Start a business, save the planet
If you're ready to start a business and you've always been passionate about protecting Mother Nature, then you might want to join the growing ranks of green entrepreneurs. Starting an eco-friendly business is an organic step for environmentalists to take when entering the business world; not only will your products or services help your customers, your operations will help support the planet! Still, it can be difficult to know exactly where to start when it comes to launching an eco-friendly business. We're here to help; check out these eco-friendly business ideas perfect for nature-conscious entrepreneurs.
Money isn't the only thing that has to be green in the world of finance. Green finance is focused on supporting local, community-level projects, particularly with an emphasis on sustainable, ecologically-friendly agriculture. Green finance is also typically concerned with providing educational opportunities, funding for artistic endeavors, and projects that support local ecology. As opposed to more conventional companies in the world of finance, green finance is preoccupied with the idea of social profit -- while monetary profit remains important, the real goal of green finance is to support beneficial projects that provide value to the local community and ecology. Oftentimes, when conventional lenders shy away, green financial institutions can fill the void to help realize a positive project that otherwise would not exist.
Another retailer selling eco-friendly items is Eco Carmel, a Carmel, California-based home and garden store that serves as a local hub for products, services and advice on green living. Owner Kristi Reimers sells eco-friendly home products ranging from nontoxic paint to cutting boards made from sustainably grown wood. Reimers also uses her knowledge of eco-friendly materials to help local businesses and homeowners find ways to incorporate renewable or recycled resources into their remodeling projects.
Sustainable construction materials
Eco-friendly beauty salon
Organic or recycled fashion
Green app developer
Sustainable event planning
Air duct cleaning
Bicycle repair and refurbishing
Handmade all-natural/organic products
Green waste management
Trash compacting is another type of business helping to take the waste out of the waste management industry. In the U.S. alone, garbage trucks consume roughly 1 billion gallons (3.7 billion liters) of diesel fuel every year, according to InformInc. Companies like Bigbelly Solar are working to change that by using solar-powered trash compactors that reduce the frequency of collections, thereby also reducing emissions and fuel consumption. Trash compactors also reduce litter overflow, a common problem among public trash receptacles.
Farmers market vendor
Green house cleaning
For the consumer, buying secondhand items doesn't just save money, it also helps the environment. AptDeco is an online marketplace that sells preowned home furnishings, giving a second life to gently used, high-quality items that would otherwise end up in a landfill. It also eliminates the waste of the manufacturing process and materials required to create a new piece.
Want to run an established business with a brand and customer base already in place? Investing in a franchise might be the answer. While "franchising" might call to mind fast-food joints and hotel chains, there are quite a few eco-friendly businesses that are willing to sell you your own branch. Visit Green Franchise Directory for a list of opportunities.
Additional reporting by Adam C. Uzialko.