This month's Kiplinger's magazine has a great cover story, Green Investing is the Next Big Thing. Investing green entails putting your money where your eco-conscience is. Green investing is not the same as socially screened investing. For example, international powerhouse General Electric is one of the few titanic corporations actively seeking ways to reduce greenhouse gases, despite its infamous past. It is also a company that is currently fighting Superfund clean-up laws that hold GE responsible for this infamous past, like PCBs pouring into the Hudson River. There is a long list why GE won't ease your conscience, but that is why green investing isn't social investing. It is simply investing in companies whose products are better for the environment. For some companies, like solar panel makers, it may be all their products. However, most green investing involves companies who only have some products that stem the tide of global environmental meltdown.
Now that we got the moral digressions out of the way, hear this. Saving the environment has graduated from tree hugging activists to huge profits for those in the know. From Gore's nifty new Nobel Peace Prize to NYC's new stolen recyclables black market problem, the world's conscience is slowly embracing the unfortunate reality that yes, we reap what we sow. And in a bumbling, and perhaps too late, effort to recoup our losses, there are markets that are being opened. We have turned a political corner, and the issue of the environment is no longer a fringe issue. For those of us with (hopefully) years left to enjoy this planet and its inhabitants, it would serve us well to vote on environmental issues, make a constant effort in our life and in our community to reduce, reuse, recylce, and invest in companies that support these endeavors. Because in the end, who wants to leave behind a world worse off than how we found it.