Area offers a unique membership opportunity outside of the typical qualifications, such as where a person lives, works, or worships. We will extend membership to those who subscribe to the ethics of permaculture. But what are these ethos, and what does that mean to Sandia Area?
The three core ethos of permaculture are: Fair Share, Care of People, and Care of the Earth. These ethos expand beyond our membership to how Sandia Area operates as a business. Practicing financial permaculture leads to sustainability and growth, and it is the premise on which we base “Better Banking Without the Bank”.
Better Banking at Sandia Area means we are a financial cooperative that is owned and run by our members. We exist to serve our members by putting their best interests first, not to make a profit. Any profits made are returned to our members in the form of fewer fees, lower interest rates on loans, and higher returns on deposits.
Care of People
Better Banking at Sandia Area means we support our members and our community through volunteer work, sponsorships, and donations.
Care of the Earth
Better Banking at Sandia Area means incorporating green practices that allow us to reduce waste and encourage recycling. We also do business with others who share our values. For example, our printer is a green company who uses soy based inks and responsible business practices to reduce waste.
Principles of Permaculture and Banking
Permaculture is a body of thought that attempts to build ecological dynamics into design. When pertaining to a financial institution, this means working with our members to cultivate long-term relationships, rather than maximizing short-term options with profit in mind. Sandia Area integrates the twelve principles of permaculture into our business practices in order to best serve our members, and our community. Here are a couple examples of how Sandia Area practices these principles.
Observe and Interact
We work to understand and pay attention to the community we are serving. This allows us to design products and services that will best serve our members’ needs. We understand banking is not a one size fits all. Through providing local services we also support local economies and help to develop our communities. We will continue to observe as change occurs, and respond in creative ways. Vision is not seeing things as they are, but as they will be.
Produce no waste
By valuing and making the best use of resources, nothing goes to waste. Sandia Area works to not be wasteful in how our resources are distributed. This applies not only to our green practices, but how we make our decisions to give our profits back to our members, and our community. Making smart decisions in the use of our resources leads to the development of relationships that can support each other. When we work together, the job becomes easier.
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