It was forty years ago on April 22, 1970, when U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson founded Earth Day, for environmental awareness and appreciation of the Earth.

Earth Day, which is celebrated in over 175 countries every year, has inspired many countries to become environmentally conscious and to develop and produce alternative sources of energy.

Coinciding with the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, Vice President Joe Biden announced that the administration intends to invest $452 million in Recovery Act funding to retrofit buildings in 25 communities across the U.S. as part of the White House's ambitious plans to cut down energy use and reduce America's dependence on foreign oil.

Earth Day also allows penny stock investors to pause and ask whether there is a way that they can make money in the markets and support a greener future.

A worldwide innovator of energy saving films and glass products, Southwall Technologies, Inc. (SWTX - OTCBB) is a financially robust, profitable company with a strong outlook. On March 25, SWTX announced that fourth quarter revenue was up 23% year over year at $8.7 million. The company swung to fourth quarter profitability of $1.2 million or $0.03 per share.

“In a tough year, we maintained our long-term focus on growth while delivering respectable results,” said Dennis Capovilla, CEO. “Despite the challenging economy, we invested in growth, retired debt, increased profitability and generated cash. This positions us well for continued growth of our energy efficiency products in 2010.”

On March 4, SWTX said that its Heat Mirror film technology was selected to dramatically boost the energy efficiency of the more than 6,500 hundred windows being upgraded as part of the Empire State Building energy retrofit project. The upgraded windows are expected to deliver over $400,000 in savings per year.

EcoBlu Products, Inc. (ECOB – OTCBB) is the premier manufacturer of proprietary wood products, for the construction industry, coated with an exclusive non-toxic, eco-friendly chemistry that protects against mold, rot-decay, termites, and fire.

While its blue coated wood products could set the market on fire, it’s important to note that ECOB is an early stage company that has yet to report any significant revenues. Further, ECOB will need to rely on loans and share offerings to maintain operations in the early stages.

That said, ECOB’s products have been gaining media traction. The company also recently announced new funding and a raft of new agreements. On April 13, ECOB announced that it shipped BLUWOOD chemistry to Pacific Cedar Supply of Buena Park, California. The chemistry is for use in Pacific Cedar Supply’s approximately 1 million square foot production facility in China where they produce siding, shingles, fascia and various other wood products.

On April 12, ECOB announced that it secured an order to provide all framing lumber coated with BLUWOOD technology for a 15,000 sq ft old world Tuscan villa constructed on top of a knoll in Pleasanton, California.

Hy-Drive Technologies Ltd. (HGS - TSX.V) is a technology firm that has developed a proprietary, patented hydrogen generating system. The Hy-Drive HGS is a hydrogen generator system that injects small amounts of hydrogen gas, on demand, into the combustion chamber of a vehicle’s engine.

The enriched air/fuel mixture burns more efficiently, extracting more clean energy from the fuel while reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions. Further, independent tests show that the Hy-Drive Hydrogen Generating System increases fuel economy by more than 10 percent.

In August 2009, the company announced receipt of an order for 100 HGS units from Mining Technologies International, Inc. The order was valued at $1.2 million; it is to be fulfilled with a combination of units designed specifically for a mining application plus units intended for normal on-road use.

In an effort to expand its target market, the company entered into a definitive agreement to acquire intellectual property assets for the development of enhancements for the HGS. The company’s enhanced HGS technology use now includes Class 4 and pick-up trucks, and other applications used in mining, forestry, construction, and industrial market places, as well as in light duty truck and other sectors.

The economy and the environment are fundamentally linked together. Everyone on this planet needs economic opportunity to live well. Living well, or even merely living, is impossible without fertile soils and pollination for agriculture, adequate supplies of fresh water, clean air, and a stable climate.

The goals of prosperity and sustainability can only be brought together and people can only thrive when nature does.

Author's Bio: 

John Whitefoot is a seasoned penny stock investor with a keen interest in international business and current affairs. With many years of experience in the investment community, John Whitefoot is Sr. Editor at and is devoted to uncovering the news, trends, and ideas that affect penny stocks on a daily basis.