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Where to Spend Your Green Money

When it comes to your environmentalism, are you a trend-chasing hipster who's all about global warming? Or more of a classic tree hugger, who considers the impact of your lifestyle and consumer choices on the air, soil and water supply as well?

The question comes up because of two lists that recently ranked U.S. companies according to their environmental behavior. The lists got my attention because one applauds the positive -- consumer companies' best intentions for fighting global warming -- while the other draws attention to the negative -- the polluting that manufacturers are doing to their local air right now.

There's some overlap between the two. General Electric (GE - Get Report), Procter & Gamble (PG - Get Report), Sony (SNE - Get Report) and Anheuser Busch (BUD) landed on both.



One has received heavy media attention and the other, not so much. Yet both could and should impact consumer behavior.

The first list came out this month from Climate Counts, a not-for-profit started by Gary Hirshberg, who founded the organic dairy company Stonyfield Farm. It looks at how well major consumer companies are tackling climate change.

According to its Web site, Climate Counts rates companies on a 0-to-100 scale based on how well they've "Measured their climate footprint, reduced their impact on global warming, supported progressive climate legislation and publicly disclosed their climate actions."

The group lauds companies for good intentions and effort as much as for their actual success reducing GHGs, and it asks consumers to encourage them further in this direction with their purchasing decisions.

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