Need a job? Here are 28 eco-friendly business ideas
Some consumers may be interested in composting food waste to help the environment, but not all of them have a use for the end result. You could start a business that collects composted material from homes or businesses and sells it to gardeners or farmers.
2. Green dry cleaning
Traditional dry cleaning can involve chemicals considered harmful to both the body and the environment. Machines that use the common dry cleaning solvent perchloroethylene (also known as perc) will be banned in California by 2023. Meanwhile, the emerging field of green dry cleaning uses alternatives that are safer for people and the planet.
3. Green junk removal
With growing awareness about waste and trash filling up landfills, it’s possible to start a business that collects and disposes of household or business trash in a sustainable way. Green junk removal companies will donate, recycle and reuse items to keep them out of landfills.
4. Clothing resale shop
A business owner could open a shop that sells secondhand clothing to give it more life before it’s discarded. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, landfills received 11.2 million tons of municipal solid waste textiles in 2017 (the latest available data from the EPA).
5. Other resale businesses
In addition to clothes, there are plenty of other resale businesses you could start to sell goods still in great condition so they don’t get trashed. For example, you could sell:
- Secondhand books
- Gently used furniture
- Used electronics
6. Green building
There’s a demand for eco-friendly builders, both for homes and commercial businesses. This field is large enough that there are a variety of ways to get involved. It could mean creating or using sustainable construction materials or installing renewable energy sources, such as solar power (more on this later). Obtaining Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification can help demonstrate commitment and expertise on green building.
7. Green beauty salon
Entrepreneurs interested in the beauty industry could open a hair salon, nail salon or spa that specializes in green practices, including:
- Using products without toxic chemicals and/or made via organic farming
- Having waterless pedicures
8. Eco-friendly consulting
While many businesses want to reduce their carbon footprint, they don’t always know how to get started. Consider becoming a green consultant who does energy audits to help businesses understand how much they’re currently using, and then advising them on how to adopt more sustainable business practices.
9. Upcycled goods
Creative and artistic types could create a business turning “junk” into sellable goods rather than letting them go to waste. One common example is turning used wine bottles into candles or lamps. You can sell your goods on sites like Etsy, at local craft or farmers markets or in local shops.
10. Green house cleaning
There may be demand for home cleaning businesses that use green products that are safer for the environment and families.
Image Credit: MIND_AND_I/iStock.
11. Green pest control
Some eco-friendly businesses offer safer, earth-friendly pest control solutions, including:
- Ant, termite and bedbug treatments
- Cockroach and rodent exterminations
Commercial services could be an option, too.