It is time for Eco-minded entreupreneurs to shine!
What is a green business?
A green business is one that uses sustainable materials to make its products, and sources them in a sustainable way. A green business aims to cut carbon emissions and uses renewable energy for its operations, while generating less waste. This is a business approach that minimizes the contribution to climate change. A green business ensures that the triple bottom line (TBL) is perfectly aligned. The three pillars of the triple bottom line stand for Profit, People and Planet. Therefore, a green business is one that generates the same amount of profit that equals its positive contribution to people and planet.
Launching a Green Business is the same as launching any other business – you just need to be mindful of minimizing fossil fuels and protect the environment in all aspects of your operations.
Below are some ideas for innovative green business:
Why not publish a magazine helping people to live a more sustainable life and re-think how their actions affect the planet? It could be an online magazine with a small monthly or yearly subscription or you could make money from adverts from green businesses who want exposure to the right niche market and give out the magazine for free.
Eco-friendly beauty salon
Start a beauty business approved by Mother Nature. Almost all classic hair and beauty products are made with harmful chemicals and tested on animals. Go for an organic and vegan salon with all-natural, environmentally-friendly and cruelty-free products.
Eco-friendly cleaning services
Common cleaning products contain chemicals that contribute to pollution and harm people and pets that come in contact with them. Start an Eco-friendly cleaning service exclusively using non-toxic products and eco-labelled brands and minimize the use of water and single-use plastic containers. Cleaning services can be for private residences, offices, factories, cars, schools, venues and so on.
Bicycle repair shop
Cycling is one of the most sustainable mobility options and more and more people are making the switch, since it offers a way for us to stay healthy and fit. All bicycles need a tune-up every now and then. You could also buy old broked bicycles, fix them, refurbish them, and then sell them at a profit.
Same concept stands for old broken furniture, which with a bit of know-how and the right tools, you can break down old pieces of furniture and create something new, original and contemporary. People are always throwing out pieces of furniture and you can also find free pallets, therefore this could be a very creative and profitable business idea.
Second-hand or Swap store
Why buy a new book when you can buy a second hand version in good condition or even better swap it for another book you don’t need anymore? It is no secret that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Buying second hand or swapping, especially items of clothing and accessories is one of the most environmentally sustainable things you can do given that the fashion industry contributes to around 10% of global annual emissions, that is greater than all the airlines and maritime trips combined.
Yet another great way to reduce the use of single-use plastics is to offer a handy alternative to water bottles. Tap filters and jug filters are inexpensive to buy and easy to maintain and they will drastically reduce the purchase of plastic bottles for home and office use.
Solar panel installation
Many green-minded home-owners have installed solar panels on their homes. If you have the necessary know-how, you can offer this service not just to private home owners but also to communities and neighbourhoods. You can propose a collaboration whereby panels are installed on a large surface owned by a group of people, with another group of people who don’t own a roof, contributing to the expense and then reaping the benefits together.
Healthy & Vegan catering
Food production and food waste are huge contributors to global warming. By choosing a healthy vegan catering service with locally-sourced food ingredients you will be supporting local farmers, minimize the carbon footprint of imported products, and reduce carbon emissions from the meat and dairy industry. Don’t forget to use sustainable cutlery and eco-friendly napkins.
Return and Re-fill van
Another great way to reduce the use of single-use plastic containers is to re-fill your detergent bottles. Invest in an electric-van and drive around towns offering re-fills of dish washing liquid, laundry detergent, window cleaner liquid, floor washing liquid, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, cooking oil and so on.
Help home-owners make their yards literally and figuratively greener! With the right passion and know-how you can create gardens and yards that are appealing and beneficial to the environment, by using sythentic turf, drought-resistant plants and strategically placed trees to save water, energy and money.
Home-growing food solutions
An increasing number of people want to learn how to grow their own food at home. If you have a green thumb, you can make a very profitable business teaching people the secrets on how to grow vegetables and herbs, even if they don’t have a garden. Food can easily grow in pots on balconies or even on window sills.
Ink re-fill business
Ink cartridges are non-biodegradable and can be easily re-filled and re-used instead of taking space in landfills for years and years. Printers are now in every office, and in many homes. It is clearly a highly profitable business and saves the environment. Approximately 1.3 billion ink cartridges are discarded annually all over the world.
Sustainable construction materials
Did you know that construction can be made out of recycling plastic instead of steel and concrete? Many countries including the USA, Australia, Canada and even Africa have factories that create building blocks made out of recycled plastic.
Products made out of recycled plastic
Besides building blocks, many other things can be made out of recycled plastic, including bags, shoes, clothes, dog collars, rugs, yoga mats, toys, swimwear, stockings, blankets, packaging, and outdoor furniture.
What other green businesses can you think of? I am certain there are many others. Let us know in the comments!
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Eco Market Malta