How to Invest in Green Tech, Clean Energy and Zero Waste

How to Invest in Green Tech, Clean Energy and Zero Waste
7 Minute Read

NOTE: Swell Investing is no longer in operation, but there are several other platforms that you can use to impact invest and to vote with your dollar

Almost 2 years ago (to the day), I made my very first investment. At the time, I honestly didn’t know how to invest, but had some money saved up, and wanted to make it work for me instead of letting it sit in my savings account (accruing a whopping 0.0002% interest every year). I can’t be the only one who thinks that’s a slap in the face. I mean, come on, that’s less than the inflation rate! And while sitting at the desk of my 9-5, wading away at the monotony of stale carpet and fluorescent lighting, I got a notification that I had just invested in 60 Tesla shares, a company that I had been fan-girling about for months.

A few weeks earlier, I put in a ‘buy order’ for Tesla, which meant that if the stock dropped to a certain price, my account would snatch up the shares. I’d never put that much money into anything, far less left the final decision in the hands of a computer. But I had done my research on Tesla, and I 100% aligned with their mission—something that was extremely important to me. I wanted to invest in a company that cared as much about the planet as I did. It had to have a greater purpose than just turning a profit. This was a big decision. One that also decided whether I’d ever be able to buy that cozy dream house in Upstate NY.


I had to do my due diligence.

I can’t tell you how much time I spent downloading investment apps and trolling through websites, trying to find companies that I wanted to invest in. But it was tricky and time-consuming trying to vet the companies on my own. Plus, online investing sites only focused on profit margins and 3rd quarter projections. They didn’t talk about the integrity of the companies, or whether there were any social or environmental missions behind them. It was all about money. And while money alone can motivate a lot of people, I’m not one of them. If I was, I sure wouldn’t have quit my stable job to start a blog about the environment.

Throughout the whole process, I desperately wished there was an ethical or environmental resource for vetting the companies I wanted to invest in. At the time, no solution existed unless I wanted to hire a broker to take care of my portfolio. But I wanted to manage my own money, and to do it in a way that felt true to my values. Lucky for you (and me), this exact solution now exists . . . and it’s freakin’ awesome!

Say hi to Swell! An online investing platform made specifically for YOU. They don’t just invest in any company that turns a profit; they invest in integrity, in impact—and in companies that are changing the world . . . for the better. You won’t find them knocking on the door of Exxon or Shell, saying: hey, wanna grab a drink? Instead, they seek out companies like Sunrun, Tesla, and Sprouts, saying: Hey, we admire what you’re doing and we want to help our investors support you.


So what do they do exactly?

Wellll . . . they have 6 different portfolios that you can invest into: green tech (ohh, heyyy!!), renewable energy (swoon!), zero waste (can I get an AMEN!), disease eradication (ummm . . . yes plz!), clean water (OMG seriously?!?!), and healthy living (YAS Queen!). Each of their portfolios has 40-60 companies, all with a similar impact goal. And they also have one called the Swell Impact 400, which is their pick of the 400 most impactful companies on the planet. Here’s what their portfolios looks like:


Image of Swell's Impact Portfolios for Online Investing


After signing up for Swell, which takes less than 5 minutes BTW, you choose exactly how much you want to invest in each of their portfolios. Or you can invest in just one that gets you hyped. Each of their portfolios is measured against the S&P Index, a cross-section of the 500 most traded companies on the stock market. This shows exactly how the portfolio is doing compared to the stock market as a whole. Here’s what that looks like:


Graph showing how to invest with Swell's Green Tech Portfolio, and how it compares to the S&P Index


Graph showing how to invest with Swell's Zero Waste Portfolio, and how it compares to the S&P Index


This platform wasn’t built for:

  • stock brokers
  • your parents
  • people who are super knowledgeable about investing


It was built for you.

They know you want an easy online platform. They know you wanna feel like you’re in control. And most importantly, they know you care about where your money goes. It’s not just about investing. It’s about voting with your dollars. And even if you don’t have cash in your savings account, or are still paying off student debt, all you need is $50 to start investing with Swell.

You. Want. More.

You know first-hand that people aren’t just looking for the cheapest answer anymore. Of course, price plays a big factor, but it’s not the be-all end-all. Like you, people are looking for solutions that also make a difference. You joined me over the past year because you’re looking for impact. You wouldn’t be reading this blog if you didn’t. And every day that you bring your own mug to the coffee shop or buy a face cream that only uses fair trade ingredients, you’re voting for what you want. The cool thing about Swell is: they help you do this on a much bigger scale.

You and I both know that making sustainable decisions sometimes comes at a cost. Sometimes, they’re not all that convenient, and sometimes they’re expensive. But with Swell, it’s easy. It’s transparent. And they take care of the vetting process for you. They even have an entire team of people dedicated to making sure your money is going to the right places. Take my girl: Amberjae, one of Swell’s portfolio managers. Her entire job focuses on researching, building, and maintaining the integrity of Swell’s portfolios. Do you know any stock brokers who would have looked at a company’s integrity for you? . . . [silence] . . . that’s what I thought.

So instead of wading through the overwhelming amount of information, doubt, and worry about making your first investment, or worse yet, keeping that money in your savings account where it literally loses value by the day, let Swell do the work for you. You’re not only investing in your future, you’re investing in everyone’s future. You’re choosing to support companies that are building a safe and healthy future for us all. And you can sleep easy at night knowing that you’ve put your money in the right place.


Image of a hand reaching for a wad of cash

Have questions about how to get started?



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4 thoughts on “How to Invest in Green Tech, Clean Energy and Zero Waste”

    • Hey Boris,

      Unfortunately Swell Investing is no longer an active company, which is such a bummer. However, there are other ESG investing companies that you can go through. Vanguard and BlackRock have a bunch of ESG funds.

      • Are these apps that you are recommending? I want to do this kind of investing, but I am new to the game. I have an IRA through my bank and am struggling with using the various search functions to find what I am looking for! I just need a list basically of green options and their stock abbreviations so I can find them. Willing to do my own research but it isn’t easy on my bank’s site.

        • Hey Kaela, unfortunately Swell Investing is no longer in operation; however, there are lots of ESG (environmental and social governance) funds and stocks that you can invest in that would align with your values. Unfortunately, it’s a bit of a research project to find them. However, Black Rock and Vanguard both have a bunch on ESG index funds that you can invest in. Here are some stock tickers you can look at that are either ESG index funds or green companies too look at: PLUG, ICLN, SDG, TSLA, ENPH, RUN, FSLR. Some of these have taken a hit recently but could be a good starting point since you can get them low and ride the wave up. There are lots of others too but these can get you started. I’m pretty into this stuff so I might have to write a blog post on some of the green and ESG stocks/fund I like.

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