05/30/2008 10:31 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Clean Tech: What Is It And Why Should You Care?

So what is going to drive the economy after oil and coal have played their parts and are on the way out? Probably a combination of many things, but they are all going to have one thing in common, they will be "cleaner" than what we do now.

A new energy economy can be based on many things, but the smart money is on renewable, "clean" technology getting us there. That means that the products or the processes that makes them should have a net benefit to the environment. Solar panels are clean-tech, but so is a sheet rock recycler if they do it properly.

I like clean-tech industries because it means that the people who live where they are located are better off because of the jobs AND the healthier local environment. Sometimes these products cost a little more - especially at first while these new heroes are pioneering new production methods, supply chains and energy sources.

But your interest and purchases tell the story to the investors, marketers, and product designers that this is for real. Play a part in shaping the future by altering your buying habits to favor items that come from clean industries. You'll get your money's worth for years to come, and you'll thank me later.