March 29, 2017

50 Green Business Ideas for Startup Entrepreneurs


50 Green Business Ideas for Startup Entrepreneurs

If you’re an environmentalist and an entrepreneur, there are plenty of ways you can combine those two passions into a successful environmentally conscious business. There are even some green business opportunities out there that can allow you to offer eco-friendly products and services to your customers. Here are 50 green business ideas for environmentally conscious entrepreneurs.

Green Business Ideas

Green Building Materials

Green Business Ideas - Green Building Materials

There are plenty of homeowners out there looking for ways to make their homes more sustainable. So you can build a business supplying them with green building materials like solar powered shingles and efficient insulation.

Recycler

With all the different recyclable materials out there, including paper, plastic, cardboard and aluminum, there are plenty of opportunities for you to collect those materials from consumers and recycle them into usable materials.

Trash Collection

You can also help consumers by offering a service that picks up large trash items and disposes of them properly.

Farmer’s Market Vendor

Selling local produce and food materials is inherently eco-friendly, since it eliminates the need to transport food items for long distances after the production process. So if you grow or make food, you can sell it at local farmer’s markets to fill that need.

Organic Food Stand

You might also consider selling more finished food products by starting a food stand that sells organic snacks or meals to passers-by.

Organic Caterer

If you want to build a more full-scale food operation, you can also start a catering business that specializes in organic and sustainable food options.

Green Blogger

For entrepreneurs that are more focused on writing, you can start a blog about environmental topics and then make money through advertising or selling green products of some kind.

Specialty Landscape Designer

If you want to work outside and have some knowledge about sustainable landscape design, you can offer your services to customers who want a really efficient landscaping setup for their homes that doesn’t use a lot of water or other resources.

Eco-Friendly Fashion

Fashion designers or retailers, you can start a clothing line or retail store that uses sustainable or recycled materials in clothing items.

Shipping Crate Offices

For many different types of businesses, you can go green by carefully considering the actual office space that you use. You might even start a green business inside a recycled office, like inside an old shipping container.

Recycling Inventions

The possibilities are endless when it comes to inventions that can potentially help the earth. You can even create something relatively low tech that can help people recycle or do other eco-friendly activities.

Eco-Friendly Beauty Salon

Beauty products are notoriously filled with chemicals and other harmful materials. But you can start a beauty salon that uses more natural products to target environmentally conscious consumers.

Upcycling Furniture

Green Business Ideas - Upcycling Furniture

Furniture is a product that uses a lot of materials. But you can reduce that impact as a furniture seller by utilizing older pieces and recycling other materials in the production process.

Recycled Fashion

Likewise, you can utilize older clothing and materials to make re-styled items and then sell those items in a handmade shop or local boutiques.

Green App Developer

Mobile applications can be incredibly helpful for a variety of functions. So you can also develop mobile apps designed to help people with environmentally friendly functions, like finding recycling centers or learning about the environmental practices of different brands.

Sustainable Event Planner

Events offer another opportunity for you to make an environmental impact. You can offer event planning services to environmental organizations or other groups, but ad an eco-friendly twist on things like food and decorations.

Green House Cleaner

Cleaning supplies aren’t known as being especially eco-friendly. But you can substitute some more natural materials and methods and build a strong niche as a green house cleaner.

Air Duct Cleaner

Air ducts can also have a big impact on the air quality and other environmental factors. So offering a service cleaning air ducts in people’s homes or other buildings can be another green business idea.

Bicycle Repair

Traveling by bicycle is inherently more eco-friendly than driving. So you can encourage bicycle travel in your community by offering bicycle repair services.

Green Business Consultant

You can also help other businesses go green by consulting with them to help them build more sustainable business practices.

Eco-Friendly Soap Maker

Or you can build a handmade business by making soap with natural materials and ingredients.

Composter

It’s not the cleanest of businesses, but if you have the space and resources, you can start a composting operation on your property and then sell the service to local gardeners or customers that don’t have the space or desire to compost on their own.

Used Bookstore

Books use a lot of paper and other resources in the production process. But you can sell used books to reduce that impact and give new life to old products.

Seller of Energy Efficient Lighting

Lighting uses a lot of energy. But you can start a business by selling lighbulbs and other lighting materials that are actually efficient.

Glass Artist

Green Business Ideas - Glass Artist

Glass can be recycled in a number of ways. But you can also use it as a material for art or craft projects, ranging from stained glass items to glass beads for jewelry.

Eco-Friendly Toy Seller

You can also create toys that are made with eco-friendly or recycled materials.

Second Hand Store Owner

To give new life to a variety of older products, you can open a consignment or second-hand store, which can also keep many of those items out of landfills.

Tech Refurbisher

When people get new smartphones, computers or tablets, their devices often just sit unused or get thrown away. But you can start a business as a refurbisher to repurpose those devices and sell them to customers who could use less expensive versions.

Ink Refill Business

Ink cartridges for printers can also be expensive and potentially wasteful. So you can start a business refilling them so that customers can get more use out of them instead of continuing to buy new ones.

Herbal Remedy Provider

There are lots of herbal remedies out there for different ailments, many of which are made with natural materials. You can produce your own foods and supplements that are made naturally and sustainably.

Green Publisher

If you want to spread the word about certain environmental initiatives or trends, you can work as a publisher of a green publication like a magazine or even an online newsletter.

Environmental YouTube Channel

You can also start a YouTube channel dedicated to showcasing green products or trends.

Sustainable Podcaster

Or you can even focus just on the audio and start a sustainable podcast.

Green Software Developer

For techie entrepreneurs, there are plenty of opportunities to build a business developing software. You can even focus on building software programs made specifically to help businesses or individuals with environmental activitiies.

Solar Panel Installer

More and more consumers and businesses are beginning to consider solar power. So you can build a business installing solar panels on roofs and other areas so your clients can utilize that green power source.

Organic Gift Shop

You can also start a local gift shop that focuses specifically on products that use natural and organic materials.

Sustainable Farmer

If you have the land and the resources, you can also start an organic farm on your property and produce and sell a variety of different food items.

Green Fair Organizer

If you want to start your own event series, you can create a fair that is environmentally focused and then charge admission or even obtain sponsors.

Electric Car Dealership

Electric cars are slowly gaining popularity. So you could open a dealership that specifically works with automotive brands that sell electric or hybrid models.

Electric Car Charging Station

With that increasing popularity, charging stations for electric vehicles are also becoming more of a necessity. So you could use that as a jumping-off point to start a business as well.

Car Sharing Service

The fewer people driving their own cars on the road, the less impact those vehicles are likely to have on the environment. So by starting a ride sharing service, you’re potentially decreasing the carbon footprint of some of those drivers.

Environmental Lawyer

If you’re a lawyer with a passion for the earth, you can build a practice that specifically works on issues related to the environment.

Solar Powered Bike Café

Not all coffee businesses require dedicated locations or lots of supplies. You can actually start a mobile coffee business on a bike, and use solar energy to power your equipment.

Bicycle Tours

If you live in an area that’s popular for tourists, you can potentially start a business as a tour guide. And to add a sustainable twist, you can have guests ride bikes around rather than taking a bus or other vehicle.

Pool Cleaner

During the warm months, you can offer your services as a pool cleaner and make sure you use sustainable products and methods.

Juice or Smoothie Bar

Juice and smoothie bars are becoming increasingly popular. You can open one that specifically focuses on using organic and sustainable ingredients.

Green Florist

Likewise, you can focus on organic and sustainable flowers and plants and open a specialty florist shop.

Gift Basket Service

Gift baskets remain popular for a variety of events and occasions. You can build a gift basket business that specializes in organic products or sustainable materials.

Food Plant Nursery

You can also encourage others to eat sustainable food by helping them grow their own. You can do so through opening a nursery that sells food plants to customers.

Green Bed and Breakfast

If you’re more aligned with the hospitality industry, consider opening a bed and breakfast and keeping your location running with minimal power and using organic ingredients for the meals you serve — or  sourcing as much of that food as possible locally.

Solar RoofUpcycled FurnitureGlass ArtFarmer Photos via Shutterstock

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Annie Pilon - Staff Writer


Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found on her personal blog Wattlebird, and exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

2 Reactions

  1. Aira Bongco

    I think that green businesses are slowly becoming more and more popular because of the fact that people are becoming more environment-conscious.

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