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Make a statement with your money: Green Investing 101

Helping out the environment by buying things you need? That’s also known as “green investing”—investing in companies that have environmentally friendly policies and practices.

What Is Green Investing?

Green investing is simply the practice of picking and choosing your investments to go towards a company that is “green.” Investments can mean two things—buying stock in the company or simply supporting the company with your purchases.

When green investment first started, the main idea was buying stock. The companies considered as green investment companies were those that made a profit from environmentally friendly activities. This could be something like renewable energy, electric cars, etc.

However, with the growing movement to be more environmentally cautious, the options have grown tremendously over the years to buy stock in companies that care about the environment and haven’t just been pretending to.

Buying stock isn’t the only way to invest in the companies helping the environment. You can start with small, everyday changes.

How Does Green Investing Work?

If you want to help out the environment and invest in companies, you may be wondering, “How does green investing work?” For example, if the company you are looking at investing in makes a clear effort to have environmentally friendly practices and policies, this would be considered green investing.  Green investing can help out the environment more than most people realize!

By ensuring your money goes towards a “green” company, you are making a statement. It may seem like a small statement to you, but with multiple people doing it repeatedly, the combined effort makes a huge statement!

Why Green Invest?

When you hear the phrase “money talks,” you may roll your eyes a bit! It may be overused, but it’s true. Putting your money into businesses that care about the environment and have proven it enough to become a green company shows your priorities.

Imagine if everyone decided to invest in green companies. It would show other companies who aren’t focusing on their impact on the environment that consumers care about the environment and the impact their money and purchases have on it. This would force the business to look at the impact they are having and make some actionable changes.

Even making a simple swap can make an impact on the environment.

How Do I Start?

Now that you know all about it, you may want some green investing tips. There are two ways to start your journey of green investing: stocks involved, and no stocks involed! We’ll give a short guide to both to get you on your journey.

Beginner’s Green Investing Guide: Stocks!

Investing in stocks is a wonderful way to start living the green life. When you decide this is the way you want to go.

  • Research your companies thoroughly before you decide to jump in. There are companies out there that “greenwash,” which essentially means they are making an effort to appear that they are working to reduce their impact on the environment. In reality, they are using it as a sales tactic.
  • Ask yourself: Are they helping the environment? This is an easy way to evaluate if a company is “green” or not. Are they producing something that will help the environment? Do they have environmentally friendly policies and procedures?
  • Look for packages. Choosing a company to invest in can be hard. Luckily, there are people that can do the research for you. There are available mutual funds, stocks, bonds, and more that are already “green investment” friendly. No greenwashing allowed!

If you are looking to invest in stocks, US News wrote a great article on how to evaluate stocks on a deeper level

Beginner’s Green Investing Guide: No Stocks Involved!  

Green investing doesn’t have to be buying stocks or rearranging your entire retirement portfolio. While this could be your ultimate goal, you can start much smaller than that!

  • Buy reusable when possible. We probably all remember the straw movement. Plastic straws not only hurt the turtles—but the environment as well! There are stainless steel ones that work great and last practically forever. Straws aside, there are many other options for buying reusable. There are silicone bags that can replace the ziplock. If you look around your kitchen and think, “I use a lot of that and then just throw it away,” chances are you can find a reusable option instead.
  • Recycled or Bamboo paper towels. You may not think twice about using a paper towel—but those come directly from the world’s trees, which aren’t unlimited. If you get recycled or bamboo, this is taking a step in the right direction!
  • Ditch the plastic bags. Plastic bags you use at the store end up at a landfill almost all of the time. Not only the bags you carry your groceries out of, but also the plastic bags you use to put produce in! Luckily, there are great reusable options for all of those. There are mesh bags for produce that you can bring to the store with you, along with fabric bags you can use for your groceries. Another plus? Buying them supports the company that makes them!  

There are a lot of ways, especially nowadays, where you can make simple swaps to invest in a greener alternative. Spending your money on these helps the environment. It also allows you to use your money to make a statement! Plus, most of these items are reusable, which means you save over time. A triple win!

These aren’t the only ways you can invest green starting out. If you look around your home, you can find a lot of items you use and toss that can be replaced with reusable. For example makeup wipes, diapers, sponges, and much more.

Let’s Wrap Up

Green investing sounds like something that is complicated—but it’s really not. You can go the stock route or start the next time you go to the store. When investing green, the main thing to remember is that your money makes a statement, no matter how much or little you are spending!

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