Green Financial Strategies in Support of Earth Day
By Megan Morrow
Published April 12, 2017
Earth Day, to be celebrated on April 22, 2017, is the world’s largest environmental movement, designed to support a healthy, sustainable environment and protect the earth for generations to come. While finances and an environmental holiday might not initially seem to intersect, “green” or socially responsible investing is more popular than ever. Previously more of a consumer preference, companies are responding to worldwide interest in sustainability, good business practices and sound environmental policies.
In 2016, G20 leaders met to discuss the importance of scaling up green finance, with several countries developing strategies for more socially responsible financial systems. Meanwhile, the green bond market continued to grow and the United Nations Environmental Program estimates that 60-plus countries now have more than 200 measures in place that focus on greener systems.
If you are interested in making Earth Day more of a year-round celebration, the following green financial strategies can help you find sustainability and growth:
- Do your research. If you are interested in making a new investment, a new purchase or taking a trip to a new location, spend some time researching your options. You can choose sustainable energy companies, green appliances and automobiles, and eco-travel as alternatives to traditional models. When you grasp where you are putting your time and money, you can learn to make better environmental and financial decisions at the same time.
- Talk with your financial advisor. Before you purchase another stock, bond or money market fund, let your financial advisor know that you are interested in pursuing more green companies and practices. Share your focus on energy efficiency, safe water management, recycling, social responsibility, clean technology and cradle-to-cradle products, for example. You can make smart investments that still align with your values and passions.
- Make green investments in your home. Homes are actually the biggest pollutants on earth, emitting more carbon dioxide into the air than vehicles. When you have the chance to update or upgrade your current home or look for a new house, some green choices can help you save money and the environment. Look for Energy Star appliances, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified builders, and other items that are more energy-efficient.
- Avoid greenwashing. Greenwashing is a term used for companies or services that claim to be green but, in reality, are not. This goes back to doing your research and paying attention to how companies do business. Avoid falling for something that is green on the outside only.
- Make your own practices greener. Do you receive and pay your bills online? File your taxes online? Do you turn off the faucet when you brush your teeth and dial back the thermostat? All of these little actions can save you money and support a healthier environment. Take a look at how you spend a typical day and seek ways to act and move from a greener perspective. Likewise, consider volunteering some time at nonprofits or other organizations that support initiatives close to your heart.
Earth Day provides a great reason to pause and appreciate the world around us. When you consider some greener financial strategies, you can turn this one day into a long-term lifestyle.
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The material presented here is for information purposes only and is not to be considered an offer to buy or sell any security. This report was prepared from sources believed to be reliable but it is not guaranteed as to accuracy and it is not a complete summary of statement of all available data. Information and opinions are current up to the date of publication and are subject to change without notice. The purchase and sale of securities should be conducted on an individual basis considering the risk tolerance and investment objective of each investor and with the advice and counsel of a professional advisor.
The opinions expressed by Ms. Morrow are strictly her own and do not necessarily reflect those of Herbert J. Sims & Co., Inc. or their affiliates. This is not a solicitation to buy or an offer to sell any particular investment. All investment involves risk and may result in a loss of principal. Investors should carefully consider their own circumstances before making any investment decision.