Today’s entrepreneurs are embracing sustainability and eco-friendly living now more than ever before.
Inspired by new consumer trends, recent breakthroughs in technology and locally sourced materials, many new companies are focusing on greening. Some are even building their entire business model around sustainability and environmental consciousness.
1. Organic Catering
A green catering company is a great idea for those who want to make a living in the food service industry. There are plenty of options here, from sourcing locally grown fruits and vegetables to using free-range meat for entrees. Remember to offer vegan, gluten-free and paleo alternatives, too.
If your business revolves around another profession, you can take advantage of organic catering when hosting luncheons, conferences and special events. This is a great way to show your commitment to green living and reward your most valuable employees with a catered lunch.
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2. Green Finance
Your business’ finances can be green, too. A rather recent concept, green finance is a term that generally refers to investments made to eco-friendly initiatives. Many organizations adopted green finance strategies of their own in 2016, including companies from all corners of the globe. According to some reports, 2016 was the most successful year for green finance thus far.
3. Making Your Building Green
Some companies are applying their greening efforts a little bit closer to home.
By having your commercial building inspected according to The LEED Green Building Rating System, you’ll be given specific information regarding your energy, water and material usage. Such data can be used to make upgrades and improvements as necessary.
LEED currently offers four different certification levels: Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum. To reach Platinum certification, a company must receive the highest possible ratings in all seven categories. These categories include sustainability, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, design innovation and regional priority.
4. Fashion Design
Given the general aesthetics and price tag of modern fashion, many don’t think of this niche in terms of its eco-friendliness or sustainability. However, with the recent push for green living in all aspects of our lives, some of the most savvy and innovative fashion designers are starting to integrate cloth scraps and upcycled clothing into their newest designs.
A number of brands are already well-known for their use of recycled materials. Some of the top names include Freedom of Animals, SVILU, Amour Vert, Kowtow and even the H&M Conscious Collection. More brands and designers will likely join the movement as the trend of green fashion continues to grow.
5. Green Software
Many young professionals are getting their start by developing useful apps that cater to the green or eco-friendly crowd. Some of the current green apps provide suggestions on green products, tools for tracking your personal carbon footprint, utilities for optimizing your vehicle’s fuel economy and more.
The plethora of current apps might make it difficult to come up with a unique idea of your own, but there are plenty of untapped opportunities waiting for tech-savvy, eco-conscious entrepreneurs. You might even consider pursuing an entry-level role with a company that already promotes their own greening strategies as a way of getting your foot in the door.
Landscaping is one of the easiest and most straightforward businesses to start on your own. After all, thousands of teenagers mow lawns, trim hedges and water plants during the summer months. While summer gigs probably won’t be enough to make a living, those who are able to provide their landscaping services year-round will certainly have enough income to pay the bills.
This line of work also presents plenty of opportunities for pushing the green movement. Clients who are unsure of what they want can almost always be swayed by literature in promotion of green landscaping, while those who are set in their ways are typically open to sustainability; as long as it doesn’t interfere with their final vision.
Green Opportunities Abound
As this list is by no means exhaustive, you should have a clearer picture on some of the entrepreneurial opportunities available for eco-conscious professionals. When treading this water yourself for the first time, remember to think outside the box, draw inspiration from everything around you and, most importantly, follow your heart.