Start a business, save the planet
Ready to start a business but worried about the impact it might have on the environment? If protecting Mother Nature is what you've got in mind, you're in luck: More and more consumers are turning to eco-friendly alternatives to their favorite products and services, and more and more businesses are going green as a result. Need some organic inspiration? Check out these eco-friendly business ideas perfect for nature-conscious entrepreneurs.
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.