With the global push for environmental conservation many people are looking at additional ways to help the environment with indirect means. Perhaps building or zoning codes prevent solar or wind energy in your area, or a grand array has already been installed and you want to help the cause more. A great alternative for people who still want to help make the planet more green would be to invest in green funds, investments or projects. The cost of investing can be less than installing a rooftop solar array, and the satisfaction of helping complete a green project can be great. As with investing in any funds or stocks, though, patience is the key. One must remember the main purpose of investing in a green fund or project, and it is not to make you a billionaire, but to help the planet while providing a slow and steady fund growth.
Invest in Alternative Energy
Guinness Atkinson Funds has an Alternative Energy Fund (AEF), currently listed as GAAEX on the NASDAG index and is currently $3.12 a share. On their website, www.gafunds.com, they state that this fund does invest in international securities, thus there can be more risk involved since the world’s political status can be a factor. For the AEF, Guinness Atkinson Funds seeks to invest in companies that utilize all forms of alternative energy including solar, wind hydroelectric, geothermal, and other techniques.
Take It to the Max
Green Century Funds (GCF) is leading the way by issuing the first carbon footprint report of the companies in its funds. The combined carbon footprint of the companies that the Green Century Fund invests in shows over a sixty percent reduction in carbon emissions when compared to the S&P 500 Fund companies. With the belief that companies embracing environmental conservation will see bigger returns, GCF has introduced a balanced fund with the NASDAQ index of GCBLX, currently listed at $16.10 a share.
GCF has strict criteria that must be met by a company prior to their investment which, according to their website at www.greencentury.com, includes: not being involved in nuclear weapons, nuclear energy, tobacco, fossil fuels, animal testing, factory farming, pesticides, or in genetically modified organisms. Along with these restrictions, the companies must be involved in alternative energy, community development, water solutions, or other environmental projects. The Green Century Funds takes investing in the environment seriously, and it does make note to investors that because of their commitment to assuring their investments go to environmentally conscious companies, returns from the funds can be restricted and may be worse than other funds not concerned with the environment.
Get Satisfaction by Keeping It Local
If investing in mutual funds is not the type of return you are interested in, and you are looking for a more soul satisfying way to get green projects going, then look no further than your local school or university. Many establishments have created a fund specifically for completely environmental improvement projects in the local areas and campuses. The University of Pittsburg started the Pitt Green Fund in 2009 when a group of students wanted to initiate new sustainability projects on campus. These projects are submitted by students and then implemented by the students. Information may not always be readily available online, so the second best action would be to contact the local education groups to see what current projects are being worked on. Investments do not have to be monetary, and physical involvement can have the biggest returns and gains.
Do Not Get Duped
Whether you want to invest in green funds or help support a local green project, the first step is to always research the company or organization that you are considering to invest in. With environmental conservation becoming more attractive for investors, scam artists will always follow the money. Be aware that a fund with a great site might just be that, only a website. Check the Better Business Bureau for any bad news with the business. The U. S. Department of Energy website, www.eere.energy.gov, has plenty of information on green energy and opportunities for projects being funded. Checking www.usa.gov for fraud cases can help provide more comfort that the business is legit.
Having interest in investing in the planet is the first step to helping fund a greener world. There are many choices for putting your money to a good green use. Whether you choose to invest in mutual funds, an organization completing a green project, or donating to a group with a green cause, the satisfaction will be in the knowledge that your money will help the planet. The most important fact is to take that first step, and then continue to focus on one step in front of the other.