Earth Day, Participating in the Green Economy

Source: Photo: andrewatla

When we think about Earth Day, we often consider what we can do for the planet. This isn’t a bad thing, and there are many relatively painless ways to go green, helping the earth. But Earth Day doesn’t have to be all you figuring out how to help the planet. Going green can be good for your financial situation as well – if you are prepared to participate in the green economy.

There is speculation that a new green economy is coming. This economy will be based around industries that provide green friendly and sustainable products. We have already seen signs of its emergence to this point, but in the next 10 years, the green economy is expected to really take off. If you want to participate in the green economy – and use it to improve your personal economy – there are opportunities available.

Looking for Green Jobs

If you are looking for a job in the green economy, there are up and coming careers in the following areas:

  • Environmental Law
  • Government Planning (Land Use)
  • Waste Management and Recycling
  • Green and Renewable Energy Development
  • Green Construction

E: The Environmental Magazine offers a look at hot jobs in the areas of eco-tourism, complementary care (alternative medicine combined with traditional Western medicine), green technology (IT), eco-educators, and green consulting (for companies). Indeed, if you have skills in a particular area, you might be able to find a job in the green economy. You can even look at some of the job requirements for different green jobs, and then get a little education to help you develop skills that are marketable in a green economy. Some jobs sites that offer green job listings include:

Investing in Green Companies

Another way that you can participate in the green economy is to invest in companies that are related to the environment, renewable energy or that are environmentally friendly. Google (GOOG) routinely makes the list of sustainable companies, even though it isn’t directly involved in producing green products. Starbucks (SBUX) also makes such lists, for its support of organically grown coffee and fair trade.

You can also engage in more direct involvement when you invest in renewable energy companies like First Solar (FSLR). There are mutual funds, index funds and ETFs that allow you to invest in a variety of green companies at once. There are funds devoted clean energy, alternative energy, sustainable companies and even green real estate. You can look for socially responsible funds, individual stocks and more when you look for the right opportunities. If you get in now, before the green economy really heats up, there is a chance that you could see large gains in the coming years. Of course, due to the nature of the market, and the fact that many green investments are new and untested, there is also the risk of loss. If you back a company that ultimately fails, you could find yourself in trouble.

The opportunities are there. Being green can not only help Earth; if you look for the right chances, you can participate in the green economy and help the planet while you make your own green.

Disclaimer: I am not an investment professional. Nothing in this piece or on this Web site should be construed as investment advice. Before making investment decisions, do your own research and/or consult with an investment professional. All investment comes with the risk of loss. You are responsible for your own investment decisions and any loss that may result from your decisions.