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39 Green Business Ideas for Sustainable Entrepreneurs

Meredith Wood

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money .

An eco-friendly business, or "green business" is one that demonstrates a commitment to an environmentally sustainable future. Green businesses strive to have a positive impact on the environment and their community. This can be achieved through many practices and strategies, from recycling to sourcing local products to promoting energy efficiency.

Sustainable and green business ideas combine your commitment to the environment with your goal of starting a business. Beyond that, they also deliver on revenue and profit. A study by Nielsen revealed that 66% of global consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable products. If you want to launch a green business, get started with this article containing our top sustainable and green business ideas.

new business ideas environmentally friendly

39 green business ideas

Here are 39 sustainable business ideas for you to consider if you want to go green.

1. Energy auditing and green consulting

Work with businesses or individuals to help them implement strategies to reduce their carbon footprint.

2. Garden planning

Landscape eco-friendly, sustainable gardens for families and businesses to feed themselves.

3. Environmental law

Provide legal services to protect the environment or hold entities accountable for violating environmental laws.

4. Composting business

Provide a service to pick up compost or a place to drop it off.

5. Green cleaning

Use eco-friendly products to clean homes and businesses.

6. Air duct cleaning

Dust and dirt can easily accumulate in air ducts, preventing the air conditioning system from working properly and thereby increasing energy consumption. Start an eco-friendly small business that serves to regularly clean air ducts to reduce energy consumption.

7. Fundraiser or grant writer

Many environmental organizations could use help getting funding . Start a career as a freelance grant writer to help them out.

8. Eco-friendly food supplier

Deliver food from local sources to people or businesses who need them. Farm-to-table restaurants are some of the businesses that you could help supply.

9. Eco restaurants

Open a restaurant that uses only locally sourced food and sustainable products and processes.

10. Organic nutritionist

This is a powerful sustainable business idea. Help people eat clean — it’s better for their health and our earth.

11. Wind power development

Build wind farms that produce sustainable energy.

12. Geothermal developer

Build power plants that use steam produced from reservoirs of hot water found a couple of miles or more below the Earth's surface.

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Once we uncover your personalized matches, our team will consult you on the process moving forward.

13. Solar panel manufacturer

Produce the energy-saving panels for homes and businesses.

14. Plant delivery service

Start an eco-friendly small business that sources and delivers plants to people or businesses that will help clean the air around them.

15. Open a used bookstore

Recycle old and gently books for a fraction of the price. You could do this either online or in-person with a brick-and-mortar location.

16. Green gift shop

As mentioned earlier, green products are a selling point. Why not open a store full of them?

17. Sell bicycles

One way to reduce carbon emissions is to reduce the number of people driving cars. One way to do that is by encouraging more people to ride bicycles.

18. Sell scooters

While scooters do emit carbon dioxide, they are much more energy-efficient than cars.

19. Energy-efficient car sales

Of course, people still want to drive cars. Why not sell more environmentally friendly car options?

20. Open a consignment or thrift store

How many clothes do you get rid of each year? Recycling old clothes is a great way to reduce the carbon footprint of each clothing item so they don’t go to waste.

21. Manufacture or sell eco-friendly fashion design

Many designers are making clothing from sustainable materials. You could be one of them, or you could sell them.

22. Environmental blog

Publish information and news about climate change and subjects of interest to the environment. Reap advertising payouts from your visitors while informing the public.

23. Advertising agency specializing in green business

With all the new green businesses and initiatives forming, they’re going to need someone to know how to bring all the good they're doing to a large audience, you could start a green business advertising agency.

24. Give bicycle tours

This is a great sustainable business idea for bicycle enthusiasts! Bike tours in your city are way more environmentally friendly than big ole bus tours or long joy rides.

25. Eco-travel planner

Plan eco-friendly travel destinations and activities for tourists.

26. Sustainable events planner

Offer event planning services that guarantee a reduced carbon footprint from the event.

27. Open an organic spa

Harsh chemicals are bad for your skin just as they are for the environment.

28. Recycled furniture and home goods

Use recycled materials to build furniture and home goods people use in their everyday lives. Or open an antique shop reselling older furniture or refurbishing it and reselling it.

29. Eco-friendly kids toys

A great eco-friendly small business idea for parents. Mainstream children’s toys use a ton of unsustainable materials. Why not give parents an environmentally conscious option for their kids.

30. Handmade clothing

If you've got a knack for sewing you can sell your handmade clothing online. A bonus if it’s from recycled materials.

31. Green remodeling

Green remodeling is the perfect green business idea for the handy entrepreneur. Take a worn down home and make it something new using sustainable materials and updated appliances that reduce carbon footprints.

32. Green architecture

Design new homes using sustainable methods.

33. Solar panel installation

Install solar panels for sustainable energy in homes or businesses.

34. Start a cooperative

Communal living easily reduces the carbon footprints of those living in them because everything is shared and the values of the building uphold sustainability.

35. Green venture capitalist

Invest in helping other people get their green business ideas off the ground.

36. Green financial planning

Sell “green bonds” to those looking to add environmentally conscious businesses to their portfolio.

37. Software

Build software programs made specifically to help businesses or individuals with environmental activities and initiatives.

Develop mobile apps designed to help people with environmentally friendly functions, like finding recycling centers or learning about the environmental practices of different brands.

39. Refurbish/recycle tech

Take people’s old and unused technology and recycle the parts or make something new.

Hopefully, these green business ideas have you excited about the possibilities — not only for profit but the pleasure of running a business that helps people lead greener lives and combining what you do with what you believe in. A value-led company is attractive to consumers — why not create one?

Benefits of starting a sustainable business

Green and sustainable business ideas deliver more than profits. Beyond the feel-good impact that comes with making the world a better place, environmentally conscious and green businesses cater to a rapidly growing market.

“Despite the fact that millennials are coming of age in one of the most difficult economic climates in the past 100 years,” according to a recent Nielsen global online study, “They continue to be most willing to pay extra for sustainable offerings — almost three-out-of-four respondents in the latest findings.”

Generation Z does not want to be left behind either: The rise in the percentage of respondents ages 15 to 20 who are willing to pay more for products and services that come from companies who are committed to positive social and environmental impact hovered around 72%.

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Start Your Dream Business

Businesses that establish sustainable or green values or practices have an opportunity to grow market share and build loyalty among consumers now and in the future.

Now is the time to pursue your sustainable business idea

There's never been a better time to launch a green or sustainable small business. We’ve undoubtedly seen a ton of change in the last year toward climate solutions and policy, especially as the implications of the Paris Agreement reverberated through businesses, industries, and investors.

“Companies continued to ratchet up their commitments and achievements on renewable energy, greenhouse gas emissions, sustainable supply chains, water and land stewardship, the circular economy, and other aspects of a sustainable enterprise,” according to GreenBiz . “Technology continued its inexorable march, accelerating sustainability solutions in energy, buildings, transportation, food, and just about everywhere else.”

However, global indicators continue to trend in troubling directions. Concentrations of carbon dioxide are unprecedented compared with the past 800,000 years according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, even after accounting for natural fluctuations. Global temperatures continue to rise, and other metrics — on coastal flooding, heat-related deaths, wildfires, polar sea ice, biodiversity, and more — are just as harrowing.

Suffice it to say that we have a major challenge on our hands. Of course, no one is going to solve climate change on their own. But if you’re looking for green business ideas you can do your part and start an environmentally conscious business.

On a similar note...

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new business ideas environmentally friendly

45 green business ideas for aspiring entrepreneurs

A green business' commitment to sustainability creates a positive impact in your community while targeting a valuable market gap that allows you to grow.

Ready to start your business? Plans start at $0 + filing fees.

new business ideas environmentally friendly

by   LegalZoom staff

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Updated on: January 22, 2024 · 25min read

What is a green business?

Green business ideas, first steps to starting a green business.

The entrepreneurial dream is alive and well for many Americans, and more entrepreneurs are embracing the social responsibility of building a business with a desire to make the world a better place. Green businesses are seeing significant market growth and success as 65 percent of Americans want to buy from sustainable brands.

woman opening her store hanging open sign

In fact, 61 percent of Millennials say they're even willing to pay more for eco-friendly products. Gen Z follows at 58 percent, indicating that this trend is here to stay. While consumers take responsibility for their own environmental impacts, 52 percent still believe it's manufacturers and businesses who are most responsible for the future of our environment.

With more consumers consciously choosing eco-friendly businesses, let's dive into what makes a business “green" and what steps you can take to start your own sustainable business.

A green business prioritizes sustainability and conservation in their business model. They work to reduce their negative environmental impact as a company and may also support green initiatives through local partnerships and philanthropy.

Some green business options seem obvious, like solar panel installation, which promotes renewable energy and provides a green product. These green products are easy to identify as environmentally-friendly and meet a clear need for sustainability. It's a product that mindful consumers would specifically look to buy to meet their personal sustainability goals.

Other green businesses may not seem inherently eco-friendly, but they choose to prioritize sustainable materials and procedures. For example, a printing company may use recycled paper and solar energy to reduce any negative environmental impacts. Businesses like these can set an intentional standard of sustainability that serves as a key marketing tool when advertising to the majority of consumers who are looking to support sustainability.

Green businesses are vital to repairing and protecting our environment, and they align with a cause consumers care about and want to support. If you're looking to leave your office job and pursue your passion for climate action, we have 40 green business ideas for you to explore.

Support sustainable fashion

support sustainable fashion infographic

Fast fashion is everywhere and generates billions of pounds in textile waste in the U.S. alone. What's worse, only 15% of recyclable textiles are reused. It's an issue that's been gaining attention and consumers have a growing interest in second-hand clothes.

If you have an eye for style, consider opening your own resale shop online or in-store to revive once-loved clothing. There are online services like Shopify that can help you get started. Of course, you can build and market your own site, and some people have found success simply selling on Instagram or other social media marketplaces.

Become a tailor

With the rise of fast fashion, consumers are buying significantly more clothes and keeping them half as long. Custom-made, quality clothing lasts longer and fits correctly, allowing the wearer to get more use out of each garment and increasing the lifecycle of our wardrobes.

Correct fits also mean fewer garments are being returned to retailers to either be re-sold and shipped or disposed of entirely. As a tailor, you can also reduce waste by prioritizing sustainable and ethical fabrics, educating consumers on sustainable fashion, and reducing the waste of ecommerce shipping.

Repair bicycles

Cycling will likely never go out of style, and it's a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and improve your health at the same time. Bicycles can be expensive, like any mode of transportation, and require care and maintenance to stay on the road.

Repairing bicycles is something you can easily start in your garage and build up with an online presence. Once you get started, you may even start collecting vintage bikes to refurbish and resell. While the bicycle dealership industry took a hit during COVID-19, it was growing steadily before the pandemic and will likely continue to grow after the economy stabilizes.

Grow your own food

Direct, local food sales are growing in the U.S. as consumers are looking to support their local producers. Local goods and organic food aren't just great for the economy, but produce much less waste than grocery producers do from packaging, large-scale production, and transportation.

If you have a green thumb, then you can get started with a small garden and a booth at the local farmers market for a couple of hundred dollars. You'll do best if you find a market gap beyond raw produce, like homemade spices and sauces, or canned goods like pickles and jams. These products will also allow you to sell year-round well after the harvest ends.

Launch a native landscaping business

Meticulously manicured grass lawns are a thing of the past and more homeowners are switching to native landscaping. Become an expert on the native plants in your area and their care, then launch an eco-friendly landscaping business to help convert lawns to support biodiversity and protect native habitats.

Additionally, you can help homeowners learn how to care for their lawns efficiently to save water and energy. Some trees and plants may even grow to help them save on their utilities.

Learn local floristry

floral-designers-often-manage-their-own-businesses

Similar to catering, you'd be surprised to know how far flowers can travel to wind up in a bouquet! Some plants grow best in tropical environments, or maybe you want summer blooms in March. Either way, these plants require a lot of care to grow around the world and in greenhouses, then require a lot of specialized packaging to ship to your local florist.

Green florists specialize instead in using local and seasonal flowers in their arrangements. This way your flowers are always guaranteed to be available and fresh. Native flowers also support the local ecosystem, as well as supporting local growers. Finally, you'll save a lot of money and reduce carbon emissions with local shipping.

Grow healing tea and herbs

If you don't have the space for a huge garden of fresh produce, you can still grow your own products to sell. Herbs and flowers can grow well in pots, indoors and outdoors. These can be used to create holistic healing products like teas, spices, herbs, and potpourri.

If you're interested in beauty and wellness items, you can also use your homegrown herbs to add holistic properties to your bath salts, soaps, and the like. Not only can you guarantee organic and safe products, but you'll save cash and carbon by growing at home.

Design small-space gardening tools

Plant parenthood is thriving as people are looking to refresh and enliven their homes. This is especially true for renters who want to make their small spaces feel more inviting. The problem is that gardening traditionally takes a lot of space, creating a new market for clever gardening hacks.

You can design the systems and tools people need for their urban jungle relatively easily. Something as simple as a hanging shelf in a window or a modern and chic self-watering pot can maximize on space and decor while meeting the needs of plant parents everywhere.

Open a nursery and deliver plants

plat-and-flower-growing-businesses-generate-15-billion

If you have a green thumb, you may enjoy opening a local nursery. Here you can specialize in native landscaping plants, flowers, ornamental house plants, or whatever greenery you enjoy most.

You can partner with other local businesses, like florists or landscapers, to sell your plants, or consider selling directly to households. Plants are a booming business right now, and selling gardening supplies with houseplants is a great way to connect with the community.

Keep bees for local honey and home goods

Bees are vital for healthy ecosystems and agriculture, and the best way for you to save the bees is to get your hands dirty. The huge benefit of keeping your own bees isn't just a fresh supply of honey, but the brand new and well-loved business opportunities that come with it.

Keeping bees will produce raw honey and honeycomb, both of which are sellable as is. The plants you grow around your hive may also create specialty honey that can fetch a higher price or stand out in the market. Otherwise, consider using your honey and wax to create moisturizing beauty products and bath bombs.

Create and sell organic beauty products

Organic beauty products are another DIY hobby you can turn into a green business from home to build over time. Brand name products can actually damage your skin and hair with harsh additives including fragrances, alcohol, sulfates, and more. It's why many consumers are making the switch to organic products they can trust.

Not only can removing damaging ingredients benefit the environment, but small-scale production, local sales, and purchasing packaging from ethical printers can boost your sustainability—making organic beauty a great green business.

Start green cleaning

Similar to our beauty products, many of our home cleaners have toxic chemicals that can irritate our families and may be hazardous to store or dispose of. Additionally, cleaning products create a ton of plastic waste as many consumers dispose of the whole bottle after use instead of just replacing the cleaning agent.

Families are looking to keep their homes clean and safe, so producing natural green cleaning products without plastic waste can be a great business opportunity. You can get started as a cleaning company dedicated to using environmentally safe products with minimal waste as a side hustle you can develop over time. You may also want to make your own cleaning products, which you can sell locally or with a subscription-based model.

Upgrade a dry cleaning business

Dry cleaning services have come a long way from what they once were, but still use harmful chemicals and chlorinated solvents . Leaking sewage or improper disposal of these chemicals can pollute the surrounding environment, and poor handling safety can also be harmful to employee health.

Many of these chemicals have safer alternatives available to protect both the environment and employees. A modern and eco-responsible dry cleaning business would prioritize non-toxic chemicals as well as responsible handling and disposal of chemicals and waste. Other green practices may include using recyclable garment bags and exclusively in-house dry cleaning.

Launch a new car wash

A commercial car wash uses about 150 liters of water to wash one car, and that number more than doubles for trucks and buses. The major environmental impact isn't just with the heavy water use, but that the waste water is filled with soaps, oils, and grease that can be harmful to the environment and wildlife when disposed of improperly.

The two best ways a car wash can limit this impact is through controlled water use and proper wastewater disposal. WaterSavers has requirements for eco-friendly partners including backflow prevention, equipment efficiency, and water discharge guidelines. Green car washes can also recycle their used water, reduce their waste of products like paper towels, and maintain restrictions on cars idling in line or in the lot.

Design sustainable household alternatives

americans-spent-5-billion-on_paper-towels

Have you ever really considered how much waste is produced in your home? Everyday items like cotton rounds, paper towels, and produce bags can't be recycled and are easily replaced with sustainable alternatives.

Take note of the items around your house and find alternatives you can create and sell. Wax cloth wraps can replace plastic wrap, flannel cotton rounds can be washed, and produce bags can be sewn or woven for reuse. Packaging these sustainable items together is a great way to build your brand and generate sales as gift baskets or starter packs.

Open a second-hand store

Second-hand shops are a great way to reduce waste of everything from furniture to children's toys. You can easily open a store online to start generating revenue and save to open a brick and mortar store, should you prefer. You may also want to specialize in something like refurbished appliances or open a general shop with anything of value.

The big hurdle here is having the means up-front to store and buy products to resell. You could accept donations, but then you have to find sustainable ways to clear out products that aren't of any value to resell.

Refurbish furniture

Nearly 10,000 tons of furniture end up in landfills each year, while another 12 million tons of furniture are created to take its place. Refurbishing old furniture is an ideal way to keep once-loved pieces out of the landfill while giving consumers unique, trendy, and sturdy pieces for their home.

You'll definitely need to invest a bit upfront for this business idea, as you'll need a workshop to store and mend furniture, as well as the revenue to purchase new pieces and tools. However, once you get going, you may find that refurbished furniture can have a much larger return than smaller products.

Plan sustainable events

Event design relies heavily on disposable decor, transportation, and food—all of which can come with heavy environmental costs. Learn the ins and outs of event planning, then study up on how it can be made more sustainable.

Most event planners have a specialty, so figure out if you'd love to design weddings, enjoy lifestyle parties like baby showers, or if you'd rather plan corporate engagements. Each comes with its own specialties to learn and requires different levels of experience to get started.

Build a green catering business

Catering is a go-to for weddings, events, and business meetings, but these events can generate significant food waste and pollution through transportation. Green caterers work to reduce their environmental impact by composting leftovers, serving local and seasonal food, and using reusable linens and dishware.

Provide eco-friendly meal delivery

nearly-40-percent-of-us-food-is-wasted

Similarly, eco-friendly meal delivery services deliver locally produced meals to your doorstep—reducing packaging, cross-country (and sometimes global) shipments, and the waste that comes from unsold produce at the grocery.

Meal kit services are a growing market that's expected to reach $20 billion by 2027. Partnering with local producers and building your brand now may offer huge returns for you in the coming years.

Sell sustainable food

Food production has a massive impact on climate change every step of its production, from the farm to our trash. In fact, animal agriculture alone produces 65 percent of nitrous oxide emissions a year, which has 300 times the global warming potential as carbon dioxide. Once the product is produced, it's then shipped from the farm to distributors, sometimes taking a global journey to finally reach your table.

As an environmentally responsible restaurateur, there's a number of things you can do to reduce your harm. Serving exclusively vegan food can help reduce the environmental harm of raising livestock, and local, organic food can reduce the impact of harmful pesticides and fertilizers . Additionally, proper portions and food inventory management can reduce food waste, while natural lighting and limited hours can reduce your energy consumption.

Compost food waste

Did you know that 80 billion pounds of food are thrown away each year in the U.S.? Grocery stores and restaurants are huge contributors to food waste, throwing away “ugly," old, and unfinished food every day. While much of this food isn't safe for consumption, it can still be used in compost.

Nutrient-rich compost is ideal for gardens and can be produced and used in a variety of ways. As a local composter, you can collect food waste from local businesses and even families to produce different kinds of compost. Not only can you earn cash for pick up and disposal of the food waste, but you can resell your compost to local gardeners and retailers.

Install smart and energy-efficient appliances

The smart home appliances market is anticipated to grow by 14% by 2027, meaning thousands of households will be looking for recommendations and installation for their new tech. While smart tech isn't inherently eco-friendly, most new appliances prioritize energy-efficiency—as do homeowners looking to save on utility costs

As a smart home technician, you can help consumers make smart decisions for their upgraded homes, including installing smart thermostats, lights, and sprinkler systems that can help reduce energy and water costs.

Support renewable energy

Homeowners and businesses are beginning to take matters into their own hands and install renewable energy sources themselves. If you know a thing or two about the industry, then you can get started as a solar panel or wind installer.

In addition to installation, you can offer maintenance, cleaning, and inspection on privately owned renewable energy sources. You may also want to sell the products yourself, or if you have the means, even produce them.

Offer sustainable consulting services

Of course, you don't have to produce your own green products to be a green business. If you're passionate about sustainability best practices, consider instead becoming a green business consultant . This way, you can help a variety of businesses convert their practices to be more eco-conscious and help build the green business boom.

Consider your current experiences and contacts to get started in a niche you know well. Once you build a reputation and more knowledge, you can expand to other local markets that you believe have the potential to go green.

Become a green infopreneur

For those who already have some expertise in sustainability, you may consider becoming an infopreneur. In this case, the product is yourself and the content you create. You can launch a blog, podcast, or YouTube channel to discuss sustainability trends and practices in business.

As long as you have the knowledge, this may be the easiest business to start. Still, it will take a lot of promotion and networking to start generating a profit. Consider starting your business as a side hustle, write an ebook, and start taking up speaking engagements to build your reputation.

Publish green news

If you have a network of sustainability heroes, then you may instead consider becoming a green publisher. This way you can leave a lot of the content creation to others and focus on building your publication's brand.

Your publishing business can go in several directions, from publishing a magazine with subscriptions to e-books that rely on sales. Start by taking into account your connections and personal experiences. Are you best with long-form content? Or maybe you know several working professionals who could produce 1,500-word articles for you. It will be easiest to work with what you have, then grow from there.

Try grant writing and fundraising

If you have nonprofit experience or other knowledge on earning grants and fundraising, then you can become a professional grant writer to help organizations receive funds for sustainability. There are several grants for sustainability research as well as sustainable practices and philanthropy that can help other green businesses excel. The trick is knowing how to write effective proposals, which many small businesses struggle with.

Start sustainable travel planning

Travel comes with huge environmental costs, including fuel used for jets, disposable travel products, pollution from car rentals and rideshares, and more. In fact, one flight across the Atlantic can generate as much Co2 as the average person emits in a year.

If you're a nomad at heart and know a thing or two about responsible travel, help others vacation with little environmental harm by becoming a sustainable travel agent. Here you can advocate for public transportation passes, promote eco-friendly hotels and destinations, and enjoy helping others enjoy a wonderful experience.

Become a green builder

Buildings are known to use a lot of resources during construction and well after they're built. They can also generate a lot of waste through construction and demolition, and they have a direct impact on the surrounding land and environment. In October 2020 alone, construction began on 1.5 million new residential homes, so it's no wonder that sustainable building is in the spotlight.

Nearly every facet of construction can be improved to be more sustainable, from installing Energy Star-rated windows to sourcing the raw building materials. If you're looking to become an independent contractor or a green building consultant, you'll want to get started with green construction certifications . LEED certification is the most well-known, but there are several programs to choose from.

Design eco-friendly kids' toys

It seems that half of the toy aisle is made of brightly colored plastic designed to be thrown away and replaced after a few years. The rules of play are changing, as major toy manufacturers are shifting to reduce packaging and use sustainable plastics.

If you have a passion for play then you may be the perfect candidate to get into the toy business. You can create your own toys with skills like sewing and woodworking. You may even want to invest in a 3D printer to get started. If you're not interested in designing your own toys, consider toy repairs and resale to help old toys spread joy a little further.

Invest in green businesses

If you're not necessarily interested in running the show you may find success as an investor. Every great idea needs financial support and with all of the directions climate activism can go, you'll have plenty of entrepreneurs knocking on your door.

Build green apps and software

There really is an app for everything, but that doesn't mean they're all good. They are easier to build than ever, so consider what needs you can fill with an app. Some apps check the ingredients and ethics of products with just a barcode scan. Others can tell you if your waste belongs in the trash, recycling, or compost. Get creative and consider what aspects of the eco-revolution matter most to you and how you can help

Open a local gift shop

Gift shops may be most well-known for their cheap novelties that will collect dust for a few years before being re-gifted, donated, or even thrown out. You don't have to use this cookie-cutter business model, though. In fact, you shouldn't!

Set out to create a gift shop filled with locally crafted goods people will actually enjoy. Showcase some of your city's best artists, sell locally printed and recycled postcards, and serve snacks from the bakery down the street. Staying local is a great way to build partnerships, promote the authenticity of your gift shop, and keep things green.

Dispose of community trash

Trash needs to go somewhere, and large items like furniture and appliances can be particularly difficult to dispose of. If you have a truck and don't mind a little dirty work, then you can be the person who makes sure community trash is disposed of properly.

While a lot of these items may end up in the landfill, that's much better than being left on the side of the road or in a body of water. Additionally, you'll make connections with local scrappers and recyclers—you can even earn a little extra money taking what is recyclable and repairable to anyone who wants it.

Recycle e-waste

benefits-of-e-waste-recycling

New phones and better TVs debuting every year create a lot of e-waste in the U.S., which isn't just slow to decompose but can also leak toxic chemicals into ecosystems. Many of the raw materials used, like cobalt, also have human rights concerns associated with dangerous mining conditions .

Electronic recycling is vital to protecting our ecosystem and slowing the exhaustion of precious metals used in modern electronics. The toxic nature of some electronics means that it takes special care to be recycled properly, and the EPA has certification recommendations you can complete to build trust and become an electronic recycler.

Fund a co-op

Cooperatives primarily exist in agriculture and real estate, but they can really be applied to most business ventures. Co-ops are businesses that are partially owned by any workers who pay into them or contribute to the labor of maintaining them. They're community-oriented structures designed for equality and sustainability.

While it may not seem like an impressive investment at first, co-ops employ 10% of the world's working population. Additionally, the largest 300 co-ops reported a $2 billion turnover in 2019. Investing in your community cooperatives is a great way to improve the economic and environmental sustainability of your city.

Plan community trails for hiking and more

Someone has to build the thousands of miles of hiking, biking, and recreational trails in the U.S. and it could be you. Parks and recreation departments are always looking for new trails or ways to make current trails more accessible. With some experience in planning and resource management, you can get started building a reputation and earning contracts.

While it may seem destructive, trails help conserve woods and wildlands by giving hikers a safe place to explore without disrupting the local wildlife. Additionally, it makes these lands public green spaces, so they'll be protected and invested in for generations to come.

Produce recycled paper products

Paper cards, posters, RSVPs, and flyers aren't going anywhere soon, and the paper, shipping, and ink used in producing these products can generate a lot of waste. While many printers may use recycled paper, you can take it a step further by prioritizing all sustainable processes.

A huge factor in paper production is tree loss, so consider how you can partner with local organizations like a parks and recreation department to continue planting trees. Additionally, shipping has a huge carbon footprint, so it offers discounts for local consumers who can pick up their products. You can also get creative with your products by reducing any use of plastics and adhesives and even offer seed-bomb printing that is plantable after use.

Open an environmentally conscious salon

Salons use a lot of chemicals and disposable products like paper, foil, and plastics. Open a local salon or spa that prioritizes organic, local, and cruelty-free products, as well as sustainable water use and practices. Even if you're not a cosmetologist, you can partner with passionate professionals to fund and manage the business side of the salon.

Recycle waste into art

One person's trash is another's treasure, especially if you take the time to make something beautiful out of it. If you have a creative side, think of how you can use second-hand goods and waste to create something people will adore.

If you're a painter, try getting used frames and canvases at thrift stores that you can restore and reuse for something brand new. You can also find old vases, furniture, and fabrics you can use to create stunning and unique home decor.

Make your interior design services green

Interior design can be a green business, too. Some fabrics are more sustainably sourced than others, as are types of furniture, electronics, and appliances. Even the color you paint your walls can affect your energy costs by changing how well a room is lit.

Most people aren't experts on ethical companies and how different fabrics are sourced, which is why they hire responsible interior designers they can trust. Get to know the big brands in your space, as well as the local retailers and producers you can trust, and enjoy designing!

Keep your photography sustainable

Photographers sometimes have to travel huge distances for events, weddings, and scenic shots that can add up to a large carbon footprint. Additionally, studios can use a lot of energy to maintain their lighting, and staged photos may require crew travel, wardrobe purchases, and shipping, as well as decor, plastic, and paper waste in setting the scene.

Keeping your photography local is the best way to reduce the impact of travel in your photography. If you still travel, prioritize public transportation like trains and buses where possible. In planning your sets, try to take advantage of natural or low-energy lighting, and stay mindful of your printing processes to reduce waste and improper chemical disposal when applicable.

Create eco-friendly pet products

Pet products are filled with plastics that can wind up in our landfills and water systems. Consider how many plastic doggy bags, chew toys, balls, and treat bags our furry friends go through, then compare that with the thousands of dogs, cats, and other pet pals that live in the U.S. alone.

Americans spent $95 billion on their pets in 2019, so it's a good investment when done well. Your eco-friendly pet products can be anything from organic and safe shampoos and colognes, to natural and waste-free chews and treats.

Refurbish electronics

While some electronics are beyond repair and should be recycled, many others can be refurbished and resold. Household appliances may get fancier, but they don't often get better, so used appliances are a great deal for many households.

Other items like computers and video game systems may get upgrades every couple of years, but they're also mobile and more prone to damage than a lot of electronics. This creates a great market for repairs. Even when the next generation comes out, some people will still be looking for a good deal on an older device.

first steps in starting a green business infographic

Define your product or service

As with any business venture, your first step is to find a clear market gap that you can fill. Even if there are other local businesses that meet these needs, brainstorm ways that you can do it better or differently. The more unique your product or service, the more demand you can generate.

Build a business plan

Once you have a vision for your business, you'll need to start putting it all together in a business plan . The business plan includes details like your own company analysis, a competitor analysis, and specifics on how you'll get started funding and promoting your business.

Register and fund your business

Next, you'll begin laying the foundation that will help you actualize your business. This includes obtaining any business licenses or certifications you need, establishing an LLC , and pitching your idea to investors.

While this is a general outline of how to get started, building a business requires a lot of paperwork, planning, and time to succeed. Registering your business, drafting contracts, and securing funding are all legal processes that can become costly quickly. Once you know you want to start a business, we can help you figure out what you need to start your business journey. Then, we'll continue to offer business and legal services every step of the way.

Sources: CGS | EPA | BLS | The Atlantic | Lumi

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23 Green Business Ideas for Eco-Minded Entrepreneurs

Table of contents.

new business ideas environmentally friendly

Today’s consumers are just as interested in a business’s corporate social responsibility practices as they are in its products and services. This is good news for eco-minded entrepreneurs. If you’re interested in starting a company that can make a lasting environmental impact, consider the following 23 eco-friendly business ideas. You can simultaneously make money and help save the planet.

Ensure your green business genuinely prioritizes eco-friendly practices. Consumers are wary of greenwashing tactics — that is, when a company deceptively markets itself as green.

Green business ideas for eco-minded entrepreneurs

Eco-friendly companies may include outdoor apparel brands, businesses that make reusable plastic bottles, eco-friendly cleaning companies, businesses that install solar panels, a local recycling business, and many other potential ventures. If you want to start a business with a green, eco-friendly focus, consider any of the 23 ideas below.

1. Ink refill business

Starting an ink refill business can be an environmentally conscious — and highly profitable — decision. You might question whether refilling ink cartridges truly helps the environment considering the amount of paper wasted annually. However, when people reuse old ink cartridges, less nonbiodegradable waste accumulates in landfills. Paper, printers and copiers are still necessary in the business world, but empty ink containers are not.

2. Environmental publications

graphic of a man typing on a laptop at a desk

If you love to write, start your own environmentally minded publication. Your actions can make a big difference in the world. By debunking popular myths and sharing the truth about the world we live in, you can help consumers rethink how their actions affect the planet. 

Start your environmental publication by creating a blog or email newsletter and letting it build traction.

3. Green finance

Green finance focuses on supporting local, community-level projects with an emphasis on sustainable and ecologically friendly agriculture. Green finance is also typically concerned with educational opportunities, funding for artistic endeavors and projects that support local ecology. 

Green finance is preoccupied with social profitability. While actual profit margins remain crucial, green finance aims to support beneficial projects that provide value to the local community and ecology.

SBA loans can help launch your green endeavor. For example, SBA 504 loans are intended for community projects, which creates a way to intertwine monetary and social profitability.

4. Eco-friendly retail

The online clothing brand For Days provides an interesting twist on customer loyalty programs . Customers can purchase a “take-back bag” and send the company clothes they no longer use. In doing so, they earn rewards to spend on future For Days clothing purchases. 

Besides incentivizing sustainable clothes shopping, For Days partners with other leading brands in the sustainable textiles space, such as ADIUM and CARIUMA. If you’re thinking about opening a retail store , consider partnering with a company that has values similar to you and your customers.

5. Sustainable construction materials

graphic of two colleagues talking over architectural drawings and models

You might not think of construction as sustainable, but some companies now provide recycled materials for use in projects like infrastructure repair. 

For example, Axion hopes its eco-friendly products will change how companies think about rebuilding America’s infrastructure. Its railroad ties and pilings are made from recycled plastic from consumer and industrial uses instead of nonsustainable materials like steel and concrete. Axion has worked with major partners like Long Island Rail Road to improve infrastructure safely and sustainably in the United States.

6. Organic catering

As organic food sales skyrocket, eco-friendly foodies should consider starting an organic catering company to share their passion for food and the environment. You could work out of a food truck or a catering kitchen. If you cater local events and business luncheons with organic and locally grown ingredients, free-range meats, and vegan, gluten-free and paleo meal options, you’ll appeal to nature lovers and health and wellness enthusiasts alike. 

Be sure to minimize your venture’s environmental impact by avoiding plastic and paper goods as much as possible and by composting food waste.

7. Eco-friendly beauty salon

If cosmetology is your passion, start a beauty business that’s Mother Nature-approved. Open a salon that prioritizes organic and vegan hair and beauty products. Eco-friendly hair salons can stock all-natural shampoos and conditioners, while nail salons can use environmentally friendly and vegan polishes and spa treatments.

Choosing the right business location for your salon is crucial. Conduct research to understand area demographics, potential foot traffic and nearby competitors.

8. Eco-friendly landscaping

graphic of a gardener in an apron holding a green leafed plant

Professional landscaping may make your lawn and garden look nice, but all that maintenance isn’t necessarily great for the environment. With some eco-friendly advice and know-how, you can help homeowners make their yards literally and figuratively greener. Try using drought-resistant plants and strategically placed trees for a lawn that saves water, energy, and money.

Landscaping is also a business you can start quickly if you want to get your venture up and running right away.

9. Sustainable event planning

Whether big or small, meetings and events can generate large amounts of waste and consume valuable resources. Green event planners use their expertise and event-planning skills to find eco-friendly venues, materials and accommodations. 

Whether you’re planning a corporate event or a small party, sustainable event management benefits more than just the planet. There are financial advantages — plus it generates a positive image for event organizers, vendors and stakeholders while raising awareness and inspiring change in the community.

10. Bicycle repair and refurbishing

Biking short distances instead of driving is better for the environment and your health. Like most transportation modes, bicycles occasionally need a tune-up.

You could be the expert cyclists come to when their bikes need repairing or maintenance. If you have some extra space, you could purchase inexpensive older bikes, fix them up, and sell them for a profit.

According to University of Oxford research, replacing one of your car trips per day with a bike trip can lower your carbon emissions by 67 percent. Consumers interested in ending their commute are exactly the right audience for your bicycle repair and refurbishing businesses.

11. Handmade, all-natural and organic products

Soaps, cosmetics and cleaning products are just a few of the household items that can be made using common organic materials.

Sure, anyone can find a recipe for a sugar scrub or vinegar-based cleaning solution and do it themselves. However, if you package and sell these items in sets, your customers conveniently have those all-natural products at their fingertips. Local markets and events are excellent places to sell your products, or you can sell them online . 

12. Eco-consulting

Are you an expert on green living? Start an eco-consulting service. Eco-consultants evaluate homes and offer solutions to make them more environmentally friendly. 

You could advise clients on switching their home appliances to more energy-efficient machines or implementing a recycling program. To further boost your credibility, become a certified eco-consultant.

13. Farmers market vendor

graphic of a farmers market vendor

Thanks to the organic movement, those with a green thumb have a golden opportunity to earn money by selling non-GMO, pesticide-free produce at their local farmers market. 

Selling naturally grown fruits and vegetables gives you a distinct advantage over competing growers who use conventional farming methods, including pesticides. Note that you may have to be approved or certified by your local board of health before you can begin selling.

14. Green housekeeping services

For working parents, cleaning the house can be at the bottom of the to-do list. Market yourself as the green solution to their housekeeping woes by offering services that range from light dusting to heavy-duty chores like cleaning the kitchen and bathroom using only approved all-natural and eco-friendly cleaning products. 

Charge an hourly rate or create service packages for a flat fee. Remember, your clients are giving you access to their homes. Build a trustworthy reputation with people you know first before advertising to strangers.

15. Upcycled furniture

Don’t throw out your old, broken furniture. With basic templates and access to power tools, you can break down and reassemble chairs, tables and dressers into new pieces you can paint and sell. Shelving and storage units are easy to make from wood scraps. Depending on the item, you might even be able to fully restore a unique and valuable piece of furniture.

Alternatively, you could reupholster old chairs and couches to give them new life, and start an online resale business to market and sell your products

Scour Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist and eBay to find old furniture to upcycle.

16. Green franchises

Want to run a business with a solid brand and customer base already in place? Opening a franchise might be the answer. While franchising might call to mind fast-food joints and hotel chains, there are many eco-friendly franchise businesses and franchises for every budget .

17. Secondhand store

graphic of a cashier in a clothing store

New things are typically expensive, and pretty soon, those costs add up. For example, a new book could cost $15 to $30, while a used book usually costs only a few dollars.

Opening a secondhand store saves your customers money and is better for the environment. Encourage consumers to donate their gently used items to you instead of tossing them in the trash so another person can get value from them. You can sell used clothes, coats, books, kitchen appliances and furniture. 

18. Green consulting

graphic of two people talking at a table next to a photo of a windmill

Green consulting is similar to eco-consulting but has a business focus. Whether it means cutting energy costs or reducing their carbon footprint, the pressure for businesses to make sustainability part of their business model is enormous, and that pressure is only going to grow.

Business sustainability consultant Barbara Englehart said there are numerous benefits for companies that go green, including reduced costs, risks and liabilities as well as increased employee retention and productivity.

“This is all [relatively] new in the business world, and companies need help,” Englehart explained. “They weren’t teaching sustainability in business schools five or 10 years ago.” 

19. Solar panel installation

Many green-minded homeowners have installed solar panels on their homes, and many more would like to do so. If you know how to do this, offer this service in your area.

20. Eco-friendly office cleaning

Common industrial cleaning products contain chemicals that contribute to pollution and can harm people. Starting an eco-friendly office cleaning business counters this problem. Your eco-friendly business can exclusively use nontoxic products or brands that minimize their use of single-use plastics. You can further decrease your company’s environmental impact by reusing greywater whenever possible. As a bonus, your client businesses can feel good about contracting with your services.

21. Reusable plastic bottles

Single-use plastics are indisputably a leading cause for concern among environmentalists. Offer people a way to drink water on the go without contributing to plastic pollution by launching a green industry business that designs, produces and sells reusable bottles. Explore alternative materials like metal or glass, bottles made from recycled plastic, or renewable plastics from materials like cornstarch or sawdust.

22. Environmental impact and carbon emissions lessons

Many people aren’t aware of the carbon emissions their daily activities produce and the impact those activities have on the environment. Offer classes to educate the public about how driving, using air conditioning in the summer, leaving lights on unnecessarily, flying and other activities contribute to carbon emissions. You can also teach people how to reduce the environmental impact of these activities.

23. Local eco-friendly recycling business

Chances are that your town’s department of public works oversees a public recycling program. However, many experts say that what you put in your recycling bin doesn’t always get recycled. Some municipalities don’t accept all types of recyclable containers, while others may not thoroughly sort the collected recycling. Open an eco-friendly local recycling business to guarantee your community that their goods are recycled.

Enhance your recycling business by refurbishing old technology like computers and printers.

What are the benefits of starting a green business?

Great reasons to start a green business include the following:

  • Green businesses have a built-in target audience. In 2020, 65 percent of people who responded to a Pew Research Center survey said the government wasn’t doing enough to combat climate change. Your business can target this vast consumer base and fill in the gap.
  • Green businesses attract top talent. Many of the 65 percent of people who think climate change needs to be addressed more aren’t just customers — they’re workers too. These people might inherently be more inclined to work for a green business like yours. Your green business pedigree can help you attract and retain top talent and boost employee retention efforts.
  • Green businesses have built-in marketing copy. Your eco-friendly offerings and environment-first mission statement are exactly what green shoppers are seeking. This makes writing marketing copy and devising campaigns uniquely intuitive.
  • Investors may be interested in your green business. Venture capitalists and angel investors often seek out the most innovative, unprecedented businesses to fund. Given the scope of the climate crisis, innovative green businesses may attract their attention. This is why launching a green company goes hand in hand with accessing business funding.

Given consumers’ increasing prioritization of sustainable products, services and companies, your business plan might be crystal-clear when launching an eco-friendly company.

What is a green industry business?

A green industry business uses sustainable materials to make its products. Green industry businesses aim to use as little water, energy and raw materials as possible while cutting carbon emissions, or they use these materials in renewable and eco-friendly ways. This business approach minimizes the company’s strain on natural resources and contributions to climate change. In some cases, if waste is generated, it is reused as energy or raw material.

What is a green business model?

With a traditional business model, a company outlines raw material budgets, design processes, and service delivery or product distribution methods. A green business model ensures ample revenue while prioritizing minimal environmental impact over maximum profit. It may involve the restricted use of fossil fuels while emphasizing power supplied by solar panels, as well as other approaches to drastically reduce energy consumption.

How do I start a green business?

As consumers have come to care about corporate social responsibility , a greater number of green businesses have emerged. However, the problems that climate change poses require many solutions. Thus, to start a green business, identify an eco-friendly service that no one in your market currently offers. Next, think of similarly eco-minded people who can join your team. 

As you launch your green business, change your lifestyle to reflect its values and services.

Get creative with your green business ideas 

Green business ideas can be great business ideas that merge sustainability and profit. This list is just a start. Get creative and even merge business ideas to create unique companies that provide one-of-a-kind green services. For example, you can offer recycling or donation alongside your professional organizing services. This way, once you’ve organized your clients’ homes, you ensure that whatever they’re not using anymore doesn’t go into a landfill. If you have a passion for protecting the environment, anything is possible.

Sammi Caramela contributed to this article.

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Small Business Trends

20 sustainable business ideas for eco-conscious entrepreneurs.

sustainable business ideas

If you’re looking for sustainable business ideas, you’re in luck. There are more and more green small businesses popping up every day, and many of them can be started on a shoestring budget. In this article, we’ll look at 20 of our favorite environmentally friendly ideas to help you start your own business.

What is a Sustainable Business?

A sustainable business, in essence, embodies principles that prioritize the environment alongside profitability. Offering eco-friendly products or services, they utilize sustainable materials and uphold practices that substantially reduce their carbon footprint.

Beyond mere compliance, the mission of such businesses is to actively contribute to environmental conservation.

In this quest, they not only focus on immediate eco-friendly measures but also envision long-term strategies that combat global environmental challenges.

Their cumulative efforts play an instrumental role in curbing rising carbon dioxide levels, thus mitigating climate change implications.

Here’s a word from Eco Snooki about ’15 Innovative SUSTAINABLE & ECO-FRIENDLY business IDEAS to start with $5000!’

Small Business Deals

Incorporating Principles Alongside Profitability

Also importantly, a sustainable business is not just paying lip service in today’s corporate world. It is a genuine commitment to integrating eco-friendly practices throughout the entire business operation. At its core, a sustainable business embodies principles that prioritize the environment alongside profitability and include:

  • Eco-friendly Products or Services : Sustainable businesses are known for offering products or services that have minimal negative impacts on the environment. This might include anything from biodegradable packaging to products made from recycled materials.
  • Sustainable Materials : Such businesses actively seek out and use materials that are renewable, recycled, or have a low environmental impact. The entire supply chain, from raw material extraction to product disposal, is considered for its environmental impact.
  • Reduced Carbon Footprint : By optimizing operations, transportation, and even the energy sources they rely on, sustainable businesses work diligently to reduce their carbon emissions and, as a result, their overall carbon footprint.
  • Active Contribution : Beyond just compliance with environmental regulations, these businesses take a proactive stance. They might participate in reforestation projects, support clean water initiatives, or sponsor wildlife conservation efforts.
  • Long-term Environmental Strategy : A true sustainable business looks beyond the immediate future. They devise strategies aimed at combating broader global environmental challenges, such as rising sea levels, deforestation, and biodiversity loss.
  • Education and Advocacy : Many sustainable businesses also take on the role of educators. They might host workshops, develop educational content, or lobby for better environmental policies and regulations.
  • Economic Responsibility : Sustainable doesn’t just mean environmentally friendly. These businesses also consider the social and economic impacts of their actions. Fair wages, ethical sourcing, and community engagement often play a role in their operations.

READ MORE : The Secret Behind Using Sustainability in Your Marketing

sustainable business ideas

Business Sustainability and Green Businesses

Business sustainability has captured global attention, propelled by an increasing cognizance of our ecological footprint. As we progress through 2023, there’s an observable surge in enterprises that are not just green by name but in action.

These trailblazers are diversifying the conventional business landscape by integrating renewable energy solutions, pursuing zero-waste initiatives, and innovating sustainable product lifecycles.

With consumers now discerning and preferring eco-conscious brands, the business paradigm is undergoing a monumental shift towards environmental stewardship.

Why You Should Start a Green Business

Starting a business that follows green practices is not only good for the planet, but it can also be good for your bottom line. Here are five reasons to start a sustainable business:

  • Be ahead of the curve: As more businesses start to adopt eco-friendly practices, those that are already doing so will have a competitive advantage.
  • Save money: Eco-friendly business ideas often save money by using less energy and resources, and by reducing waste.
  • Attract new customers: Consumers are increasingly interested in supporting businesses that are environmentally responsible.
  • Make a positive impact on the world: Running a sustainable business helps to protect the environment and leaves a positive legacy.
  • Tax advantages: In many countries, there are tax breaks and other financial incentives available for businesses that adopt practices friendly to the environment.

sustainable business ideas

Our Methodology for Choosing the Best Sustainable Business Ideas

Choosing sustainable business ideas requires a focus on environmental impact, market viability, and long-term profitability. Here’s the methodology we used to evaluate potential sustainable business opportunities:

Environmental Impact and Sustainability (Rating: 9/10)

The foremost criterion was the environmental impact. We prioritized business ideas that promote sustainability, reduce carbon footprint, or contribute to ecological conservation.

Market Demand for Eco-Friendly Products/Services (Rating: 8/10)

We assessed the current and future market demand for eco-friendly products and services. Sustainable businesses must meet consumer needs while adhering to environmental ethics.

Cost Efficiency and Resource Management (Rating: 7/10)

Evaluating the cost-efficiency of running a sustainable business was crucial. We looked for ideas that utilize resources efficiently, minimize waste, and have manageable operational costs.

Innovation and Uniqueness (Rating: 8/10)

Innovation is key in the sustainable business sector. We sought out unique business ideas or innovative approaches to traditional businesses that align with sustainability principles.

Profit Potential and Economic Viability (Rating: 8/10)

We analyzed the profit potential of each idea. Sustainable businesses should be economically viable to ensure long-term success and growth.

Scalability and Expansion Opportunities (Rating: 7/10)

The potential for scaling and expanding the business was another important factor. We favored ideas that have room for growth and can adapt to changing environmental and market conditions.

Alignment with Personal Values and Goals (Rating: 8/10)

Finally, it’s important for entrepreneurs to choose a sustainable business that aligns with their personal values and goals. This alignment fosters greater dedication and satisfaction.

Best Green Business Ideas for a Reduced Carbon Footprint

If you’re looking for a green business idea, you’re in luck. There are more environmentally conscious businesses popping up every day. Let’s take a look at some!

1. Green Business Consultant

For this business model, you would help businesses transition to practices that are greener. This could include helping them choose energy-efficient products, implementing recycling programs, or developing sustainability plans.

READ MORE : How to Develop a Sustainability Plan for Your SMB

2. Solar Panel Installation

This is a growing industry as more people look to energy sources that are more renewable. As a solar panel installer, you would help customers choose and install the right solar panel system for their home or business.

3. Wind Turbine Installation

Like solar panels, wind turbines are also an energy source that is renewable and becoming increasingly popular.

4. Recycling Business

sustainable business ideas - backhoe shoveling recycled garbage

There are many recycling businesses you could start to benefit the local environment such as a home pick-up service, a commercial recycling service, or a waste management consulting service.

5. Plant Delivery Service

If you have a green thumb, you could start a plant delivery service. You could specialize in delivering houseplants, office plants, or even garden plants.

6. Green Restaurant Owner

sustainable business ideas - green restaurant with outside dining

As a green restaurant owner, you would make sure your eatery is as eco-friendly as possible. This could include using locally sourced organic food and ingredients, composting food waste, and using energy-efficient appliances.

7. Beauty Salon Owner

You would be at the forefront of the green beauty movement. You would make your beauty salon more eco-friendly by using green products, recycling, and conserving water.

8. Energy Efficient Appliances Retailer

With this business, you would sell appliances that are designed to save energy. This could include energy-efficient refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, and more.

9. Green Building Contractor

With the rise in green building, there is a growing demand for contractors who specialize in this area. Green building contractors build homes and commercial buildings using sustainable materials and practices.

10. Farmer’s Market Vendor

If you’re a farmer, you could sell your produce at your local farmer’s market and local grocery stores. This would give you the opportunity to connect with customers and sell your produce in an environmentally friendly way.

sustainable business ideas

More Sustainable Business Ideas

We’re not done yet! Here are more ideas to help you start an eco-friendly business:

11. Composting Business

sustainable business ideas - person composting

With this business, you would collect food scraps and other organic materials to create compost. This compost could then be sold to farmers, gardeners, or anyone else who is interested.

12. Packaging Design Business

For this business, you would create sustainable packaging for other businesses. This could include using recycled materials, biodegradable materials, or even edible packaging.

13. Eco-Friendly Kids Toys

You could start a business making eco-friendly toys for kids made from green materials that would be safe for the environment. You’ll also be helping to teach the next generation about being eco-friendly.

sustainable business kids toys

14. Wind Farms

sustainable business ideas - wind farm

Wind farms are becoming increasingly popular as a renewable source of energy. You could start a business developing, constructing, or operating a wind farm.

15. Ink Refill Business

You could start a business refilling ink cartridges. This would be a much more sustainable option than buying new cartridges, and it would also save customers money.

16. Green Cleaning Service

Starting a business that uses green cleaning products and practices would be a great way to help people live a more sustainable lifestyle.

17. Sell Energy Efficient Lighting

You could start a business selling energy-efficient lighting. This could include LED lights, CFLs, or even solar-powered lights. This is a great way to help people save energy and money.

18. Recycled Furniture Business

sustainable business idea

You could start a business selling furniture made from recycled materials. This is a great way to repurpose materials that would otherwise be thrown away. Plus, it’s a great way to furnish your own home or office in a sustainable way.

19. Master Herbalist

As a master herbalist, you would be an expert on the use of medicinal plants. You could start a business growing and selling these plants, or you could provide consulting services to those who want to use them.

20. Reclaimed Wood Business

sustainable business ideas - woman fashioning a chair out of reclaimed wood.

You could start a business selling reclaimed wood. This wood can be used for furniture, flooring, or other purposes. It’s a great way to repurpose materials and give them a second life.

Green Business Initiatives: A Comparative Overview

Here’s a comprehensive table that showcases some of the best green business ideas, detailing their core services and the potential impact they have on reducing carbon footprints.

What Makes a Business Green?

To don the “green” badge, businesses must transcend beyond basic compliance and wholeheartedly embrace sustainability. This entails a commitment to a holistic set of standards that prioritize environmental conservation.

Measures such as rigorous recycling and composting programs, transitioning to energy-efficient infrastructure, endorsing eco-friendly transportation alternatives, and investing in renewable energy become non-negotiable.

Moreover, green businesses proactively engage in community environmental initiatives, reinforcing their pledge to a healthier planet.

Checklist for a Sustainable Business

What Is the Most Sustainable Business?

In the quest for sustainability, the zenith is occupied by a business that harmoniously intertwines environmental responsibility, social equity, and economic viability.

Such a business not only addresses immediate ecological concerns but perpetually innovates to usher enduring positive change.

By understanding the intricate nexus of these three pillars, a truly sustainable business identifies avenues to foster holistic growth. Lastly, involving all partners, being open about how they work, and adjusting plans as needed, these businesses set examples for a greener future.

READ MORE : Small Business Ideas for Beginners

Image: Depositphotos

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Now i am thinking of an ink refill business.

That’s awesome shanayakhan… if you start one, come back and let us know about your journey 🙂

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10+ Best & Profitable Green Business Ideas [2023]

Nick

By Nick Cotter Updated Feb 07, 2024

Image of green business ideas

Our List of 10+ Best Green Business Ideas:

Eco-friendly cleaning services, energy efficiency consulting, electric bike sales and rentals, green catering services, sustainable agriculture, renewable energy installation and maintenance, green construction, eco-friendly product development, water conservation services, green printing.

Hey there, future green entrepreneur! So, you're ready to make a difference in the world, aren't you? Not just any difference, but a green one. That’s fantastic! We're stoked to have you here, and we're even more excited to help you on your journey. As we step into 2023, the need for sustainable and eco-friendly businesses has never been higher. It's not just about saving our planet anymore (though that's a massive part of it, of course!), it's also about creating profitable ventures that make a lasting positive impact.

Whether you're a seasoned businessperson looking for a fresh direction, or a budding entrepreneur ready to take your first step, this is your moment. The world needs more people like you. People who are ready to think outside the box, to challenge the status quo, and to build businesses that are not just profitable, but also sustainable and ethical.

So, are you ready to discover some of the best and most profitable green business ideas for 2023? We've got a list that's going to blow your socks off! But before we dive in, let's set the stage. Let's talk about why green businesses are the future. Let's talk about why you are the future. Buckle up, because this is going to be one exciting ride!

Eco-friendly cleaning services provide an environmentally friendly way of cleaning residential and commercial spaces. This type of service is becoming increasingly popular as people become more aware of the need to reduce our carbon footprint and help protect the environment. Eco-friendly cleaning services offer a variety of benefits, including:

  • Reduced water consumption.
  • Reduced energy consumption.
  • No use of toxic chemicals or synthetic fragrances.
  • Uses biodegradable, plant-based detergents.
  • Reduced waste creation.
  • Reduction in air pollution.

Starting an eco-friendly cleaning service could be a great business idea for those looking to make an impact and make a profit at the same time. The demand for these services is growing, so it is an excellent opportunity for entrepreneurs to capitalize on this trend.

image of a Eco-friendly Cleaning Services

Energy efficiency consulting is a great business idea as it helps companies and individuals understand how to improve their energy efficiency while also potentially reducing their energy costs. With the added benefit of helping reduce the impact on the environment, this business idea can make a real difference.

  • Analyze energy usage in a facility
  • Identify opportunities to improve energy efficiency
  • Provide advice on energy efficiency upgrades and retrofits
  • Conduct energy audits and surveys
  • Develop strategies for long-term sustainability
  • Recommend solutions for incorporating renewable energy sources

image of ZenBusiness logo

Examples of successful businesses:

Green businesses are organisations that focus on the development and implementation of more sustainable practices and products. The following list includes some successful companies in the green business industry:

  • Organic Valley
  • MGX Renewables Inc.
  • Urban Passage
  • EnerCycle International Corp.
  • Vivint Solar
  • Green Mountain Energy Company
  • Viridian Energy
  • Treehugger Technologies, Inc.

Starting an electric bike rental and sales business is a great way to capitalize on the growing popularity of cycling. Electric bikes, or e-bikes, provide riders with an easy and enjoyable way to navigate their city and have fun. Here are some of the benefits of starting an e-bike business:

  • Offer a wide range of products - E-bikes come in a variety of sizes, styles and features, making it easier for customers to find the perfect fit for their needs.
  • Quick setup - With minimal upfront costs, you can stock up on inventory quickly and be ready for business fast.
  • Opportunities for growth - An e-bike dealership offers plenty of opportunities to expand your product offerings and add new services such as training classes and repair services.
  • Attracts customers - E-bike riders are often looking for new experiences and the convenience that electric bikes offer.

More resources:

A green catering services is a business idea that focuses on serving the community with sustainable, eco-friendly and locally sourced food. This type of business could have a wide variety of benefits, both economically and environmentally. Below are just some of the advantages of starting a green catering service:

  • Advocacy for local businesses, farmers and producers
  • Reducing waste by using reusable materials or composting
  • Supporting local food movement
  • Creating healthy, sustainable menus
  • Reducing air and water pollution by minimizing packaging for deliveries
  • Encouraging customers to be more mindful about their food choices

Sustainable agriculture is a method of farming that focuses on producing high yields while protecting the environment from further degradation. It takes into account the long-term health of the soil, water, and land resources in order to maintain a healthy ecosystem. Sustainable agriculture promotes environmentally friendly practices such as crop rotation, cover crops, incoporating organic methods, and using non-chemical pesticides. It improves food security by providing a reliable source of healthy food for both people and animals while reducing chemical runoff and conserving energy.

  • Crops that have been harvested can be quickly replaced with new crops.
  • Organic methods reduce the chemical run-off into local water sources.
  • Cover crops can be used to prevent soil erosion.
  • Non-chemical pest control reduces the risk of health problems caused by chemicals.
  • Preserves tradition, culture and community knowledge by preserving traditional farming practices.

Related business ideas:

A renewable energy installation and maintenance business is a great way to capitalize on the growing demand for green energy solutions. Renewable energy installation and maintenance involves the installation, operation, and maintenance of a variety of renewable energy systems, such as solar panels, wind turbines, and geothermal systems. Benefits of starting a renewable energy installation and maintenance business include:

  • Meeting current demand for green energy solutions
  • Potential for long-term customer relationships
  • Opportunity to demonstrate your expertise in renewable energy
  • Helping clients save money through lower energy bills

Green construction is a commonly used term to refer to the design, construction, and operations of buildings with the goal of reducing their environmental impact. This type of construction involves using materials and methods that are both energy- and resource-efficient. It also focuses on creating a healthier living environment for those who live or work in such buildings as well as for the surrounding environment. Green construction is a great business idea because:

  • It can reduce operational costs by improving energy efficiency.
  • It can lower greenhouse gas emissions.
  • It can result in improved indoor air quality due to a reduction in pollutants from building materials, paint, and furniture.
  • It can provide better insulation and ventilation, resulting in more comfortable home environments.

Eco-friendly product development is the practice of designing products that are sustainable, efficient, and less damaging to the environment. This approach to product design focuses on reducing waste and the use of resources by finding creative ways to design products that use fewer resources or can be renewed or recycled. Eco-friendly product development makes for an excellent business idea because:

  • It allows businesses to create products that appeal to environmentally conscious customers.
  • It can reduce production costs and waste.
  • It can help businesses meet sustainability goals.
  • It provides the opportunity for businesses to increase their social responsibility.

A water conservation service is a business that helps customers conserve water and save money. It can include anything from installing low flow showerheads and toilets, to teaching customers how to use less water in their daily activities. Here are some reasons why a water conservation service could make a good business idea:

  • It is a growing need, due to population growth and climate change.
  • It is an environmentally friendly business model.
  • It could help customers save money.
  • It has the potential to expand as new technologies become available.

Green printing is the practice of using eco-friendly methods for printing documents. It can be an effective business idea as it can reduce the environmental impact of your business operations, while at the same time creating customer loyalty and more brand recognition. Benefits of green printing include:

  • Reduced environmental impact
  • Lower energy consumption and costs
  • Reduced waste production
  • More efficient use of resources
  • Better supplier relationships and customer loyalty

More helpful resources about LLCs:

I'm Nick, co-founder of newfoundr.com, dedicated to helping aspiring entrepreneurs succeed. As a small business owner with over five years of experience, I have garnered valuable knowledge and insights across a diverse range of industries. My passion for entrepreneurship drives me to share my expertise with aspiring entrepreneurs, empowering them to turn their business dreams into reality.

Through meticulous research and firsthand experience, I uncover the essential steps, software, tools, and costs associated with launching and maintaining a successful business. By demystifying the complexities of entrepreneurship, I provide the guidance and support needed for others to embark on their journey with confidence.

From assessing market viability and formulating business plans to selecting the right technology and navigating the financial landscape, I am dedicated to helping fellow entrepreneurs overcome challenges and unlock their full potential. As a steadfast advocate for small business success, my mission is to pave the way for a new generation of innovative and driven entrepreneurs who are ready to make their mark on the world.

24 Sustainable Startup Ideas for Environmental Entrepreneurs

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  • Startup Ideas
  • Best Startup Ideas
  • Green Entrepreneurs

Last Updated: January 15, 2024 By TRUiC Team

There’s no doubt that eco-friendly startups are the way of the future. If you’re an environmentally-conscious person with an entrepreneurial spirit, starting a green business could be right up your alley.

To get started, you need a great, sustainable startup idea. You’re in the right place. We’ve compiled a list of 20 startup ideas for green entrepreneurs to make an environmental impact and help the earth.

Recommended: Check out our full list of the best startup ideas and our guide on how to start a startup .

Best Ideas for Environmental Startups

1. clean energy.

It’s no secret that clean energy is growing in both popularity and necessity, with the market growing alongside it at an estimated 15.7% compound annual growth rate from 2024 to 2030 . A clean energy startup can be either a product or service that takes a green approach to produce energy, such as electricity-generating bicycles or solar paneling. Developing concepts and executing your business idea will require either knowledge of clean energy or the support of someone who has this knowledge.

2. Sustainable Construction Materials 

Green construction materials are the future, and creating a startup focused on providing sustainable construction materials to manufacturers can be an excellent way to make a difference at the beginning of the supply chain. While removing pollution and cleaning up non-biodegradable materials at the end of the supply chain is incredibly important, the opportunities for developing sustainable materials have never been greater. 

Whether you want to develop a new material that’s used within a specific type of industry or promote the use of existing sustainable and eco-friendly materials like this hemp-based brick company , it’s all within the realm of possibility.

3. Reusable Grocery Bags

Sustainability is at the forefront of many people’s minds these days; with more and more people looking for alternatives to wasteful plastic grocery bags, there is a good-sized market for a reusable grocery bag business . Plus, with over 100 states and localities requiring consumers to pay for disposable bags when shopping, more consumers are turning to reusable alternatives. 

A couple of ways to make this startup idea your own are to create more functional bags (e.g., thermal capabilities, pockets, waterproof material, etc.) or design your bags to target a specific audience by identifying trends.

4. Eco-Friendly Subscription Box

The subscription box market has experienced rapid growth in recent years with no end in sight. The market is expected to reach $36.8 billion in 2024 and grow to $71.77 billion by 2028 . An eco-friendly subscription box can be a scalable startup that allows your business to wholesale products from other sustainable brands. This means you can build a customer base that is excited to try new and exciting sustainable products without the time or cost of manufacturing them yourself. 

5. Green Venture Capitalist 

Starting a venture capital firm focused on investing in green, sustainable, and eco-friendly companies can be a great way to “put your money where your mouth is” and help encourage other founders to start sustainable companies. The possibilities in this space can include agriculture, forestry, building and construction materials, land development, geothermal energy, hydrogen energy, hydroelectric power, wind and solar, recycling, transportation, and more. 

By investing in startups that focus on sustainable practices and being green before anything else, you can help make a difference in the companies of our future.

6. Eco-Friendly Bed-and-Breakfast

A sustainable bed and breakfast is a great idea for entrepreneurs with a love of food , hospitality experience, and rooms to spare. Making this classic business idea eco-friendly is as easy as changing your power source to something more sustainable, sourcing organic or locally grown ingredients, and furnishing your guests’ rooms with sustainable furniture.

7. Sustainable Clothing Line

The fashion industry is a major contributor to landfills, carbon emissions, and more negative impacts on the environment. A sustainable clothing line can make an impact by creating thoughtful garments that are long-lasting and ethically made out of sustainable materials such as linen, hemp, or renewable cotton. Fortunately, this industry’s projected market value growth is $10.22 billion in 2022 to $20.51 billion by 2030 , meaning the demand for sustainable clothing is expected to increase by 9.1% over the next decade. 

8. Eco-Friendly Marketing Services 

Providing eco-friendly marketing services to companies can be an idea that’s potentially very well received, especially with the amount of plastic and non-biodegradable materials that are used to create marketing materials today due to their low cost. Plastic printed signs and wavy car wash flyers are a common occurrence today, but as soon as they’re thrown into the trash they have the potential to pollute our oceans and negatively impact the environment. 

As a startup entrepreneur, you would come up with eco-friendly materials that marketers can use to advertise, and ensure that all of their marketing services are performed with the environment in mind.

Recommended: Looking for more inspiration to help you launch your company? Check out our list of the  top startups to watch !

9. Green Cleaning Products

With more information available about chemicals used in standard cleaning products, we know that green cleaning products are better for the environment and the consumer. The demand for these products also tells a compelling story, with green cleaning products market size holding a $270.89 billion global valuation in 2022. A green cleaning products business creates a safe alternative to harsh chemicals and typically offers its products in eco-friendly packaging. Make your business stand out by offering refillable options, biodegradable packaging, and unique ingredients.

10. Green Beauty Products

Green or “clean” beauty products are increasing in popularity across the US as we learn more and more about the harmful effects of some ingredients in traditional beauty products. A green beauty product startup provides a better alternative, whether it’s clean skincare or cosmetics — the key is to create a product that is as effective as traditional products without the same damaging ingredients. A huge benefit to launching a startup in this industry is the wealth of beauty accelerators available to startups in the industry, such as Credo for Change, Tower28’s Clean Beauty Summer School, and Glow Recipe Mentorship.

11. Sustainability Management Software 

Sustainability and ESG reporting software is quickly becoming an important part of businesses and corporations around the world, especially as there is a further push towards sustainable practices and helping the environment. Developing sustainability management software, such as Bluebird Climate , that allows companies and investors to track, measure, report, and manage their sustainability goals has the potential to be a great startup idea and future business venture. When corporations and companies around the world can see clear reports that show them how close they are to their green goals, they’ll be able to take action to improve their performance and become more sustainable in the process.

12. Herb Farm

If you cook at home, you most likely use herbs every day. Herb farms are a terrific green startup idea because they provide a widely used product and, depending on your location, are typically easy to grow in large quantities.

Ensure you have enough space to grow, dry, and package your products. Additionally, you can make this startup idea a little more unique by offering u-pick or living herbs, so customers can buy fresh herbs to take home with them.

13. Sustainable Ecommerce 

Online shopping has become increasingly popular, especially as we’ve adjusted more and more to buying everything online. A great startup idea could be to develop a sustainable ecommerce marketplace that sells sustainable, ethical, and green products. Plus, if your idea has momentum, you may even be able to secure investment from an ecommerce venture capital firm such as Baroda Ventures or Tandem Capital.  

Customers will be able to shop in your sustainable marketplace with peace of mind, knowing that everything they buy has been sourced with sustainability and eco-friendliness in mind. You can further describe your products and describe specifically how and why they were chosen for your sustainable marketplace, in order to encourage shoppers further and let them in on the story “behind the scenes.”

We've featured innovative sustainable ecommerce startup Mitticool on our YouTube channel. Check out the video below for some inspiration!

14. Energy Consulting

With more and more people and businesses looking for ways to cut their energy usage or switch to a more sustainable power source, an energy consulting business has immense potential for profitability.

Essentially, you will go over your customers’ energy use and develop a plan to make it more sustainable and lower their energy usage. Having contacts that you can refer clients to for alternative energy sources, such as solar power, is a great way to elevate this startup idea.

15. Gardening Goods 

Starting a business that sells gardening goods and focuses on sustainability and the environment is potentially a great niche to enter as a startup founder. Promoting gardening and growing your own food, as well as how this can impact the environment, will allow your customers to understand how they’re contributing to being green and allow them to take part in being sustainable in their gardens. To take it a step further, you can develop gardening goods and products that are free of plastics, are biodegradable and don’t harm the environment in the long run.

16. Environmental Blog

If you could talk about environmental topics or share eco-friendly life swaps every day, consider starting an environmental blog! All you need is a website , proficient photography skills, and the ability to write and engage readers. To make your blog stand out, find your niche early on. Your blog will focus on the environment, but consider how you can narrow your focus further.

17. Organic Food Products

The demand for organic alternatives to traditional products is growing every day – which is likely why the organic food and beverage market is valued at a staggering $208.19 billion globally as of 2022 . Start by recreating a favorite food, condiment, or spread using organic products — or developing a completely new recipe of your own. This type of startup typically gets its start at farmers markets and local grocery stores, so you’ll need to be able to dedicate time to sell your products in person.

18. Sustainable Travel Planning 

Travel and lodging is an industry that doesn’t often have sustainability in mind, especially due to the pollution caused by travelers who aren’t socially conscious or environmentally conscious. A sustainable travel planning startup will focus on creating vacation itineraries that are green at their core, traveling shorter distances in order to reduce environmental impacts, and staying longer in single destinations instead of rapidly hopping between multiple cities on a single trip. 

This idea can be taken even further by booking sustainable lodging and ensuring nonstop flights are used for travelers whenever possible, reducing the number of travel legs they take and the fuel consumed by aircraft.

19. Green App

Do you have an idea for an app that can make a daily task a little more eco-friendly? If yes, consider starting a green app development startup. Most of us use apps every day to make errands and tasks easier, so why not use the same technology to make them a little more green?

If you don’t already have an idea in mind, start by considering everyday, widespread problems that could be solved or a daily activity that could be made more green by using an app, and run with your ideas. Once you develop your green app idea, consider joining an incubator or accelerator like Techstars or Codebase to help bring your idea to life. 

20. Crowdfunding Platform

Crowdfunding platforms are a useful tool for entrepreneurs, charitable causes, and individuals to raise money and reach their financial goals. With rapid growth in this market, including a 16% CAGR from 2022 to 2023 , this industry holds a great deal of opportunity for entrepreneurs. To create a successful crowdfunding platform that is able to compete with other trusted platforms, you’ll need to create a unique idea or function that sets your platform apart. This could be a network of investors, advertisement opportunities, or specified crowdfunding topics such as real estate.

21. Bicycle Repair

With consumers looking to lessen the use of fossil fuels by commuting via bicycle, a bicycle repair business might be a winning venture. You can either opt to launch a standard brick-and-mortar bike shop or get a little more creative, such as offering mobile bicycle repair, creating a user-friendly line of bicycle repair products, or upcycling bicycles that are no longer working. 

22. Upcycled Furniture

Upcycling furniture has grown in popularity in recent years, with creators taking to social media to share and sell their furniture flips. Upcycling furniture can be a lucrative side hustle or a full-blown business. To get started, you will need tools for sanding and removing old paint or finishes, as well as additional products to stain and refinish the furniture yourself. Most successful furniture upcyclers pay attention to trends and attempt to replicate popular styles to increase customer interest. 

23. Electric Mobility

Electric vehicle startups are rapidly developing alternatives to traditional cars and methods of transport to offer a more eco-friendly choice. These business ideas aren’t limited to cars though. Electric mobility may include electric scooters or bicycles, charge stations, EV battery replacement services, or commercial electric mobility solutions. With electric vehicles tripling their share of sales from 2020 to 2022 , this market is a great opportunity for entrepreneurs to innovate and disrupt. 

24. Green Finance

Green financial planners help customers place their money into causes they care about. Whether that is green bonds, climate solutions, or other climate-friendly causes, green investment advisors assist in creating a climate-friendly investment portfolio and divest from non-sustainable investments such as fossil fuels. 

Explore More Startup Ideas

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Startup Ideas for Social Entrepreneurs

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Startup Ideas for Education Entrepreneurs

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Low-Cost Startup Ideas

25 Green Business Ideas for Aspiring Eco-Minded Entrepreneurs

Green businesses and eco-friendly companies are part of one of the fastest-growing industries around the world. This presents a great way for creative entrepreneurs to not only find financial success and opportunity but also pursue something that makes a positive impact on the world. Below, we’ll explain how new entrepreneurs can enter this exciting field…

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25 Green Business Ideas for Aspiring Eco-Minded Entrepreneurs

Green businesses and eco-friendly companies are part of one of the fastest-growing industries around the world. This presents a great way for creative entrepreneurs to not only find financial success and opportunity but also pursue something that makes a positive impact on the world.

Below, we’ll explain how new entrepreneurs can enter this exciting field and we’ll give you some tips for starting your own green business.

What Is a Green Business?

A green business can take a lot of different forms. Essentially, a green business looks to prioritize sustainability through various business practices or by implementing certain technologies.

For example, a farm that uses less water than traditional farms to produce the same crop yield could be considered a green business. Another example is a company that installs solar panels on homes to reduce dependency on fossil fuels.

These are just a few examples, but the possibilities are nearly endless as many traditional businesses can be converted into green businesses.

A key aspect of a green business is sustainability. This means the business can run and expand with a minimal negative impact on the environment or people. This can also include things like fair labor practices in areas that are traditionally unfair, or industries that normally source raw materials in an environmentally unfriendly way. By making this raw material sourcing more sustainable, the company can be transformed into a green or eco-friendly business.

25 Green Business Ideas

Below are 25 green business ideas to help spark your entrepreneurial creativity and help you start thinking of new opportunities.

Sustainable Fashion Store

This is a great way to mix a strong fashion sense with the green business movement. The fashion industry has often come under fire for labor practices. By flipping this and sourcing fashion made with fair labor practices and eco-friendly materials, an entirely new niche can be created with a sustainable fashion boutique .

E-Bike Conversion or Sales

E-bikes have exploded onto the scene and are selling like crazy all over the world. These eco-friendly modes of transportation reduce carbon emissions and make cycling fun for everyone. Converting old traditional bikes to e-bikes can be easy and profitable. Another option is to sell e-bikes at a retail store or even create your own brand of e-bikes.

Organic Smoothie Bar

Smoothies are a high-margin and easy avenue to open your own business. By choosing all organic ingredients, you can reduce harmful chemicals associated with agriculture. Customers also resonate with this more healthy option which also helps the environment.

Eco-Friendly Cleaning Company

This can be a commercial cleaning company or a maid service for homes or businesses. The goal is to use only safe and eco-friendly cleaning products. Many consumers have concerns or even allergies to harsh cleaning agents. By avoiding these you attract eco-conscious clients and help the environment as well.

Another aspect of this is that you can immediately set yourself apart from the competition by offering green cleaning options.

Bicycle Rental Service

If you live near a tourist area or where people visit, offering a bike or scooter rental service can help alleviate car traffic and exhaust emissions. This is also relatively inexpensive to start and can be done without a permanent physical location.

The options here are almost limitless and you can quickly expand to other locations if your area can support it.

Green Dry Cleaning Service

Dry cleaning often uses harsh and environmentally unfriendly chemicals. By offering a more eco-friendly option, you can attract customers who want a more sustainable option.

Customers are often happy to pay a premium for these green services, so it provides a higher margin product for you to sell.

Organic Tea or Coffee Shop

By serving organic and fair-trade coffee or tea and offering sustainable food options, you can attract an entirely new customer base and also charge a premium for these high-quality products. This means higher margins and happy customers while helping to promote sustainability.

Solar Panel Installation or Repair

If you already have home repair or construction experience, installing or repairing solar panels can be a great way to enter the green business market. You can even add this to your existing list of services if you currently work in home construction.

Solar panel installations require maintenance as well, so even if you don’t install these, you can still offer maintenance packages to homes or businesses with solar panels. Solar energy is an expanding field as electricity prices move higher, so now is a great time to enter this area.

Local Exchanges

Consider starting a business where people can swap goods instead of letting them go to the landfill. Things like gently used furniture or other home items can often be used by other people. This saves waste and helps those in need. This can also be run as an app and proceeds can come from advertising revenue or fees.

Plant-Based or Vegan Restaurant

Many environmentalists believe that plant-based or vegan foods are more sustainable than meat dishes. You can lean into this concept with a plant-based or vegan restaurant.

Organic Lawn Care Service

Most lawn care companies use harsh chemicals, but there are organic options that can often be used instead. Organic lawn care is a fast-growing industry right now, so this is a great opportunity to increase your customer base.

Green Business Consulting

If you have knowledge in a certain area of green business or have experience in environmentalism, consider consulting for other companies looking to increase their sustainability. Some businesses are required to become more eco-friendly due to various state or federal laws, so this offers a lot of opportunities to earn a substantial income.

Sustainable Beauty Salon

Offering more sustainable and organic versions of hair coloring, nail polish, makeup, and other beauty products can set you apart from the competition. There is also a large market for these safer products.

Electric Landscaping Service

Landscaping uses loud and polluting equipment that some homeowners don’t like. There are commercial mowers and tools available now that are all electric. Market yourself as an eco-friendly landscaping company with lower emissions and less noise.

Sustainable Pet Supply Company

Consider only offering toys and products made from safe or recycled materials. You can also sell brands of organic pet food.

Pet spending by consumers is a growing area, so this can be a solid way to take advantage of two growing sectors.

Eco-Friendly Home Remodeling

Offer low-chemical or safer construction materials such as flooring with no toxic glues or finishes or low-fume carpeting that is safer to install.

There are many safer and less toxic home materials on the market now. Use these to your advantage to find new customers and help the environment as well.

Reusable Bottle Company

New reusable drink bottles are entering the market all the time. Some now are even battery-powered and communicate with your phone. Create a new idea for a reusable bottle and save the environment along the way as it helps consumers create less waste from plastic bottles.

Create an Environmental Advocacy Group

Creating an advocacy group that promotes environmental initiatives and causes can help spread the word about what’s important to you. Your services can be offered to companies and other businesses who want to also promote their eco-friendly practices.

Eco-Tourism

Start a travel agency that specializes in eco-tourism or tourism with a far less negative impact on the environment. Things like bicycle tours of cities and hikes can all be part of the packages.

Website About Environmental Concerns

Create a website to educate people on green businesses and how they can participate. Accept advertising from eco-friendly businesses and others to generate revenue.

Sustainable Toy Store

A toy store with only products made with sustainable labor practices and sustainable materials. You can sell a variety of toys or specialize in one specific type of toy.

Green Product Review Site or App

A website where you either write reviews of green products or let users share reviews and feedback. Revenue can come from advertising or paid memberships.

Composting Service

Provide a service that picks up composting material to be composted and repurposed for fertilizer.

Electronics Recycling

Electronics that end up in landfills can cause toxins to enter the ground and water. Collect these items for proper disposal and recycling. You can charge to pick up items from homes or large businesses looking to get rid of computers or other equipment.

E-Scooter Sales and Repairs

E-scooters have replaced cars for many people in cities. Consider a shop to sell or repair these scooters in an area where they are popular.

Green Gift Shop

If you are near an area with a lot of foot traffic, consider a store or pop-up store to sell eco-friendly items and clothing.

7 Steps for Starting Your Green Business

Once you have your idea, it’s time to turn it into a reality. Follow these steps to get your company started.

Write a Business Plan

A business plan outlines the goals of your business in a formal way. How you will start the business, acquire financing, or market your company are all things included in a business plan. 

This acts like a roadmap for your business, so dedicate the proper care and attention when creating your business plan. Many problems you may face can be addressed in a business plan, which means an easier time when you launch your new business.

Choose Your Business Structure

Your business will need to be registered as a legal entity. Below are common ways to structure your business along with the benefits of each.

Sole Proprietorship

A sole proprietorship is the most basic type of business structure. It’s essentially just you as an individual doing business as yourself. You can do business under a different name by submitting a DBA or “Doing Business As” form with your state. However, your business finances and personal finances are seen as the same by the law which means your personal assets are exposed to liability.

Partnership

This is similar to a sole proprietorship but with more owners. The owners can agree on terms internally and should have the terms of their relationship in writing.

However, this has the same pitfalls as a sole proprietorship as there is no protection from liability for the owner’s personal assets.

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

This is the most common way to structure a business for entrepreneurs. A limited liability company or LLC can be created as a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or even a corporation. However, it has the added benefit of providing limited liability protection.

This means that the member’s or owner’s personal assets are protected from lawsuits or judgments against the business.

Corporation

A corporation is the most complex business structure as it requires annual meetings and paperwork to be filed regularly to maintain its legal status. A corporation can also complicate taxes as the owners need to pay themselves as employees. However, the owners can take dividends, which are taxed differently than a salary.

However, for complex businesses, the advantages of a corporation can be worthwhile.

Obtain Licenses and Permits

Depending on what services or products your business offers, you may need specific licensing or permits. For example, an organic or sustainable beauty salon would need the same licensing and permits as a conventional beauty salon. This would apply to the staff as well if they perform services on customers.

Not all businesses require this though, so it’s important to research your business first and look into any licensing that may be required.

Open a Business Bank Account

This is a critical step to take after creating a business entity, such as an LLC. With the documentation you receive after creating an LLC, you can open a business bank account under the business name .

This keeps all your business finances separate and it also makes it easier to obtain services like merchant accounts or business insurance.

Look for Funding

Funding for a small business can be a complex topic, but a good place to start is simply at your local bank or credit union. If you have good credit and a solid business plan, you may be able to secure financing.

Next, look into SBA loans which are secured by the Small Business Administration. These loans can be made in amounts up to $5 million and often have friendly terms.

SBA loans do require extensive paperwork, but the work is worth it if you can secure funding.

Green businesses may also be eligible for certain funding programs like grants or even tax credits from state and local governments. So make sure to investigate these avenues as well.

Not all businesses need a business loan or financing to get off the ground. If you need to start small, don’t let that discourage you. Many successful businesses are started with no financing.

Business Insurance

If you’re providing a service or are selling from a retail store, you likely will need business insurance. This can vary from business to business and even state to state.

Business insurance providers will walk you through the process of what’s required in your state. Just make sure to shop around for the best premium.

Market Your Green Business

Every business needs marketing, including a green business. Marketing campaigns can cost anywhere from free to millions of dollars. A good place to start is simply on social media.

Create social media profiles for your new business on all the popular platforms. If you aren’t social media savvy, try to focus on one platform you are most comfortable with.

From there, create your accounts and start posting relevant information. These take a while to grow, so begin as soon as possible, even before you launch your business.

Next up is paid advertising. This can come in the form of buying ad space on websites or paying for clicks from various platforms. Start small with paid ads and be sure you are turning a profit before spending more money.

Don’t rush your marketing spending as it can quickly cause a loss of money that you may need for other business expenses.

Start Your Green Business Today in an Eco-Friendly Way

When you’re ready to take that next step and make your green business a reality, trust doola to help you register your business.

doola helps green businesses create an LLC or corporation in a fast and easy process, with no credit checks or background checks. Our team of experts can also assist with business checking accounts and manage your bookkeeping for you so that you can focus on running your green business.

Why start a green business?

The green industry is a fast-growing area of opportunity with many areas still untapped or unsaturated by competition. It’s a great place for creative entrepreneurs to start a successful business and also do something positive for the world around them.

What is an example of a green business?

A green business provides services or produces products in a way that is more ecologically friendly than a traditional business. A green business can also focus on sustainable and fair practices. For example, a company that produces its products with 100% recycled raw materials would be considered a green business.

What is a green business known as?

A green business is known as an eco-friendly business or one that prioritizes sustainability and ecological consciousness. A green business attempts to provide a product or service that does less harm than traditional products or services in that same industry. A green business can also be a completely new kind of business that solves a problem in a new and novel way.

Lindsey Rudy

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Diversitech Global | Trusted tool manufacturer in China

  • Diversitech Team
  • Mar 10, 2022

33 Eco-Friendly Business Ideas For Sustainable Minded Entrepreneurs

Updated: Jul 19, 2023

33 Eco-friendly Business Ideas

There's no doubt that the world is moving towards more sustainable practices. Consumers are looking for eco-friendly options and businesses that align with their values. If you're a startup looking for eco-friendly business ideas, you're in luck! There are plenty of opportunities to get started in the green economy. Here are some ideas to get you started.

What Is An Eco-Friendly Business?

A sustainable, eco-friendly business practices environmental responsibility in everything it does as much as possible. From the products it produces and sells to the way it operates and communicates with customers, an eco-friendly business takes steps to minimize its impact on the environment. Making your business eco-friendly can help protect our planet and improve your bottom line.

Related Article: 8 Reasons Why Big Brands Are Moving Towards Sustainable Products

1. Sustainable Garden Tools Retailing

Starting a sustainable garden tools business can be a great way to make a positive environmental impact while also generating income.

Another benefits of starting a sustainable garden tools business is that there are many different types of garden tools that can be sold. This means that you can target a variety of markets, depending on the type of garden tools you choose to sell. For example, if you sell gardening gloves, you could target the general consumer market, or you could target the horticulture market.

One major things to consider when starting this business is sourcing manufacturers for your brand . We recommend Gairdin as they are a solely focused gardening tool manufacturer that specialises in environmentally friendly custom designs made from recycled and sustainable raw materials like Ocean-Bound Plastics and Algae-Blended Resin.

For more information, check out our article on best gardening tool suppliers to kickstart your brand

2. Environmental Impact and Carbon Emissions Classes

The amount of carbon emissions daily activities produce is staggering and people are unaware that these small decisions have an impact on our environment. You can teach classes about how to reduce the environmental impact of personal transportation, over-using air conditioning, and using better insulation.

3. Eco-Friendly Cleaning

People are tired of dealing with the pollution that comes from conventional cleaning products. Starting an eco-friendly cleaning business with non-toxic items limits your environmental footprint while also providing you more peace of mind since fewer harmful chemicals are getting into homes and onto people's hands when they work around it.

4. Solar Panel Installation

Why not start your own solar panel installation business? The industry is booming, and the demand for qualified technicians with expertise in this field will only increase with soaring energy costs. The benefits don't stop after installation either; as long as these systems operate efficiently (and most do), then any excess energy generated can be sold back into the grid.

5. Green Franchises

Environmentally friendly businesses are all the rage these days, and you might think that they're only available to those with a big wallet. But luckily there are multiple eco-friendly franchises with a solid brand and customer base already in place. Investing into "green" franchise might be your answer to owning your own business.

6. Green Eco-Consulting

Businesses around the world are being pressured to reduce their carbon footprint and energy costs. The pressure for businesses is only going up, so they must find ways on how to make sustainable practices a part of everyday business operations or risk losing customers in this rapidly changing environment. Certified eco-consultants have the skills and expertise to know what steps are needed towards sustainability all while maintaining high ethical standards.

7. Sustainable Event Planning

Eco-friendly event planners find ways of reducing waste and recycling at events by using environmentally friendly materials, venues that don't harm the environment, alternatives for electricity to even making sure all waste food is composted. A green meeting planner will always put their expertise into finding out every green option.

8. Eco-friendly Beauty Salon

With the rise of organic and vegan beauty products, it's a great time to open your own eco-friendly salon. You can choose from hair shampoos & conditioners or nail polish that doesn't harm animals for people who care about their environment as well as deserve some nice skin!

9. Green Finance

The goal of green finance is to support beneficial projects that provide value for both the local community and ecology. The focus on social profitability makes this type different from traditional banks, which are preoccupied with monetary profits at any cost. This can be done in two ways: financially, by providing funding or otherwise getting involved with investment opportunities. Socially profitability should be dictated by how much good it will bring about.

10. Ink Refill Business

The ink-refill business can be an environmentally conscious decision with profits to match. By reusing old cartridges, you are reducing non-biodegradable waste that is accumulating in landfills. A great idea would be starting up a small home-based refilling service where customers send or bring their empty containers while being offered friendly customer support.

11. Organic Food Products

Sustainable Business Ideas

Create your organic food products and start a business. The demand for all-natural alternatives to traditional foods has never been higher. You can make any dish more healthy by using only all-natural and organically grown ingredients. You'll need to be able to set up a stall at farmer's markets and local grocery stores if you want your business idea taken seriously.

12. Herb Farm

The great thing about starting a herb farm is that you can provide people with a much-needed product. Unlike vegetables and fruits, most herbs don't need very many hours of maintenance for them to grow successfully. To make your startup idea stand out from the rest, you can offer customers a chance to pick their own fresh herbs or have them delivered right at home.

13. Community Garden

City folks want to grow their own vegetables and have a sense of community. All you need is some shared land, raised beds for your garden, and seeds or plants that will thrive in the local climate and soil conditions. You could also offer services like gardening lessons, the hire of tools, and selling growing supplies.

14. Eco-Friendly Bed-and-Breakfast

This idea is perfect for entrepreneurs with experience in the hospitality industry, as it simply requires you to make a few changes to your power source and sourcing practices. With organic or locally grown ingredients and sustainable furniture, you can create a green getaway that's perfect for guests of all ages.

15. Sustainable Clothing Line

If you're thinking about starting a clothing line, consider making it a sustainable one. Research clothing materials are environmentally friendly, long-lasting and ethically made out of sustainable materials and will help reduce the amount of waste produced by the fashion industry. Ethically made clothing means that the workers who made your clothes were treated fairly and paid a livable wage. With a sustainable, ethical clothing line, you can help make a difference in the world!

16. Carbon Offsetting Consultancy

Offsetting a company’s carbon emissions can be a great way to make up its carbon footprint and environmental impact. Fees paid for carbon credits go towards renewable energy plans and methods or ways to capture harmful greenhouse gasses. There are several programs and initiatives out there where companies need expert advice and guidance to navigate and understand.

17. Greenhouse or Specialist Farm

Starting a greenhouse or specialist farm business can be a great way to get into the agriculture industry. Specialist farms include mushroom and herb farming, hydroponic farming and even insect farms. The best greenhouse and farm owners understand the intricacies of growing plants, flowers, produce, and just about everything else that comes out of the ground. If you're looking to start your own greenhouse or farming business, make sure you do your research and understand what it takes to be successful in this industry.

18. Sustainable Packaging Design

It's a growing industry, with companies looking at ways of using sustainable packaging to enhance their green image, and ideally reduce costs with lighter weight and less materials. Product packaging need attractive designs and also strong physical protection for transportation, tamper-proof shelf display etc. A successful package design business owner will have a good understanding of materials, packaging assembly and aspects of marketing.

19. Medical Marijuana Dispensary

This business is ideal for entrepreneurs who are passionate about alternative medicine and have a strong desire to help others. Those with experience in the medical field will be especially well-suited for this business. Medical marijuana dispensaries legally purchase marijuana from vendors and sell it to appropriate customers. Staff need to be continually educated about the many different strains and forms of cannabis and any medicinal purposes.

20. Organic Catering Business

There is an increasing demand for organic and locally sourced foods, which provides a great opportunity for environmentally friendly entrepreneurs. The demand in this market is expected to continually grow, so there is a lot of potential in this industry. There are different kinds of consumer requirements: vegan, vegetarian, or Paleo, as well as gluten-free and/or with free-range meat. You can start by catering to local events and then expanding to larger venues.

21. Beekeeping

Beekeeping can be a very rewarding experience for environmentally friendly entrepreneurs. By learning how to keep bees, you will have 24/7 access to delicious raw honey and honeycomb. Furthermore, you can make all-natural cosmetics with wax and honey. This can help set your business apart from the competition and create a unique selling proposition. Beekeeping is a great way to promote environmental consciousness and support sustainable agriculture.

22. Sustainable Travel Agency

Eco-Friendly Business Ideas

Air travel is causing the fastest and highest growth of CO2 emissions, so it is important to focus on eco-friendly ways to travel. Additionally, traditional travel has high environmental costs, from pollution caused by car rentals to fuel used by jets. By helping people book trips to eco-friendly hotels and destinations, you can help them travel responsibly and leave a smaller impact on the local destination, its people and nature.

23. Start a Composting Business

Starting a composting business can be a great way to do meaningful work while helping the environment. Food scraps, leaves, and wood chips can be excellent plant nutrient sources and soil amendments. By starting a composting business, you can help reduce the amount of food waste that is generated each year. You can also get involved in your community and provide a valuable service.

24. Become a Green Blogger

If you're looking for a way to share your knowledge of being eco-friendly with the world, starting a blog is a great option. Not only will you be able to reach and teach many people, but you can also monetize your blog by displaying ads or earning affiliate income. Additionally, you can support and recommend environmentally-friendly products and services to your readers.

25. Sustainable Interior Designer

If you are an entrepreneur who is interested in helping people make environmentally friendly choices, then specializing in green interior design may be the perfect career for you. Interior designers can recommend sustainable fabrics, energy-efficient appliances, and sustainably made furniture to improve the indoor environment and even reduce clients’ electricity bills.

26. Eco-Friendly Products for Pets

Making eco-friendly products for pets can be a great opportunity for environmentally conscious entrepreneurs. By creating products like bamboo squeakers and tug toys, all-natural treats, and upcycled dog beds, entrepreneurs can help reduce waste and make a positive impact on the environment. This is a growing market, with consumers spending over $103 billion on their pets in 2020. So if you’re looking to go green, consider making eco-friendly pet products.

27. Energy Efficient Lighting Sales

If you're looking to start a business that helps the environment, then selling energy-efficient lighting is a great option. LED lights, CFLs and other energy-efficient lighting options are becoming more and more popular, as people become more aware of the benefits of efficient lighting systems. By becoming an expert in this area, you can advise consumers and businesses on the best options for them and help them save money on their purchases and energy bills.

28. Eco-friendly Green Pest Control

Starting a green pest control business can be very profitable. More and more people are looking for ways to get rid of pests in their homes without using harsh chemicals or in a terrible manner. Eco-friendly alternatives, such as diatomaceous earth and neem oil, are becoming increasingly popular. In fact, a recent survey found that half of the respondents would choose a green pesticide over a traditional one. As an environmentally friendly entrepreneur, you can capitalize on this trend by providing safe, effective pest control services.

29. Open an Environmentally Friendly Car Wash

If you're looking to open an environmentally friendly car wash, make sure your facility uses non-chemical products, reduces plastic use, and employs renewable energy where possible eg. solar energy. Not only will this provide a sustainable service to your customers, but they will also feel they can have a positive impact on the environment while enjoying a clean car.

30. Electric Car Charging Stations

If you're an environmentally friendly entrepreneur, there's a new opportunity for you to capitalize on. Electric car charging stations are becoming increasingly popular, and as the number of electric cars on the road grows, so too does the need for places to charge them. Use your charging station as a way to bring in customers and then up-sell them something else. For example organic snacks and meals, wi-fi, eco-friendly car wash etc.

31. Air Ducts And HVAC Cleaning

Consider starting a business that specializes in cleaning air ducts and HVAC systems. Dust and dirt can build up in these systems and prevent them from working properly and efficiently, which leads to large consumption of electricity and, of course, big expensive bills. By regularly cleaning air ducts and HVAC systems, you can help improve indoor air quality and reduce energy consumption.

32. Minimalism Lifestyle Coach

As an eco-friendly person, you could provide professional services as an organizer and shopping consultant to help your clients live a minimalist lifestyle and support our planet. Every person that you coach to purchase less helps reduce waste. Not only will this be good for the environment, but it will also help your clients save money. By teaching people how to use and buy less, you can help them live more sustainable lives while reducing the amount of waste produced each year.

33. Eco-Friendly Apps

Designing apps that help people to become more environmentally friendly can have a big impact. Some examples of such apps help people monitor and reduce their water usage, find and buy sustainable products, locate recycling centers and purchase used goods instead of new items. So if you're looking to go green in a high-tech way, developing an eco-friendly app is the way!

So, if you're looking to start a business with a conscience, one that will help preserve the planet and its resources for future generations, take a look at our list of eco-friendly business ideas. Many of these businesses can be started on a shoestring budget and all of them have the potential to make a real difference in the world. If you're looking for an ethical way to start your own business or want to switch gears and go green, these are the perfect options for you. Making the right choice has never been easier.

Here are some sustainable manufacturing case studies for your inspiration

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Earth and Human

25 Eco-friendly Business Ideas for Green Entrepreneurs

Rishu Shakya

Did you know that more than 100 corporations are responsible for 71% of global emissions that contribute to climate change?

Eco-friendly businesses are both excellent for the environment and business. Eco-friendly companies not only save resources but also decrease business expenses. 

At present, people are pretty concerned about the Earth’s environment. Having such a feeling, customers feel responsible towards the territory, so they shop or deal with places to fix the world. 

Eco-friendly businesses aim to use as little water, energy , and raw materials as much as possible while cutting carbon emissions. 

Many companies use the going green concept because the eco-friendly business offers more than just doing the “right” thing.

Table of Contents

What is an Eco-Friendly Business?

An eco-friendly business manufactures its goods with environmentally friendly resources. These businesses strive to use as little water, energy, and raw materials as possible while reducing carbon emissions, or they find ways to use these materials in renewable and environmentally benign ways.

This strategy reduces the company’s use of natural resources and its contribution to climate change. When waste is generated, it is sometimes recycled as energy or raw material.

Let us list down the ten different types of eco-friendly business ideas that one can start if they are interested in promoting a more planet-friendly future.

1. Environmental publications

writing - eco-friendly business

A pen is mightier than a sword. If you want to address any problem to the masses, there is nothing better than writing about it. 

Writing articles is an excellent platform to place your opinion, reveal the truth, expose popular myths, and help consumers choose better. If you love writing, you might want to start your environmental publications. 

Creating Environmental publications helps people become aware of the environment and helps consumers think about their habits that affect the world.

2. Ink refill business

Ink refill - eco-friendly business

Every year, millions of ink cartridges are discarded. This throwing of ink and plastic causes a lot of pollution. Ink-refill business is environmentally friendly as well as highly profitable. 

There is less waste in landfills when old ink cartridges are reused. Generally, empty ink can be reused three to four times minimum. The ink refill business has a lot of potential and is a fast-growing industry. 

3. Green finance

Green finance’s main objective is supporting local, community-level projects with and given the emphasis on sustainability. 

Green finance also provides educational opportunities, funding for artistic attempts, and projects that support local ecology.

Like the main objective of any other business, Green finance’s primary goal is earning profit. Another aim of green finance is to support projects that value the local community. 

So, Green’s finance objectives are to make a decent rate of return, benefit the environment, and deliver greater accountability.

4. Eco-friendly retail

Retails - eco-friendly business

Adding sustainability and green marketing as a business strategy to boost your brand image and catch the interest of environmentally conscious consumers is one of the finest business strategies to set your firm apart from the competition.

Retailers and e-commerce companies both use consumer rewards programs. Customers earn awards for every purchase they make redeem them for rewards or donations to various environmental initiatives. 

Consider working with a company that shares your and your customers’ goals and beliefs if you’re thinking of launching a retail store.

5. Sustainable construction materials

Sustainability is an integral feature of modern living and a critical component of nearly every sector. It is vital to assess the global impact of our individual and collective actions. 

First and foremost, you want to construct something that will last. It’s essential to think about a material’s lifespan when picking building materials from their origin to disposal. 

Although you may not acknowledge construction is environmentally friendly, certain companies now endeavor recycled materials for projects such as infrastructure refurbishment.

6. Organic catering

Organic- eco-friendly business

Many of us purchase organic food as part of our grocery shopping because of the health and ethical benefits. Yet when it comes to catering for an event, do we give it a second thought? 

Organic catering is a food coma of eco-friendly foodies who want to share their passion for food and save the environment by switching to organic.

It’s such a relief for catering local events and business luncheons with organic food and locally grown ingredients, free-range meats, and vegan, gluten-free, and paleo meal options. This kind of business appeals to nature lovers and health wellness freaks. 

7. Eco-friendly beauty salon

Are you looking forward to starting a beauty salon? Then it would be best if you thought about how your business will affect the environment.

Consumers are concerned about the environment. Thus organic and vegan hair and beauty products are popular subjects and the latest trend. To make this trend work for your benefit, open an eco-friendly beauty salon. 

Not only is an eco-friendly beauty salon good for the environment, but it also reduces operating costs. Opening an eco-friendly beauty salon helps to gain a good reputation.

8. Sustainable event planning

Most of the events have a significant impact on the environment. No matter how small or big the possibility is, there is the usage of plastic utensils and the extensive use of electricity, lights, and speakers. 

Green event planners use their experts and event-planning skills to find eco-friendly ways of conducting the event, like materials and accommodation.

Sustainable event management not only benefits the environment but also has financial advantages. Modern society is becoming more environmentally conscious; sustainable event management has a high chance of growing popularity.

9. Handmade all-natural/organic products

handmade - eco-friendly business

People are concerned about the products that go on our bodies. Customers are constantly searching for products that are made from organic materials. And if you can give them all organic products, they will return again. 

10. Reusable plastic bottles

Reuse - eco-friendly business

One of the significant concerns among environmentalists is Single-use plastics. 

Although plastic has played a considerable role in developing millions of products like cell phones and containers, some end up in the ocean, consumers are looking at metal or glass bottles made from recycled plastic .

11. Farmers market vendor

Farmers mart - eco-friendly business

Farmers’ markets are a buzzing cluster of organic and sustainable options. This organic movement has made it possible to earn money by selling pesticide-free and non-GMO products. 

There is a high demand for fresh, local food, beneficial for health and the environment. There are plenty of benefits to selling naturally grown fruits and vegetables compared to conventional farming methods. Customers are more drawn to the organic process.

12. Green housekeeping services

Green cleaning makes sense to keep families safe and protected from pathogens and harsh chemicals. Cleaning the house may be at the bottom of a working parent’s to-do list. 

Offer services ranging from minor dusting to heavy-duty jobs like cleaning the kitchen and bathroom, using only approved all-natural and eco-friendly cleaning chemicals, position yourself as the green solution to their housekeeping concerns. 

Eco-friendly products and activities safeguard the environment while ensuring the clients’ health.

13. ‘Upcycled’ furniture

Up-cycle - eco-friendly business

Why throw away old, damaged furniture when you can disassemble and reassemble chairs, tables, and dressers into new pieces to paint and sell? 

Upcycling furniture is a fantastic platform where you can use unused and unloved furniture items and make them come back to life, like a newly bought item of furniture. 

It is ideal for those with a flair for design and renovation. People may upcycle worn-out furniture lying around their houses or purchase at a lesser cost from smaller thrift shops and restore.

Making and designing them can make them look even more sophisticated and classy, and the most significant part is that they can be tailored to your style and taste. Upcycled furniture has a huge market.

While some may regard the item as an antique, others may view it as a cost-effective alternative to well-designed furniture.

The cost of starting a business is relatively low, and it covers purchasing raw materials, finding a location, and paying carpenters, designers, and salespeople.

14. Green franchises

If you believe that climate change is a severe problem, one way to demonstrate your commitment is to spend money on environmentally friendly products. 

These green franchises are just the perfect way to go if you want to go into franchising but want to make sure you’re investing your money in the right place.

Green financing focuses on funding local, community-based enterprises that concentrate on environmentally friendly, sustainable agriculture. 

Green finance usually focuses on educational possibilities, funding for cultural efforts, and projects that benefit the local environment.

15. Second-hand store

Many of us check thrift shops for cheap outfits and furniture for our first apartment. New products are pretty expensive, so the second-hand store is the ultimate choice for people who are not looking to waste their money on unused items.

People are more about reusing at present, so second-hand is just perfect. Second-Hand stores save customers money as well as are good for the environment. 

16. Green consulting

green - eco-friendly business

Green consulting has a significant impact on the environment and the contemporary economy. Green consulting guides in cutting energy costs , the pressure for businesses to adopt green practices is high at present, and it’s only going to grow from here.

A while ago, sustainability was not taught in business school. Now, governments worldwide are focusing and investing in environmental regulations and policies.

17. Recycling waste

One of the most common practices for a beginner to start an eco-friendly business is to recycle their waste. The circular economy is a concept that emerged in India.

People can recycle their waste through that medium, remove as much debris, and figure out new ways to compost and recycle it. Due to this idea, the emergence of recycling waste is produced.

However, before you commence, you need to conduct some market research to narrow down the products you plan to recycle. Aluminum scrap, batteries, textiles, papers, construction refuse, and plastics are just a few examples.

Among all of these examples, Aluminium is a solid commercial prospect since it is the second most recycled metal on the planet.

Because of its ingredients such as zinc, lithium-ion, and lead, batteries, on the other hand, have a large market. Paper and plastic come in various grades and can be recycled into multiple valuable items.

Construction waste is also plentiful, and materials like concrete, plaster, and insulation are somehow recyclable.

18. Clothes made out of plastics

Single-use plastics such as bottles, bags, wrappers, and sachets are mostly to blame for immense plastic waste generation. Even though the majority of these items are non-biodegradable, they are recyclable.

Plastic bottles, for example, can be shredded and turned into chips, which are spun into yarn. When woven, the same thread becomes fabric.

The final stage entails sewing the raw fabric pieces together and dying them with natural colors. Only land, machinery, and logistics are primary assets for this enterprise to succeed.

19. Zero Waste Retail Shop

zero waste - more ecofriendly business ideas

When it comes to becoming more environmentally conscious, many communities have a collective conscience, and businesses that respond to the urge to make greener living easier are primed for success.

If you’re inclined to the retail sector, you can serve as a much-needed merchant-on-a-mission by starting a shop that is free of plastic and packaging.

People come to this emerging shopping idea to buy food, toiletries, and household products that are merchandised and sold without packaging.

Customers fill and refill their containers from bulk displays. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, plastics, wrappers, and needless packaging contribute 23 percent of landfill waste .

Both business owners and customers want to reduce or eliminate this waste. Some zero-waste store owners raise the finances they need to open through crowdsourcing funds within a community of interest.

Doing good engenders a sense of investment and ownership among customers and business owners alike, appealing to consumers who reside in the community you will serve.

This type of investment also establishes an emotional connection to the shop and incentivizes local customers to visit it frequently.

20. Impact Blogging

The internet is a powerful tool to spread information and knowledge to everyone around the globe. Environment enthusiasts can run a local business by blogging about eco-friendly products, and it’s a necessity in today’s world.

Blogging may be a powerful tool for inspiring and enacting change, to the point where “impact blogging” has become a niche.

The globe is full of citizens eager to aid the ecological and social landscape, and writers-advocates-activists have the opportunity to lead initiatives to motivate their readers to action and spark change by bringing crucial concerns to light.

Practical ideas, videos, how-tos, and resource guides should all be included in your content to help readers become inspired and involved.

Several successful bloggers are dominating the online sustainability scene, but establishing your niche with distinct positioning, expert knowledge, and compelling material can help you build an audience and monetize your work through affiliate marketing options in the green space.

21. Eco-friendly cleaning service

Consumers in the commercial and private sectors are increasingly opting for more environmentally friendly cleaning products and services.

In 2017, the green household cleaning products market was valued at $18 billion . By the end of 2024, that figure is estimated to have risen to approximately $28 billion.

Cleaning is a helpful service, and if you can provide a healthier alternative to harsh and harmful chemicals by using products designed and manufactured using environmentally friendly methods, you may build a thriving business while also helping the environment.  

Green cleaning companies charge $5 to $10 more per hour than standard cleaning companies, possibly due to the benefits, but it could also be due to the higher cost of green materials.

Consider obtaining Green Seal Certified if you want to go the commercial path because it will increase your marketability and provide you with a competitive advantage.

22. Landscaping Business

Landscape maintenance is a significant and successful business for an ambitious entrepreneur because many homeowners take great pride in their outdoor environment.

However, you may not be aware that dangerous products are frequently utilized, which have repercussions beyond keeping your backyard looking nice.

Plants that work with the natural ecosystem are the emphasis of sustainable landscaping. They require little maintenance, less watering, and fewer insecticides.

Businesses that specialize in sustainable landscaping can give information, acquire and install organic materials, and provide landscape upkeep as needed.

23. Refurbishing electronic items

refurbishment - more ecofriendly business ideas

Many electronic products are replaced after they break, including cell phones, tablets, computers, televisions, stereos, and video game consoles. On the other hand, repairing these discarded electronics is a simple way to generate quick cash.

Residential colonies or local junkyards can gather abandoned objects. Because most problems are caused by filthy circuit boards, broken cords, or wires, you can hire a professional to fix them.

Once refurbished, the products can be resold online or through other shops and agencies. Provide thorough information and a money-back promise to create credibility at the point of sale.

24. Retailing and installing Solar panels

According to the Indian Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), India ranks fifth in renewable energy. Solar panels are in high demand, both at home and at work, because they produce few pollutants and operate efficiently.

Conducting on-site surveys for potential installations, developing a solar plant, and installing panels are all part of the company. This project requires personnel with experience in electrical work, construction, and solar energy.

A dependable group of distributors, an office space, delivery vehicles to move panels, and a method to preserve licenses and obtain insurance coverage are just a few of the essential resources you’ll need to consider for the venture’s seamless operation.

When you have a continuous stream of contracts and requests from clients, you can buy panels in bulk to save money per unit and increase your revenues.

25. Green Beauty/ Clean Beauty

The worldwide beauty business is shifting away from mega-corporations and toward independent, typically direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands that encourage sustainability by using essential, non-toxic, plant-derived, and even upcycled ingredients, as well as responsible packaging.

By 2025, the organic and natural sector is anticipated to be worth $25 billion . There are chances for entrepreneurs to bring items to market that enhance the skin, boost self-confidence, and embrace the environment if they have a compelling concept that speaks to actual aesthetic needs and wants.

In this competitive industry, success entails being transparent about ingredients and production methods, getting hands-on with raw materials and formulations, and understanding the environmental impact of packaging – and developing accordingly.

Obtaining recognition as a B Corp is the gold standard in ecologically conscientious production. It is something that beauty ecopreneurs should strive for! Get your natural beauty products HERE .

Conclusion 

Over the last few decades, more corporations have strived to become environmentally conscious and reduce their environmental impact.

You can benefit from tax benefits, government subsidies, cost savings through eco-friendly practices, and increased popularity and demand due to your green status as an eco-friendly business. 

Both the environment and your business will benefit from eco-friendly business practices.

(Last Updated on November 6, 2023 by Sadrish Dabadi)

new business ideas environmentally friendly

Rishu Shakya, a bachelor’s degree graduate in Business Information Management, holds an extraordinary empathy towards mother nature and her ecosystem. She has always been captivated by green Earth and its charm. She regards spreading awareness about clean energy and sustainable development as her passion as well as responsibility. She believes her compassion about the Earth and human relationships will undoubtedly assist our planet to be a better place.

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Examples of Environmentally-Friendly Business Ideas

Author Pauline Vega

Posted Mar 12, 2023

Photo Of Women Using Laptops

In recent years, the world has witnessed a sharp increase in the awareness of environmental issues. With growing demand for sustainable solutions , there has been a growing number of green business opportunities. Entrepreneurs are stepping up to meet this demand by offering environmentally friendly products and services helping us to preserve our planet.

What is a green business?

The future of green entrepreneurs: new horizons await, discover profitable and innovative green business ideas.

  • Support sustainable fashion

2. Become a tailor

3. repair bicycles.

If you are looking to start a green business or want to learn strategies for making your existing business more eco-friendly, you have come to the right place. In this article, we will explore 10 examples of environmentally-friendly business ideas that can help you make a difference while also making a profit. From renewable energy solutions to sustainable fashion , we will cover a range of industries where you can carve out your own niche in the green business sector. So let's dive into the world of green business and discover how you can contribute towards creating a sustainable future for all!

A green business prioritizes sustainability in its business model . It strives to minimize negative environmental impacts while maximizing positive ones. Green businesses support green initiatives, seek local partnerships, and offer a variety of green business options like solar panel installation or promoting renewable energy. The goal is to offer green products and services to mindful consumers who have personal sustainability goals .

To be considered a green business, the company must be inherently eco-friendly. This means that it needs to prioritize sustainable materials, avoid harmful chemicals or practices, and implement an intentional standard for reducing negative environmental impacts . One example of this would be a printing company that uses recycled paper and solar energy to power its operations.

Being a green business is not only good for the environment but can also be a key marketing tool. Consumers are more likely to support sustainability-minded companies, so it's important to communicate your commitment to the environment in all aspects of your business. By supporting sustainability through your products or services, you can attract customers who share similar values and build long-term relationships based on mutual respect for the planet.

There has never been a better time to start a sustainable business idea. A healthy dose of creativity and innovation is all it takes to make an impact in the world of green businesses. But before you start writing your business plan , don't forget to research specific grants that can help fund your venture. The future is bright for eco-friendly entrepreneurs who are passionate about making a difference in the world while also turning a profit.

With consumers becoming increasingly environmentally conscious, green businesses have a strong potential for growth and profitability. From eco-friendly cleaning products to sustainable fashion , there are endless opportunities for entrepreneurs to make their mark on the world while positively impacting the environment. The future of green entrepreneurs is filled with new horizons, waiting for those who are willing to take the leap and make their dreams a reality. So why wait? Start exploring your options today!

Anonymous friends standing together at sunset in mountains

Green businesses are becoming increasingly popular as consumers care more about the environment and climate action. There are now plenty of environmentally friendly business ideas that can help you make a profit while also doing your part to protect the planet. Whether you're looking to start a small side hustle or leave your office job behind, there are over 40 green business ideas that can get you started on your path to success.

1. Support sustainable fashion

Supporting sustainable fashion is crucial in our efforts to reduce the negative impact of fast fashion on the environment. Fast fashion generates billions of dollars in revenue, but it also leads to an alarming amount of textile waste. That's why using recyclable textiles and reducing waste through second-hand clothes or a resale shop online has been gaining attention and growing interest.

Online services, such as social media marketplaces or websites that revive once-loved clothing, have found success simply selling items that are already out there. By supporting sustainable fashion, we not only help protect our planet but also support ethical production practices and help promote a more conscious consumer culture. So let's make a difference by choosing eco-friendly options when it comes to fashion!

Are you tired of the endless cycle of fast fashion consumers buying significantly more clothes than they need? Becoming a tailor is a great way to combat this issue by prioritizing sustainable and ethical fabrics, educating consumers on the benefits of long custom-made quality clothing that lasts longer and fits correctly allowing for fewer garments needed overall. As an added bonus, offering ecommerce shipping can reduce waste by reducing transportation emissions. Take the first step towards becoming an environmentally friendly business owner by becoming a tailor.

Repairing bicycles is an environmentally friendly business idea that can help reduce your carbon footprint. Time bicycles require care and maintenance to function properly, and by offering repair services, you can help extend the life of these vehicles. Starting a bicycle repair business is also relatively easy to start as it does not require significant capital investment.

In recent years, the bicycle dealership industry has been growing steadily as people become more conscious about their health and the environment. By establishing an online presence and providing top-notch service, you can attract customers from all over your region. Another option is to start collecting vintage bikes, which are becoming increasingly popular as the economy stabilizes. These bikes require specialized knowledge and skills to restore them to their former glory, making it a unique selling point for your business.

4. Grow your own food

Looking for an environmentally-friendly business idea? Consider growing your own food! With a green thumb and even a small garden, you can produce organic fruits and vegetables that not only reduce packaging waste from grocery producers but also support local farmers markets and direct local food sales.

By filling the market gap for fresh raw produce, homemade spices, and canned goods, you can sell year-round even after harvest ends. Plus, with just a few hundred dollars in startup costs, you can begin to generate income while promoting healthy and sustainable living by supporting local producers and local goods.

5. Launch a native landscaping business

Are you tired of the same old meticulously manicured grass lawns that require constant maintenance and waste water resources? Consider launching a native landscaping business! By using native plants, you can support biodiversity and protect native habitats while also creating a beautiful and eco-friendly landscaping business.

As homeowners learn about the benefits of native landscaping, they are looking for ways to convert their lawns efficiently and save water. By starting an eco-friendly landscaping business that specializes in native plants, you can meet this growing demand while also making a positive impact on the environment. Plus, with your expertise in this area, you can help educate customers on the importance of supporting local ecosystems and preserving natural resources.

6. Learn local floristry

If you're interested in learning local floristry, you're in luck! Green florists specialize in creating beautiful arrangements with fresh native flowers that are grown right in the local ecosystem. These plants grow best in tropical environments and produce stunning summer blooms that are perfect for any occasion.

By supporting local growers, finally, you can reduce carbon emissions associated with long-distance transportation and specialized packaging. Plus, working with a local florist ensures that you'll have access to the freshest seasonal flowers that haven't been shipped across the country. So if you're passionate about sustainability and want to make a positive impact on your community, consider learning more about the benefits of supporting your local florist today!

7. Grow healing tea and herbs

Growing healing tea and herbs can be a great environmentally friendly business idea. All you need is a huge garden or even pots indoors to start growing your own fresh produce. You can then sell herbs and create holistic healing products such as teas, spices, herbs, and other wellness items. By using homegrown herbs, you can add holistic properties to your products and guarantee organic and safe products for your customers.

Not only will growing your own herbs save cash by reducing the cost of sourcing ingredients, but you can also expand your product line to include bath salts, soaps, and other natural wellness products. By promoting sustainable and environmentally-friendly practices in your business, you'll attract like-minded customers who value natural health solutions. So why not give it a try? Start small with some potted plants indoors or set up a greenhouse for year-round growth!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are green businesses eco-friendly.

Yes, green businesses are eco-friendly as they prioritize sustainability and reducing their impact on the environment through practices such as using renewable energy sources and minimizing waste.

What are the most profitable sustainable business ideas?

Some of the most profitable sustainable business ideas include renewable energy, eco-friendly products and services, and sustainable agriculture. These industries are growing rapidly as more consumers prioritize sustainability in their purchasing decisions.

What are the best green business ideas for beginners?

Some of the best green business ideas for beginners include recycling, organic farming, energy consulting, and eco-friendly cleaning services. These businesses not only help the environment but also have a growing demand in today's society.

How to create eco-friendly business names?

To create eco-friendly business names, choose words that relate to sustainability, nature or green living. Consider using descriptive adjectives, combining related terms, and avoiding overused buzzwords.

What makes a business “green”?

A business is considered "green" if it adopts practices that minimize harm to the environment and promotes sustainability. This can include using renewable energy sources, reducing waste, and implementing eco-friendly processes.

Featured Images: pexels.com

Pauline Vega

Pauline Vega

Writer at Inside Business

Pauline Vega is a writer and blogger who loves to share her thoughts and experiences with the world. She has always been passionate about writing, and over the years, she has honed her skills to become an accomplished wordsmith. Her blog is a platform where she expresses her views on various topics, including lifestyle, travel, and wellness.

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30 Innovative Eco-Friendly Zero Waste Business Ideas

Innovative eco-friendly zero waste business ideas 2

A zero-waste business model integrates sustainable design and production practices, with a focus on eliminating waste and conserving resources. This approach encompasses the entire product life cycle, from extraction to disposal. In this guide, we will explore the most innovative zero waste business ideas and examples that could make a positive difference in the environment.

Most Innovative Eco-Friendly Zero Waste Business Ideas

This guide takes us through the zero waste business ideas to lower environmental effects and trash disposal costs, increase brand reputation, create jobs, and strengthen the local economy. It also emphasizes the significance of innovative environmental business ideas for students, developing a generation of eco-warriors who value environmental consciousness and push good change in the corporate sector.

1. Start Worm Farm

Worm farm: Zero waste business ideas

One of the innovative zero waste business ideas involves starting a worm farm. Globally, 2.5 billion tonnes of food is wasted annually, causing 25 million tonnes of CO 2 emissions. Home composters are becoming increasingly popular due to their simplicity and efficiency, contributing to the circular economy and providing nutrient-rich soil for plants. They also serve as an educational tool, raising awareness about sustainable practices and motivating others to adopt them.

Breeding special worms for composting can speed up the process and provide valuable fertilizer for plants and gardens. Businesses can make their operations eco-friendly by collecting organic waste and offering educational workshops and resources on composting.

2. Launch Organic Catering

Organic food sales are on the rise, and attracting eco-conscious eaters to launch an organic catering business can be a great eco-friendly small business idea. Offering local events and business luncheons with organic food, free-range meats, vegan, gluten-free, and paleo menu alternatives, this innovative environmental business idea can appeal to nature lovers and health enthusiasts. Diversified menus can accommodate different dietary choices and constraints. Using local and seasonal foods and offering plant-based products can also contribute to a more sustainable food system.

Moreover, encouraging this zero waste business idea and sustainable practices like composting food waste and eco-friendly packaging can align with environmentally sensitive customers.

3. Install Solar Panels

Solar panel installation: innovative environmental business ideas

Solar panel installation is gaining popularity among eco-friendly business ideas and environmentally conscious households because it offers considerable financial savings while also lowering carbon footprint. The worldwide solar panel market is predicted to increase gradually, with an annual projected growth rate of 7.13% . More individuals are turning to solar power as a realistic choice as they become more conscious of climate change and the need for sustainable energy sources.

It is an investment that you can make with the future of power and energy demands in mind. Moreover, offering solar panel installation services in your region will help you address the demands of environmentally aware households while also tapping into a burgeoning industry.

Also Read: How to Become a Solar Panel Distributor: Roles, Opportunities and Benefits

4. Become an Energy Consultant

A consulting firm may assist households and small companies in making the shift to green energy by conducting energy audits, advising on cost savings , enhancing efficiency, and obtaining tax breaks. Customized solutions for incorporating renewable energy sources such as solar panels or wind turbines can be provided. Keeping up with green technology breakthroughs can bring insights into cost-effective and long-term solutions. This eco-friendly business example may help households and companies make educated decisions about their energy consumption and promote a greener future.

5. Take Public Environmental Education Classes

Many individuals are unaware of the consequences of their activities on the environment while producing approximately 36.8 billion tons of CO 2 in 2022 . Individuals may be taught about sustainable practices through lessons in local schools or online courses, allowing them to make educated decisions and actively engage in conservation. Instilling a feeling of responsibility in children from a young age might result in a generation that is more conscious of its actions and works for a greener future.

6. Sell Eco-Friendly Toys

Eco-Friendly Toys: eco-friendly business examples

90% of toys are made of plastic, and parents are increasingly looking for environmentally responsible alternatives. Starting an online store or selling in local stores might help meet the rising need for sustainable items while also reducing plastic waste. Eco-friendly toys made of biodegradable materials and painted with non-toxic paint can attract a devoted consumer base. This eco-friendly business example values sustainability and has a good influence on children’s health and the environment.

Also, take a look at the 31 Innovative and Sustainable Toys to Gift Your Kids this Christmas

7. Start Eco-Friendly Gift Box Service

The eco-friendly baskets are loaded with locally sourced, organic, and eco-friendly items, making them ideal for personal and business presents. Food, wine, jewelry, beauty, toys, and baby food are among them. These baskets reflect the principles of mindful customers and promote ethical sourcing while supporting local companies. They are visually stunning while encouraging sustainability and honoring the beauty of the world.

8. Sell Sustainable Construction Materials

Rising environmental awareness and stronger regulations have helped to increase the green building materials market size from $285.4 billion in 2022 to a projected $768.8 billion in 2032 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.7%. The demand for sustainable materials, often created from recycled resources, is predicted to expand as consumers become more mindful of their carbon impact and stronger construction laws are implemented. This trend is projected to continue.

9. Renovate Eco-Friendly House

Eco friendly house

Installing insulation and energy-efficient appliances, utilizing sustainable materials like reclaimed wood or recycled glass worktops, and employing eco-friendly flooring alternatives like bamboo or cork are all examples of sustainable home renovation services. Natural and non-toxic materials, such as organic cotton carpets or recycled tiles, can also be incorporated into the service.

Homeowners can also benefit from consultation services to discover and adopt eco-friendly activities in their everyday lives, such as water saving or solar energy utilization.

10. Start Tech Refurbishment or Recycling Business

Recycling old electronics can assist in minimizing pollution by prolonging their useful life and reducing the demand for new production. Every year, over 50 million tons of electronic garbage are generated, with just 17% recycled. Repurposing outdated technology can also help to bridge the digital divide by giving underserved populations access to technology. This zero waste eco-friendly business idea can assist in minimizing the demand for new manufacturing and contribute to a cleaner environment by giving electronics a second chance.

Also, check out How to Start a Solar Panel Recycling Business

11. Make Eco-Friendly Products for Pets

As more individuals value their dogs’ well-being and spend in their care and comfort, the pet sector continues to expand. Eco-friendly dog beds, handmade snacks, bamboo squeakers, and tug toys, may help decrease waste and tap into a rising market of ecologically aware consumers. This eco-friendly small business idea can promote the usage of eco-friendly pet items and inspire people to make better-informed decisions regarding their dogs.

12. Launch Green Pest Control Business

Pest control: eco-friendly small business ideas

Entrepreneurs may earn from this zero waste business idea using ethical pest control solutions . These options include diatomaceous earth, neem, and insect-repelling oils, which are excellent at removing pests while causing minimal environmental damage. Entrepreneurs may cater to this rising industry and develop a lucrative business by providing eco-friendly solutions.

13. Develop Insect Farm

Bugs are a lucrative protein source, and the edible bug industry is predicted to increase at a CAGR of 29% between 2023 and 2032, reaching $16.39 billion by 2032 . Edible insects, with their high protein content and minimal environmental effect, are an appealing choice for sustainable food production and a potential answer to global food security issues. Edible insects may become a common food source in the near future, thanks to the growing appeal of alternative diets and culinary experiences.

14. Sell Medical Marijuana

Opening a dispensary allows you to legally purchase and sell marijuana to patients in a secure and regulated atmosphere. This zero-waste business idea can also benefit the local economy by producing jobs and generating tax income. The Medical Marijuana Market was valued at more than USD 42.65 billion in 2022 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of more than 13% between 2023 and 2032. Investing in this fast-developing business may be a successful endeavor that benefits people’s lives.

15. Start Rain Harvesting Business

Rainwater is collected from rooftops, pavements, and other surfaces and stored in tanks or reservoirs for irrigation, toilet flushing, or drinking water. Filtration systems are used to filter contaminants from collected rainwater. This choice improves the environment and lowers dependency on traditional water sources. You can use this concept and start a business to reduce environmental impact and increase water savings. This is also considered one of the best eco-friendly business ideas for students who can improve water conservation awareness in the community.

Check out 20+ Eco-Friendly Inventions for the Future That Could Save the Planet

16. Upcycle Furniture for Money

innovative environmental business ideas for students

You can also launch your furniture upcycling business by giving old pieces a new touch. To start, plan your business, understand legal and tax responsibilities, and get permits, licenses, and insurance. This zero waste business idea focuses very much on the sustainability and appearance of the furniture pieces , so you need to know your product and promote it well.

17. Start Sustainable Landscaping Business

Traditional gardening techniques are hazardous to the environment, with homeowners using ten times the amount of chemical pesticides on their lawns as farms. This is one of the best zero waste business ideas that include sustainable options such as grasscycling, recycling , composting, roof runoff water collecting, and rainfall sensors. Educating clients about the advantages of organic fertilizers and natural pest control methods may also encourage ecologically responsible gardening practices.

Eco-friendly advice can also help homeowners make their yards greener by using drought-resistant plants and strategically placed trees. Encouraging organic fertilizers and natural pest control methods can also contribute to a greener environment, minimizing water pollution and protecting beneficial wildlife. By avoiding harmful chemicals, homeowners can save water and energy.

18. Choose Eco-Friendly Disposal of Trash and Junk

Ecofriendly disposal: Zero waste business ideas

This is one of the most recommended zero waste business ideas that assist individuals in disposing of unwanted goods. You may assist clients in recovering control of their living surroundings and contribute to a cleaner, more sustainable future by providing effective solutions. With the average American producing 5 pounds of garbage every day, there is an increasing need for professional organizing and decluttering services.

Also See: 10 Sustainable Fashion Business Ideas

19. Support Local Farmers Market

Individuals can make money by selling non-GMO, pesticide-free products at local farmers’ markets as part of the organic movement. This trend has produced a desire for fresh, locally sourced fruits and vegetables, which is benefiting the environment and the local economy. Growers who sell naturally produced fruit have an edge over those who utilize pesticides.

As consumers become more aware of the possible health dangers connected with pesticide-laden vegetables, non-GMO, and pesticide-free products become increasingly attractive. Supporting local farmers minimizes the carbon footprint associated with long-distance transportation, encouraging environmental sustainability even further.

20. Start Bike Repair and Leasing Business

Biking is a healthier alternative to driving, with a smaller carbon footprint. Supporting sustainable transportation can be achieved by becoming a bike expert, offering repair services, or buying old bikes for a makeover before selling/leasing them for profit. Promoting biking can reduce air pollution and improve air quality in communities. Investing in bike infrastructure and creating bike-friendly cities can encourage more people to choose cycling as their primary mode of transportation, leading to reduced traffic congestion and a healthier population.

21. Launch Organic Farming

Organic Farming

Organic farming is a natural and ecologically beneficial technique of producing food that avoids synthetic chemicals. With rising demand, it has the potential to be a successful company that encourages healthy eating choices while conserving our planet’s resources. Animal welfare is prioritized in organic farming, which ensures humane conditions and access to open areas. Farmers may prevent soil erosion, increase soil quality, and contribute to long-term sustainability and biodiversity by using organic agricultural techniques.

Also Read: Why is Sustainable Development Important for Economic Growth?

22. Initiate Composting Service

A composting service business is one of the best zero waste business ideas even for the student community that involves gathering organic waste from homes, and institutions and converting it into nutrient-rich compost. This service diverts rubbish from landfills while also providing useful resources for gardens and landscaping requirements.

With rising environmental consciousness and demand for organic products, establishing a composting service may be a lucrative and rewarding business venture. In this zero waste business idea, collecting garbage from both homes and businesses assures a consistent supply of materials for composting .

23. Launch Sustainable Appeal Products

The Sustainable Appeal Products market is expanding, with an emphasis on developing and distributing ecologically responsible beauty and personal care products. The company employs environmentally friendly materials, eliminates packaging waste, and encourages cruelty-free methods. With the growing demand for eco-friendly products, it has the potential to make money while also contributing to a more sustainable future. The company caters to a rising market of consumers who value sustainability and ethical principles by selling eco-friendly cosmetics and treatment goods.

Also Read: 50+ Eco Friendly Wedding Ideas and Tips to Make Your Wedding Sustainable

24. Open a Thrift Store

Because eco-conscious buyers prefer reusable or recycled things, it is easy to open an online or offline thrift store. Offering a wide range of items, such as toys and reconditioned appliances, decreases waste while still providing cheap solutions. Collaboration with local charities can help to promote sustainability and social responsibility even further.

25. Open a Used Bookstore

eco-friendly small business ideas

Without accounting for shipping, the production and sale of a book produces 40 metric tons of CO 2 . Promote book exchanges and local libraries to lessen environmental effects. These programs promote information sharing, decrease environmental impact, and address concerns of accessibility and cost. Books can be swapped or loaned both in physical stores and online. Connecting readers with a varied range of books via various channels builds a love of literature and promotes lifelong learning in communities.

26. Become an Environmental Fundraiser

Environmental groups are looking for money to help them carry out their work. With writing abilities, someone can become an ecological grant writer or fundraiser. This position includes exploring prospective funding sources, developing appealing applications, and cultivating connections with donors or funding organizations. This is also one of the eco-friendly business ideas for students who can work and obtain the required cash for the organization.

With devotion and grant writing experience, you can increase your chances of receiving this funding. Staying updated on environmental challenges and trends can also help to achieve this goal.

You can also go through these 25 Sustainability in the Workplace Ideas and Practices .

27. Start a YouTube Channel

Make videos demonstrating ecologically friendly concepts such as recycling and composting. Share your knowledge on YouTube and monetize it with advertisements, marketing, and collaborations. This is one of the best zero waste business ideas that not only teaches others about sustainable behaviors but also fosters a community of like-minded people. Reach a larger audience and attract environmentally aware companies. Encourage people to make little efforts toward a more sustainable lifestyle, such as minimizing trash and purchasing local products.

28. Offer Bicycle Tours

Bicycle Tours: eco-friendly business examples

Offering bike tours is a rising part of the tourism business, catering to eco-friendly travel demands and providing visitors with immersive experiences. For bike pilgrims, local tours such as Virginia family bike rides or journeys such as the Camino de Santiago can be planned. Organizing themed excursions, such as wine tours or historical site expeditions, in collaboration with local bike rental providers, can attract varied groups looking for unique and memorable experiences. Listing these excursions with travel agencies can assist in meeting the rising demand for environmentally responsible travel experiences.

29. Setup an Eco-Friendly Dry Cleaning and Laundry Service

A green laundry firm may lessen its environmental effects by using non-toxic alternatives such as wet cleaning, which decreases soil and water pollution and produces less hazardous waste. Not only does this reduce air pollution and chemical exposure for workers and consumers, but it also saves energy by using less electricity than typical dry cleaning techniques. As a result, choosing non-toxic alternatives is critical for a long-term business.

30. Make and Sell Reusable Grocery Bags

grocery bags

Shoppers are embracing reusable bags to avoid plastic waste and environmental damage . These bags, which have compartments and waterproof features, may be tailored for individual customers. This zero waste business idea can also use social media to promote its brand and foster a favorable image among environmentally concerned customers. Governments and organizations are enacting rules to encourage the use of reusable bags, accelerating the transition toward more sustainable shopping behaviors.

Zero waste business ideas are crucial for a sustainable future, as they decrease waste and preserve resources. The provided list includes various innovative and eco-friendly business ideas for students, requiring minimal experience or investment. By exploring these options, students can acquire valuable skills with opportunities to earn extra income.

Recommended: How can the Fashion Industry be more Sustainable?

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Olivia is committed to green energy and works to help ensure our planet's long-term habitability. She takes part in environmental conservation by recycling and avoiding single-use plastic.

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Best Business Ideas for 2023: Sustainability

Sustainability

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After a year of record-breaking temperatures, public awareness about climate change is rising even faster than global sea levels. Sustainable startups are now like hot cakes to investors, and demand for planet-friendly products and services has never been higher.

It's a particularly important issue for the nation's emerging consumer: Gen Z. Research by Dell Technologies shows that almost half of adults aged 18-26 will accept slower economic growth if policymakers invest in fighting climate change.

As the UK readies itself for net zero by 2050, today's businesses now have a legal imperative to cut carbon emissions – clearing the runway for eco-minded entrepreneurs to service demand with clever B2B solutions.

So what businesses will work well in this brave, new sustainable world? Below, we take a look at three areas that are ripe for savvy startups to plant the seeds of growth in 2023.

Green-packaged products

  • Sustainable Consultancy
  • Vegan or Plant-Based Food

Final thoughts

On average, UK households throw away 1.85 billion pieces of plastic a week . While the impending recession is tightening wallets, consumers continue to gravitate towards products with planet-friendly materials as awareness around the war against single-use plastics grows.

The packaging market began moving towards more environmentally-friendly manufacturing methods years ago. As a result, starting a new sustainable business no longer has to mean breaking the bank. It doesn't require a doctorate in environmental sciences either – as Maria Rodriguez can attest.

Rodriguez launched Kind Bag in 2019, after being shocked by the reality of plastic pollution whilst travelling Asia. Inspired, she pooled her savings together to build Kind Bag, the brand that's turning plastic waste into stylish accessories. Every bag is 100% recycled from at least four plastic bottles, and is also entirely recyclable.

When it started, Kind Bag was a first-of-its kind product. Now that more startups are cropping up in this space, the market is increasingly competitive. To stand out, the company has emphasised the aesthetics of its products to make a bag that looks, as well as does , good.

“We have to keep a keen eye on what competitors are doing and analyse what is and isn’t working for them”, says Rodriguez. “From there we can learn what strategies we want to employ and focus on creating our own angle to make us unique.

“We’ve continued to create new collections in collaboration with female artists not only to empower them and amplify their work but also to create something that’s special to Kind Bag and sparks joy in the everyday.”

We have to keep a keen eye on what competitors are doing and analyse what is and isn’t working for them.

Launched in 2020, Wild is another example of a sustainable B2C product making waves in customer shopping baskets. The company is on a mission to eradicate plastic waste from UK bathrooms.

Charles Bowes-Lyon, cofounder of Wild, spotted that bathroom products have historically been mass-manufactured using the cheapest chemicals possible and packaging possible. Wild looks to create high quality, natural products in packaging that is fully-compostable, refillable, and leaves no waste behind.

“I think we were initially quite naïve at how difficult it would actually be to remove plastic from packaging,” says Bowes-Lyon. “We were also self funded and had very little money to iterate with.”

It might have been a challenging route to succeess. But, like Rodriguez, Bowes-Lyon asserts that the road less-travelled can have a bigger impact in a crowded market.

“We felt it was of the utmost importance to create something that was genuinely game-changing,” Bowes-Lyon says. “Only sustainable products that are as good, or better than existing products and convenient to buy have a chance of displacing non-sustainable alternatives.”

Create a sustainable or upcycling clothing line

High-profile reports and investigations into fast fashion brands have resulted in heightened consumer awareness of the environmental issues surrounding the production of clothing – and that means a growing customer base for new businesses to target.

You could tackle a particular niche – such as baby and child clothing, which has an alarmingly short life span for growing kids and their constantly spending parents.

It’s a cheap and simple business model, too. You can set up an online store to sell your upcycled wares for an average fee of just £13 per month. Check out our review of the best ecommerce providers to find the perfect match.

Sustainable re-selling, recycling and refurbishing

Electronic waste, referred to as e-waste, is now the world's fastest growing waste stream. In fact, the UK is on track to become the largest producer of e-waste in Europe per capita by 2024.

Savvy entrepreneurs could venture into the recycling, refurbishing, and re-selling product space. If you’re not feeling ready to take on eBay in year one, consider starting local – your business could fill in a gap in local council e-waste collection while also turning a profit.

Sustainability consultancy

As plenty of businesses – and their staff – become more aware of the environmental impact of their operations, there’s a need for specialist consultancies to help others clean up their carbon footprint.

Sustainable consultancy is on the rise, as 55% of large consultancies – along with 33% of smaller consultancies – begin to push clients towards a net zero design solution by offering it as standard.

The green investment relief fund was also made available in the UK last April, which has slashed rates for businesses that have adopted green improvements – an ideal topic to seek consultancy expertise on.

One startup that's accepting bookings is Treepoints . Adding a whole new level to the idea of sustainable consultancy, the startup has invented a gamified application. Treepoint users can take advantage of a canny rewards system, turning any positive environmental impact into digital ‘tree points’.

“Speaking to friends and family, we understood lots of people are concerned about the climate crisis but find knowing how to do something meaningful about it daunting,” explains Anthony Collias, cofounder of Treepoints. “From this, the idea for Treepoints was born.”

This personalised approach helps users to see exactly how they're making a difference in the climate fight. Individuals and organisations can input details about their lifestyle or operations into the Treepoints calculator.

Based on the results, they can establish a monthly fee to offset the exact amount of emissions and support their favourite environmental schemes like planting trees and collecting plastic.

Lots of people are concerned about the climate crisis but find knowing how to do something meaningful about it daunting.

Also watering the sustainable consultancy hole is Earthly. CEO and cofounder, Oliver Bolton, says the idea for the environmental service came from first-time fatherhood. “I imagined a future conversation with [my son],” Bolton relates, “when he would say to me, ‘You knew what was happening, you knew the severity. Why didn’t you do more?'.”

Earthly differs from rivals with its transparent focus on connecting users to verified, nature-based solutions (NBS) that remove carbon, restore biodiversity, and improve the livelihoods of local communities.

This niche is also important for building consumer confidence in the Earthly model. Trust in offsetting programmes has been shaken following reports that the market leader, Verra, found that more than 90% of its rainforest carbon offsets are worthless.

“There is much more caution around the correct rhetoric to use and being able to back up and green claims used in advertising and communications,” notes Shelby Torrence, Head of Marketing at Earthly.

“In recent months, Earthly’s customers have been looking for increased support on how to communicate their sustainability journeys in the right way.”

There is much more caution around the correct rhetoric to use and being able to back up and green claims used in advertising and communications.

Earthly's website and branding takes care to outline its robust scoring methodology. The startup ranks NBS projects across the world and recommends them to firms based on 64 metrics related to employment, education, equity, health and ecosystem services.

Sustainable waste consultancy

One of the key contributing factors to an SMEs carbon footprint is poor waste management. According to government-funded consultancy Envirowise , 70% of office waste is recyclable, yet just 7.5% reaches a recycling facility on average.

SMEs need external guidance when it comes to sustainable processes like waste management . You could make SMEs aware of the environmental impact they are having, whilst helping get rid of their waste in a way that can increase profitability in a sustainable way.

Launch a sustainable consultancy via an app or online platform

SMEs need information, support and expert guidance to help them reduce carbon emissions. Having a one-stop shop for all things green gives business owners the opportunity to receive support and guidance quickly and easily from consultants and professionals around the UK on one easily accessible platform.

If you have expertise in the sustainability space, why not turn this into an approachable app or website of your own? It’s never been easier or cheaper to create your own business site – check out our best free website builders guide to get started.

Vegan and plant-based food

In 2023, vegan and plant-based food may no longer feel like such a revolutionary business idea. But while there are a lot of companies currently competing for shelf space, few have so far cemented themselves as a household brand.

Currently, 23% of Britons describe themselves as vegan, vegetarian or flexitarian. And the market is still growing as consumers increasingly find alternative, eco-friendly diets easier-to-swallow.

One such winner is Bold Bean Co. While hardly a new idea, legume-based food products have seen a big uplift as a result of campaigns encouraging people to move away from red meat and eat more sustainable, plant-based alternatives.

In just one year, the startup has won listings in Planet Organic, Selfridges, Gorillas, and Waitrose and secured undisclosed investment from “legends” in the food and drink industry.

Then, there's Grubby. Founded by Martin Holden-White in 2019, the company won our Social Impact Award this year for its tireless efforts to get UK consumers eating its plant-based meal kits.

Having noticed the growing trend of convenient, at-home recipe kits amongst consumers, Grubby launched to bring even more value to customers: not just time-saving, but planet-saving.

“There are still barriers that prevent many people from making the shift [to plant-based],” says Holden-White. “These often relate to preconceptions about vegan food lacking flavour, and nutrition, or being difficult to cook.

“Our recipes are a gateway to altering these mindsets and helping consumers on their journey to eating more plant-based in the long term.”

There are preconceptions about vegan food lacking flavour, and nutrition, or being difficult to cook.

So far, Grubby has delivered 500,000 delicious, planet-friendly meals to 38,000 customers in just three years. Most impressively, it's stayed ahead in a market that's now full of new members jostling to get to the top, thanks to innovative ideas like the carbon emission tracker.

Every Grubby recipe is carbon-rated through thorough life cycle assessments of all its ingredients. That means customers can be given a personalised impact dashboard to track their unique footprint versus meat equivalent meals.

Analysing thousands of different ingredients brought challenges. But Holden-White recognises the importance of bring added-value to a customer base that's being bombarded left, right, and centre by sustainable food options.

“We'd been having lots of discussions from inception about how to build something that makes the environmental benefits of eating our meals more tangible to customers,” says Holden-White. “From surveying and talking directly with our customers, we felt strongly about making it happen.”

Launch a vegan restaurant or food stand

What might have seemed niche a few years ago will become the norm from now on. Vegan restaurants and food stands are here to stay, and there is tremendous growth potential in this area.

There’s plenty of room for new businesses, and you could enter the space by adding a vegan twist to a particular cuisine – from a plant-based barbecue joint to a vegan ice-cream stand.

Vegan cooking classes

As Holden-White mentions, there are a lot of preconceptions about vegan cooking that still need to be dismantled. Starting a vegan cooking or baking class is an easy side-hustle that you can use to educate curious meat eaters on the wonders of green recipes.

This kind of business model naturally lends itself to a diverse range of offshoots like a recipe blog, personal chef service, or even a dropshipping store selling branded cooking materials and equipment.

2023 is a new era for sustainability. Small businesses across the country must note that investors are focusing more on ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) when assessing startups and growth opportunities.

Businesses demonstrating sustainable values within their operating models will be much more attractive to funders – and will also be able to reap the benefits of the government’s green business rate relief from 2023.

The sector is full of exciting business opportunities. So do your research, find your niche, and keep your operational model transparent. With these three rules, you'll have a healthy sustainable business plan (and a happier planet as a result).

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