Eco-Banking Ecology is the study of the natural environment. It goes to reason then that Eco-banking should be banking that takes into consideration the natural environment in how financial services are offered to businesses and individuals who operate within the natural environment. Eco-banking asks us to consider additional criteria in our business dealings. How do the services we provide help to preserve and grow the communities in which we are entrusted with our customer's hard earned money? Can we do this any better than we are now? I think we can. Communities are similar to farms. They require fertile soil, attention to the weather, discerning seed activities, and careful nurturing of the resulting growth. Banking services and bankers take on a complimentary role to the farmer - they are the tools in which these activities can be accomplished more efficiently. There are various methods - each with intrinsic strengths and weaknesses. Some would say that the best banks are those that nurture existing businesses and support the continued growth and expansion of those businesses. In my opinion, a eco-oriented bank considers the entire system in its dealings; from start-ups and home-based endeavors to soundly established going concerns. Eco-banking considers public policy and how we might influence our local representatives to take action which promote growth in our communities, micro-lending and the growth of the venture capital sector, while also promoting skills development and education, continued education in best business practices, and counsel regarding the broader economy and pending storms and opportunities. We live in dependent systems and rely on the health and success of the broader business, personal, and natural environments in order to remain resilient and vital. I believe all of us benefit from a vital and growing local and regional economy - no to mention the grander vision of the nation and world.