If you’re in the market to buy or to build a green home, you’re already making an investment in the environment.  Perhaps you’re choosing plumbing fixtures that conserve water, an HVAC system that conserves electricity, or products made from recycled materials. The list of ways you can invest in the environment while also investing in your home is practically endless.

The good news is that investing in a green home is a smart financial investment, too. The savings you will likely gain in the general running and maintenance of your home over its lifetime are substantial.

Unfortunately, according to the

Equifax Personal Finance blog,  all “green” investing is not so smart. In an article entitled, “

Socially Responsible Investing: How to Invest With Your Conscience,”  investment expert Dan Solin acknowledges the non-monetary value of investing in socially responsible companies and funds. Unfortunately, he says to beware. In his experience, many of these funds don’t offer the best return on your investment because of the way they are managed.

Solin says that many “socially responsible” funds are managed in a high cost manner, yielding a high average expense ratio of 1.33 percent. He says to choose low-cost index funds and exchange-traded funds that screen for social criteria instead. The article lists several of these funds, which address a range of social topics and have expense ratios ranging from 0.29 percent to 0.5 percent.

If you’re interested just in investing in environmentally responsible companies, Solin lists funds that focus on energy and conservation, cleantech, progressive energy and the water industry. These, too, are funds with low expense ratios.

You’re being smart about your investment in your green home, so make sure your other green investments are smart, too. Visit the

Equifax Personal Finance blog to see Solin’s recommendations or to ask questions.

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