1. Work with a financial adviser who specializes in green investing. Find a local specialist at www.firstaffirmative.com or www.progressive-asset.com.

2. Look for a positive screen. Most green and SRI funds use “negative” or “avoidance” screens, which means they simply screen out companies in which they will not invest. If you want to make a difference, look for a fund that also uses a “positive” or “proactive” screen, meaning it seeks out companies that do well by doing good.

3. Consider long-term performance. The same rules hold true for green investing as for investing in general. You may be investing to make a difference, but you’re also investing to make a profit. Look at returns over the past five years.

4. Diversify your investments. Choosing a green mutual fund is an easy way to invest in several eco-friendly companies at once, rather than betting on the shares of one or two companies.

5. Vote your proxies for stocks you already own and become active in any shareholder resolutions—often effective tools for corporate reform. For detailed analysis of current issues, check www.shareholderaction.org and www.iccr.org.

—S.E.E.

Sources: Winslow Management Company, www.winslowgreen.com; SRI Forum, www.socialinvest.org.