5 green banking tips to save the planet

Green banking grows like a weed
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Green is good for you and the planet. And banks big and small are increasingly offering green loans, sustainable certificates of deposit and paperless checking rewards that dish out discounts and fee breaks.

The result: more green in your pocket.

Green banking isn't just for tree huggers anymore. It's becoming mainstream as a way to make, save and lend money. "Customers want to make a difference in the environment," says Mike Jones, a spokesman for Citizens Bank in Providence, R.I.

Green banks such as New Resource Bank in San Francisco, Green Bank in Houston and GreenChoice Bank in Chicago are springing up to offer a full menu of innovative green banking products, such as solar CDs and Energy Star mortgages.

"We're an alternative to the big, money center banks," says Vincent Siciliano, CEO of New Resource Bank.

But don't get blinded by green fever. Some green banking products, such as mortgages and home lines of credit, are complex and require piles of paperwork. And others, like sustainable CDs, invest in fledgling ventures that could go bust.

It pays to read the fine print -- but there are certainly opportunities out there that are good for the planet and your pocketbook. Here are five green banking trends to jump on now.




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