A green business is one that has no negative impact on the local or global environment, the community, or the economy. A green business will also engage in forward-thinking policies for environmental concerns and policies affecting human rights.
If you are an entrepreneur who wants to tap into the green business market, there are plenty of creative, innovative ideas to consider to fit your skill, interest or profession.
Online Green Business Ideas
An internet business allows you to work flexibly and globally while contributing to the green economy:
Green writer or publisher
For entrepreneurs who enjoy writing, start a blog about environmental topics and then make money through advertising or selling green products. Spread the word about certain environmental initiatives as a publisher of a magazine, newsletter, blog or vlog. You can also start a YouTube channel dedicated to showcasing green products or trends.
Green software developer
For those with technical skills there are opportunities to build business software to help businesses or individuals with environmental activities. You can also develop apps designed to help people with environmentally friendly functions, like finding recycling centres or the ingredients that have gone into so-called “green” products.
Consider sustainable, non-toxic, safe products to sell online. Create your own online marketplace for solar power and wind power products, eco-friendly fashion, organic coffee, green cosmetics or any green products that interest you. You can also advertise your services online, perhaps as an eco-tourism planner, a green marketing expert or organic catering service.
Green Home Business Ideas
If you like to, or need to, work from home, consider these green home business ideas:
Speciality Landscape Designer
If you have some knowledge about sustainable landscape design, offer customers an efficient landscape design for their homes that reduces the need for water or other resources.
Green Business Consultant
You can also help other businesses go green by consulting with them to help them build more sustainable business practices. If you’re or finance person, consider starting an eco-business as a green financial planner, investment advisor, insurance sales, lawyer or micro-financing consultant.
Conventional transportation has a big impact on climate change. Be a consultant on energy efficient vehicle design, battery technology, mass transit operations or your own area of expertise.
Travelling by bicycle is inherently more eco-friendly than driving. Your business ideas can encourage bicycle travel in your community by offering bicycles for sale and hire or a repair service.
Electric cars are slowly gaining popularity. So you could open a dealership that specifically works with brands that sell electric or hybrid models. With increasing popularity, charging stations for electric vehicles are also becoming more of a necessity. So you could use that as a jumping-off point for your new business.
Car Sharing Service
The fewer people driving their own cars on the road, the less impact those vehicles are likely to have on the environment. Start a car-sharing service or a green cab company.
Resource Reuse Green Business Ideas
Reusing products rather than buying things made from virgin materials saves resources, reduces ecosystem destruction, reduces energy and water consumption and cuts the waste sent to landfills.
Furniture is a product that uses a lot of materials, reduce that impact by up-cycling pieces and recycling other materials in the production process. You can do the same with clothes and other items to sell at markets, with local retailers or start your own shop.
Salvage and repair services, clothing swaps, second-hand bookshop, food cooperatives, building materials reuse, ink refill business. These are just some ideas giving you opportunities to collect used materials from consumers and recycle them.
Not the cleanest of businesses, but if you have the space and resources, you can start a composting operation on your property and then sell the service to local gardeners or customers who do not have the space to compost.
Refurbish or re-purpose unused smart-phones, computers and tablets, then sell them to customers who could use less expensive versions.
Outdoor business ideas
If you love being outdoors and working with the soil, here are some green business ideas for working in agriculture or landscaping:
If you have the land and the resources, you can start an organic farm on your property and produce and sell a variety of different food items. Alternatively, share your expertise of organic gardening, green landscape design, green lawn services or renewable energy, irrigation systems.
Food Plant Nursery
Encourage others to eat sustainable food by helping them grow their own. You can do so through opening a nursery that sells food plants to customers. Perhaps start up a community garden or native plant nursery.
Farmer’s Market Vendor
Selling local produce eliminates the need to transport food items, or flowers, for long distances after the production process. If you grow food, you can sell it at local farmer’s markets to fill that need. You might also consider selling more finished food products by starting a food stand that sells organic snacks, smoothies or meals to passers-by.
Green Building Business Ideas
Buildings account for a huge proportion of our energy and resource consumption, and therefore represent substantial opportunities for improvement when it comes to sustainability. The green building industry is growing rapidly, with numerous green business opportunities from which to choose from if you have or gain the qualifications or skills required. These include:
Design and installation
Energy efficient lighting and heating, water filtration and efficiency, green toilet and plumbing, green landscaping, green roof design, heat recovery, green interior and green architecture all need design and installation expertise.
Design also requires input from healthy building experts, indoor air quality professionals, energy efficiency auditors, green building retro-fitters.
Consultancy in heat recovery systems, smart grid research, renewable energy finance and investment are other business ideas to meet growing demand.
Sustainable products and services
A green construction requires a range of products and services including waste management, green plumbing services, eco-friendly cleaning or maid services and recycling services.