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Leo DiCaprio pushes green credit card

Jeremy Simon

Leonardo DiCaprio keeps himself busy with a number of responsibilities — Hollywood actor, supportive boyfriend to supermodels and concerned environmentalist.

During his first visit to Hong Kong, earlier this week DiCaprio combined his roles as Hollywood star and environmental activist in promoting a line of “green” credit cards from banking giant HSBC. “The green card is made of environmentally friendly materials and uses digital bills to cut down paper consumption,” explains Web site ecorazzi.com. “Every transaction will also contribute to a local environmental protection project.”

Ecorazzi reports that the credit card launch is a collaboration between HSBC and the thoughtfully named Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. “This pioneering initiative will enable people of Hong Kong to make their own green mark each and every day,” DiCaprio said.

While also promoting his new environmentally themed documentary “The 11th Hour,” DiCaprio took some time to discuss the benefits of this new green credit card. In a YouTube clip, DiCaprio explained the thinking behind a consumer’s use of the credit card, saying, “Every time I buy a product, I know that a percentage is going to be given back to the environment.”

Several media sites indicated the credit card will launch in early April (Earth Day is on April 22).

Even if a Leo-approved green card isn’t in your future, you can still make more environmentally sound decisions when it comes to card payments. Like HSBC, your credit card issuer may also offer electronic-only credit card statements (I was able to opt for statements via e-mail and my credit card isn’t even considered a “green” product). Paperless bills mean fewer trees get cut down and result in less waste. Additionally, cash back credit card users are free to donate their rebate checks to any charity (environmental or otherwise) that they choose.

Finding a credit card outside Hong Kong made from environmentally friendly materials could be more difficult. Still, among the green card developments currently under way, some issuers are experimenting with creating cards from non-PVC materials that are apparently safer to manufacture and either biodegrade or can be recycled.

What about a green credit card for those of us in the United States, Leo?

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  • Can I have an organization named after me too?
    There are several “green” credit cards available, though I don’t know that they’re made out of environmentally friendly materials. That’s a nice twist. Instead of cash back, some cards will participate in carbon buy-back programs. However, these programs (and cards) have come under increasing scrutiny from environmental activists. Apparently they don’t always follow through.
    The lesson here? Research your “green” card carefully. In the meantime, your suggestion to get e-bills is a great one. Or, just wait for the Leo card to come to the USA – you know it will be trustworthy.

  • I agree that the suggestion to get e-bills is a great one.
    However, our market research has found that the main reasons most people do not switch over to e-bills and e-statments is that it takes them too much time to collect those e-documents and because there is no easy way to organize them on their home PC, so most people assume that they will have to print out the documents anyway (which pretty much ruins the environmental benefit).
    I am the founder of VaultStreet, which is the world’s first end-to-end paperless record keeping system for consumers. This makes it easy for consumer’s to truly be green while at the same time saving them hundreds of hours a year. If you are interested you can go to http://www.VaultStreet.com to learn more.

  • diCaprio must be really bored

  • it sad that most of this “green” stuff is just marketing b.s.