Want to Start a Green Business?

green businessStarting a business is a dream for many people. Being your own boss, working for where you want, tapping into your potential to make money. All of these are reasons to start a business. And, even better, it’s possible to start a business that is sustainable and green, and keeping with your values. If you are concerned about the impact that starting a business might have on the environment, you can take comfort in the fact that there are plenty of ways to start a green business.

Green Business: Consulting

Gaining the necessary education, such as a Master of Science in Renewable and Clean Energy degree, from a reputable university gives you the opportunity to explore this industry as a viable career. This degree, which is available through some online universities, allows you to work as an energy consultant, a policy maker, an energy planner, or an energy system designer, giving you the chance to make a real difference. While earning your degree, you will learn about clean energy sources, how they can be applied to energy systems, and how to implement these forms of energy.

If you are knowledgeable in an area related to sustainable living or sustainable practices, you can offer consulting services. You might be surprised at the sort of green consulting you can do, big and small:

  1. Energy efficiency: If you are a pro at energy use, you can help others. You can perform energy audits, teach classes, and do individual consulting to help homeowners — even other green business owners — make their buildings more energy efficient.
  2. Gardening: Many people would love to garden, but don’t know how to get started. You could help people in your town start gardens. Show them how to garden organically, helping them choose natural forms of pest control, and providing helpful tips. If you know about small-space gardening or rooftop gardening, you can share your expertise. You’ll be helping others, and the environment, and making money.
  3. Best practices: Set yourself up as a consultant for governments and businesses about best sustainable practices. You can analyze practices, and then make recommendations and create an action plan to help your clients operate in a more sustainable manner, from better energy practices to going paperless.
  4. Green building standards: If you are properly licensed and knowledgeable, you can consult with builders and contractors to help them meet the standards that will ensure that their projects are certified as green.

What Does You Green Business Sell?

Of course, you don’t have to be a consultant to have a successful green business. You can also provide needed products and services. Here are some green items to sell:

  1. Cover for Sustainable Business Booklet.

    Image via Wikipedia

    Cleaning and personal care products: It is possible to set up an e-commerce website that sells green cleaning and personal care products. You can even do this as an affiliate. It’s also possible to make your own household cleaning products and even create your own green personal care products.

  2. Green transportation: Sell bicycles and scooters. You’ll be encouraging good health as well as a greener way of getting from point A to point B. If you have the skills, you can also offer repair services.
  3. E-books: You can also sell e-books and course designed to help others live more sustainable lives. Write an e-book filled with recipes for homemade cleaners and care products. Create a small space gardening course, and sell access to that. You might be surprised at what an e-book, priced right, can sell for — and how it can help you earn a little more money.

Bottom Line

Remember: Before you start any business venture, you need to find out what licenses are required in your locality, and to make sure you have the right credentials. There a number of creative business ideas available to you. It’s possible to start a green business, earning money while helping (and teaching others to help) the environment. There’s no reason that going green can’t help you earn a little green. “

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18 comments to Want to Start a Green Business?

  • I am looking for ways to get into the green movement. I’m trying to figure out where my skills work best. I’d like to get into selling a product that helps people be more energy efficient but I haven’t figured out what just yet.

  • There’s a lot of green things to do in business these days, from construction to consulting. Not only can you work in the green industry but even if you’ve already got a business that’s not “green” in nature, you can still take green steps like changing your bulbs or retrofitting your building (if you own it) to save on heat and electricity.

  • What about starting up a personal finance blog (it does involve helping and teaching others)? I consider it a business and a green one… as long as you stay faithful to your values.

    • I think that depends on the topic Aloysa. Obviously this site could be deemed a “green business” but mainly due to the topics we often cover.

    • Jon -- Free Money Wisdom

      Aloysa, I am with you! I think a blog would be considered a green business venture…as long as you talk about ways to effectively conserve energy and the like. Plus, you’re already being green by typing it out and not using paper ;)

  • I think it will be a few years, but soon the green market will take off. I am considering investing in and/or starting a green business, but it is on the back burner right now. I have to finish grad school first.

  • The green market will only take off when the prices significantly drop. I still think it is too expensive to go green energy. It’s still at least 5-10 years away I think…

  • Miranda

    I think Jeff makes a good point about being about to start out and make your own small steps. The key to running an eco-friendly business, or starting one, is to try your best to practice what you preach. Writing at home (including running a blog) can be very green. Consider your home office energy use, and what you are doing to encourage better practices at home. I have a practically paperless office, and we signed up for a program with out local utility that allows us to get some of our power from geothermal sources. It may take a few years for the green market to really take off, but, if we do something now, it’s likely to hurry that day along.

    • Personally, I like being ahead of the curve with our site topic. This micro PF niche was a new category for the Plutus awards and as evidenced by our increasing readership I think there is an upward trend on people trying to balance how they live with their financial decisions.

  • These are great ideas. I have been thinking about offering gardening and green house conversion consulting. Basically I would help people get organized to make green changes. I don’t have the time right now but it is something I want to do at some point.

  • I would love to start a business, but still haven’t came up with an idea good enough to implement…yet. I’m not very good at being ‘green’ but it might be fun to try a ‘green’ business. Surely, I would get better with practice. :-)

  • Hunter @ Financially Consumed

    Great ideas. I’m all over the e-book right now. Can’t wait to publish my own and sell it on my blog. That’s going to be an awesome day.

  • Until the U.S. prices carbon green technologies will not reach their full potential. Hopefully as more countries price carbon the U.S. will be forced to do the same.

  • We have LEED building certification in the States. There is a lot of potential for LEED consultants that know what they’re doing and are already involved in the construction/design business. The LEED Green Associate and LEED AP credentials also give you a boost in the industry!

  • zee

    comScore is proud of its partnership with Trees for the Future, and the 3 Million trees that have been planted as a result of this partnership so far. Since 1988, Trees for the Future has helped thousands of communities in Central America, Africa, and Asia improve their livelihoods by restoring degraded lands to sustainable productivity. The program is also active in the U.S., educating students and communities about global issues, the environment, and energy efficiency. This partnership is a great example of how business and environmental interests can overlap and create value for the broader global community.

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