In an age where climate change is one of the first things mentioned in political campaigns and global warming updates are plastered all over the news, people have grown infinitely more aware of the environment. This shift toward an eco-friendly lifestyle has opened up a slew of opportunities for entrepreneurs looking to change the planet and capitalize on the green scene.
Starting a business as a benefit corporation and being completely transparent about your environmental performance could pay dividends, not only for the environment but for your business’s bottom line. According to a 2013 Nielsen study, 50 percent of global consumers surveyed are willing to pay more for services and goods that give back to society.
Better still, there are opportunities available in every industry to start a green business. Eco-friendly companies are no longer limited to organic farms or natural product lines. You can even leverage your expertise in a career you’re passionate about and turn it into a green endeavor with a few simple changes. Check out these ideas for starting a green company in an ordinary, everyday field.
- Financing. In the banking world, the color green is most often associated with money. But it’s also possible make a career in financing an environmentally green endeavor. Consider starting an investment firm that provides capital to renewable energy projects. These developments are only slated to continue growing, which could bode well for any business that bets on going green.
- Information technology. If you’re interested in tech, there are huge opportunities to optimize data centers for efficiency. You could build green servers that cut electricity use or consult with big data companies, such as Google or Facebook, to show them how to run more efficiently. Or you could start your own cloud company, allowing companies to remove their own data centers for maximum energy savings and emissions reduction.
- Plumbing. Plumbing is certainly a dirty job, but there are plenty of ways you can make it cleaner. For example, you could specialize in the installation of low-flow bathroom fixtures that help homeowners conserve water and energy. Or you can focus on recycling materials where possible to reduce waste and lower your company’s footprint.
- Green cleaning. If you have little experience, starting your own green cleaning service can be an easy way to break into the green scene. Go the DIY route and make your own green cleaning products with household ingredients such as vinegar, baking soda or lemon. And because your cleaners will be chemical-free, you can create and generate a loyal client base.
- Event planning. If you like to throw parties, marry that passion with the environment to start your own green event planning business. You could help others throw eco-friendly weddings, birthdays or retirement parties. If you haven’t already, start networking to gain some connections with green catering companies and party supply businesses in the area and you’ll be well on your way to becoming an eco-friendly event planner.
- Fashion. If you love clothes, starting your own fashion line might be the best route for you. To make it a green career, choose to make clothing from organically grown materials that are locally sourced. These fabrics are typically grown without pesticides or herbicides and are not genetically modified. The most common organic fabrics are cotton and wool.
Clint Robertson is a freelance writer who has held numerous positions in the energy industry. His work promotes ways to educate the general population and reduce the carbon footprint by focusing on our need for renewable energy sources.