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Monday
Jul092018

Go Green While Making Green With These 5 Eco-Friendly Business Ideas

There are nearly 28 million small businesses in the United States, and more and more start operating each and every day. If you've always dreamed of becoming an entrepreneur and starting your own business, why not provide a product or service that benefit the Earth at the same time? There are countless business ideas centralized around sustainability. Here are just a few eco-friendly business ideas that may be right for you.

Recycling

First, it should come as no surprise that more and more materials are being made with recycled resources. For example, today, more than one-third of new paper is made with recycled fiber. With this in mind, there are countless business opportunities that can stem from recycling-based innovations.

"With all the different recyclable materials out there, including paper, plastic, cardboard and aluminum, there are plenty of opportunities for you to collect those materials from consumers and recycle them into usable materials...The possibilities are endless when it comes to inventions that can potentially help the Earth. You can even create something relatively low tech that can help people recycle or do other eco-friendly activities," writes Annie Pilon on SmallBizTrends.

App/Software Development

According to the Gartner Group, 15% of all paper documents are misplaced and 7.5% is lost completely, and there's no denying the fact that digital technologies are growing due to their convenience and accessibility alone. That being said, not many people think about how digital innovations can inherently benefit the Earth through decreased use of physical resources. On top of that, there are plenty of opportunities for developing apps that provide an eco-friendly service, like finding local recycling centers or providing other relevant environmental information.

Building Material

Developers are designing construction materials, tools, and practices that improve sustainability and efficiency. For example, one recent innovation involving sustainable building materials are ICF walls (Insulated Concrete Form walls), which can save property owners 20% to 25% on annual heating and cooling costs, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. There's an increasing demand for businesses that provide eco-friendly materials and/or install them, and over time, your efforts could significantly reduce the use of outdated construction materials and practices that don't keep the Earth in mind.

Organic Farming

The demand for organic foods is at an all-time high, as is the number of business opportunities that come with growing and distributing them. You can sell organic foods and plants at your local farmer's market, online, at a physical store, or even out of your home as a homestead. The bigger the variety you can manage, the more you can expand your customer base. Or, you can specialize in one product or area, like organic floristry, organic gifts, organic honey and bee products, organic fruits, and more.

Green Consulting

Finally, most people know that there's quite a big overlap between environmental efficiency and financial efficiency. But sometimes, it can be a bit difficult to find it. For this reason, home and business owners alike often hire green consultants, who provide valuable advice regarding their most environmental and financial tips for improvement.

"Green consultants are popping up everywhere. These consultants do a thorough evaluation of a home or business, and then put together a strategy to help people find ways to go green and save money...Some technical schools and adult education classes will also teach you how to be a green consultant. Or, you could also go the DIY route, and study on your own," writes Heather Levin on Money Crashers.

When all is said and done, there's a major marketing opportunity for brands and businesses that can effectively communicate their sustainable benefits, and businesses, technologies, and innovations are continuing to grow in popularity as a result of the 'green' movement.

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