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Member Profile: Julie Graham

Our co-op continues to grow – we now have over 680 members! It’s inspiring to see more people discover the joy of being part of a community supporting renewable energy in Ontario.

This month we’re chatting with one of our newest members, Julie Graham, about why she joined CED Co-op, and how she uses her purchasing and investing power to support her values.

Julie, you recently moved back to Cambridge after some adventures across Canada. How did you find out CED Co-op?

I don’t actually remember when, but when we moved here we first found out about SolarShare and ZooShare, and we invested in both of those organizations. After that I learned about CED Co-op. I think once you’re involved with one renewable energy investment opportunity, you tend to see information about others.

Yes, it’s a small community of like-minded people! What convinced you to become a member and invest in CED Co-op?

Investing like this follows the same way we live. We don’t buy things that we don’t agree with. Our mentality is that every dollar you spend is a vote. Why would we invest in things that we don’t agree with, if we’re already conscientious in our daily lives with our purchasing – or not purchasing – power.

We’re new to this kind of investing. I’ve done some research, and I think it’s good not to put all your eggs in one basket, so we wanted to spread it around. That’s why we invested some with SolarShare, some with ZooShare, and purchased Bonds Series N1-5 with CED Co-op.

Tell me more about “purchasing power”, and “not purchasing power”. What does that mean to your family on a daily basis?

It means that we eat organic and as local as possible. These choices mean better health for us and our daughter, as well as the farm workers producing the food. Mainly we simply try not to buy things. When we do purchase something, we do our research and get the best option possible – both for our needs, and the planet.

Recently we got rid of our car. I know some people think that’s a little bit radical, but if I say I believe in public transit and I’ve never taken the bus, what are my actions really saying? It has worked out so far, so we’re actually leaning toward not getting another car. Unfortunately, we don’t have a car share in Preston, otherwise that would seal the deal. For now, we’re happy walking, cycling, and taking public transit.

As someone who puts a lot of thought into your purchases, what was attractive about investing in CED Co-op?

I think it’s cool that it’s local, so you can see the impact you’re having. You can see the solar panels on buildings you recognize or walk by. Seeing panels on places like MCC Ontario makes the impact of your investment tangible.

I wish I had known about it before, when the offering statement was open! I’m on the list to purchase bonds, if anyone out there wants to sell theirs!

You’re right, seeing these projects in action gives a real sense of pride! Why do you think supporting renewable energy is important.

Because it’s the only option!

Great answer! I’m definitely putting that in this interview, renewable energy is the only way forward.

What do you want the world to look like in 10 years?

It depends on the day. Sometimes I’m not very hopeful, but I think we will come around and make it a nice place to live.

I think each individual needs to realize that we can make a difference. The choices that we make that may seem mundane are not. They have major implications that we don’t see. If we want things to change, we need to change.

Like buying organic produce, or paying attention to what your investment dollars fund?

Exactly!

People think that eating organic is too expensive, or responsible investing is not lucrative, are ignoring the hidden costs that come with our decisions.

It may seem like you’re making more in the short term, but the costs to society are much greater. When we make decisions, we focus on the long-term health, for us and for the planet.

Thank you to Julie Graham for sharing insights and experiences as a new responsible investor with us.

Submit your story

Each month we feature a member profile. One of our members explains what made them choose CED Co-op, and why they believe in community minded professional investment. Share your story, email info@cedco-op.com

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