How do you do green investing?

How do you do green investing?

Here’s an awful lot of truth in the adage, “money makes the world go‘round.” The billions of buying decisions made by consumers worldwide can, in the aggregate, make or break our efforts to stop global warming.

The good news is that as the issue of global warming grows in our collective consciousness, there are a growing number of opportunities to save and make money without the greenhouse side effect. If you are looking to invest your money wisely, this step will help you to grow your portfolio and shrink the peril of global warming.

As more consumers recognize the importance of our buying power in halting climate change, more of us are seeking environmentally responsible investment options. Such options include funds such as Green Century and Domini Social Investments (both from the Green Patriot Green 100 list), Pax World Mutual Funds, and Calvert that invest in companies they deem earth-friendly in terms of their products, processes, practices, and principles.

These funds rigorously screen companies to ensure they are investing your money only in the greenest companies and also push companies in green directions through assertive advocacy work.

The growing demand for greener products has unfortunately also spawned imposters trying to take advantage of the growing demand.

While most so-called socially and environmentally responsible funds really will invest your money in companies that are part of the global warming solution, it takes an informed and discerning consumer to sort through the expanding number and spectrum of green investment choices.

How Do You Identify Green Investments?

The first step in your green-investing quest is to set your investment priorities. Assuming that your overarching goal is to make money while supporting significant work to cool the planet, you can choose key criteria and thresholds: what types of companies, products, and technologies the various green funds invest in; what changes the funds demand of current and prospective companies as a condition of their investment; and the For example, some green funds invest in “big-box” home improvement stores because they purchase more responsibly harvested lumber—but if you believe that such stores have a more negative than positive impact, then that fund may not be the one for you.

Some funds push development of alternative energy more aggressively than others, and some are more hands-on when it comes to pushing change in corporate board rooms.

As hard as it can be to find the time and discipline, it can pay to read a fund’s prospectus— including all the numbers and fine print.

When looking at a specific fund that claims to invest in global warming solutions, it’s helpful to ask some very pointed questions: What are the funds environmental priorities? What companies does the fund invest in, and why? What companies does the fund not invest in, and why not? What do the funds demand of companies that they currently invest in and of prospective companies? Does the fund—and the companies it invests your money in—walk the talk with the day-to-day business decisions and practices? And this last question is certainly important as well: How much green will this green fund likely make for me?

As you wade through the rising tide of green-investment options, there are helpful resources available to you. For example, Co-Op America’s online Guide to Socially and Environmentally Responsible Investing(, Social Investment Forum(, and Social Funds ( can guide you through options and choices for your own green investing.

Green Money Journal can help you “invest in bigger schools” of fish! As corporations big and small begin to respond to the warming world, more of them are candidates for your environmentally and socially conscious investments.

This is great news—but more options don’t automatically make for easier choices! Use the resources listed here and you’ll be on your way to investing in a better future for you and your world!

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