75+ Best Ideas for Green Business Practices: Eco-Friendly & Sustainable
Do you want to start a business while protecting the environment? This green business idea will help you.
Today, consumers are as attracted to corporate social responsibility (CSR) as they are to corporate products and services.
This is especially good news for eco-business owners.
We feature 75 green business ideas for the green industry to make money and save the planet.
What is a green industrial company?
Green industrial businesses use sustainable materials to make their products. Green industrial businesses seek to use as little water, energy, and raw materials as possible while reducing CO2 emissions or looking for ways to use these materials in renewable and environmentally friendly ways. This business approach minimizes the company’s impact on natural resources and its contribution to climate change. In some cases, the waste generated will be reused as energy or raw materials.
What is an environmentally friendly business model?
Using traditional business models, companies outline the raw material budget, the design process, and the method of product delivery or distribution. The green business model, while providing sufficient revenue, emphasizes minimizing the company’s impact on the environment rather than maximizing profits. This may include the limited use of fossil fuels while highlighting the energy provided by solar panels and other approaches to drastically reducing energy consumption.
How to start an environmentally friendly business?
As consumers became interested in CSR, more green businesses emerged, but the problem of climate change needed many solutions. To start an eco-friendly business, you first need to identify green services that nobody in your market currently offers. Then think of similarly environmentally conscious people who know who to ask to join your team.
At the start of your green business, change your lifestyle to reflect your company’s values and services.
Which company is environmentally friendly?
Green companies include outdoor clothing brands, companies that make reusable plastic bottles, green cleaning companies, companies that install solar panels, local recycling companies, and many other potential businesses.
This list includes sustainable and eco-friendly business ideas, both product and services, for you to love our planet and profit also.
Wind power developer
Become a developer for wind farms that produce clean sustainable energy. Find suitable locations and negotiate with landowners for leasing rights for wind farms. You do not necessarily need to own the land to develop and begin a wind farming business. Most wind farms are on leased land.
Builder of wind farms
Specialize in the building of wind farm turbines and construction to produce eco-friendly energy. There are very specific building requirements that need to be adhered to of what you could become a specialist.
Wind Farm consultant
As alternative energy industries expand so do the opportunities for Consulting for legal, building and marketing, and land use rights. If you have knowledge and experience in this industry your expertise is highly valued and could be sold at a profit.
The use of geothermal energy is on the rise. There is a growing demand for power plants that use the steam produced from hot water reservoirs below the Earth’s surface. Companies are needed to create these sources of clean Alternative Energy.
Solar energy consultant
As the solar energy industry explodes with booming growth so do your profit opportunities. Consultants are in demand both for manufacturers of panel equipment and also for traditional energy providers such as electric companies. You can advise them on how they can utilize solar energy to be more eco-friendly and sustainable.
Solar energy equipment manufacturer
There is a growing demand for all types of energy-saving panels and equipment for homes, businesses, event venues, 0utdoor restaurants, and recreational vehicles plus for seasonal uses such as holiday lights displays. All of these uses of solar energy require special equipment that you could design, manufacture, and sell.
Solar energy installer
Many local municipalities, like mine, offer generous financial incentives to homeowners that switch to solar energy. So there is a growing demand for solar installers you could fill.
Reusable shopping bags
Design and market attractive and convenient reusable shopping bags. Many towns are banning the use of plastic grocery bags so this opportunity is growing. Get creative and make your designs stand out. My local stores’ best-sellers are reuseable bags with dog breed designs.
Plant nursery Organic
Plants both indoor and outdoor help to clean the air from toxins and pollution. As such encouraging gardeners and interior designers to use more plants yield cleaner for everyone. Your plant nursery can specialize in organically-grown plants and those better suited to your local environment. These types of plants are hardier, require little-to-no fertilizer or pesticide. Expand your offerings to include organic fertilizers, compost, and soil amendments.
Sadly pollinating insect communities dwindle the need for bees is growing dramatically. You can raise bees and sell or lease your hive to local farmers for pollination of their crops. Also, you can harvest and sell bee products such as honey, honeycomb, and beeswax.
An innovative way to create natural fertilizer is to start a worm farm. The worm castings can be sold to customers for organic plant fertilizer.
Herds of goats are efficient and eco-friendly brush mowers. Because goats will eat virtually anything, including poison ivy, they’re ideal for clearing dense brush out of hard to reach areas. This need for dense brush cleaning is becoming more important around suburban areas because these types of brambles can attract dangerous animals into heavily populated areas such as bears and wolves. Bring your goat herd to your customer’s property. Then set up a portable fence and let them eat their way into your profits. There is no electricity or gasoline used to clear this brush and so that’s good for the environment. Also when your goats are not out working you can harvest their goat’s milk.
Plant delivery service
Help businesses and people have cleaner indoor air by delivering plants to their location. An offshoot of this business would be a plant maintenance service that many businesses, apartment buildings, hotels, and restaurants hire to maintain their indoor plants.
Green retail store
A good niche retail idea would be to have a store that sells strictly green, eco-friendly, and sustainable products. Your inventory could include gifts, toys, apparel, and food items.
While this may not seem like a green business idea it is because many individuals and businesses dispose of items improperly. They are either unaware or unwilling to recycle to protect our environment. With your environmental knowledge, you could offer a service to dispose of these items responsibly. This would mean following all local recycling rules, selling and or donating items, and educating the general public about eco-friendly garbage practices.
Bicycles are a great way to drastically reduce the carbon emissions spewing out of automobiles. Encourage more people to ride their bikes by selling bicycles, teaching riders, and hosting riding events. Your store could be part of your community’s local movement to include more bike paths and safe biking lanes. This would allow residents to more easily commute to work and use their bicycles for local shopping errands.
Scooter and moped sales
while bicycles are a zero-emission transportation option some people are unable or uninterested in bicycling. Those people would be good prospects for scooters or mopeds as an option to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Or perhaps you could specialize in electric bikes and segways.
Environmentally friendly car dealer
Open a car dealership that focuses entirely on environmentally friendly cars. These days technology is moving forward rapidly with many types of electric, hybrid, and alternative-fuel car models. Your company could be a source for car buyers to compare the different types of sustainable options before purchase.
Electric car charging stations
As more people buy electric cars there is a greater need for charging stations. Use your charging station as a way to bring in customers and then upsell them something else. You could sell coffee, snacks, phone charging, tech accessories, and newspapers.
Car sharing service
Automobiles are the single most polluting technology in America. If you can help people drive their cars less you can dramatically reduce this environmental impact. Consider starting a ride-sharing service or a park and ride lot near a commuter hub.
By reselling used books you are saving the landfill and being kind to your Mother Earth. There’s a huge inventory of old books available to sell. You could open a retail store or sell them online.
One of the best ways you can support green living is to educate the public through sustainable media. This could be a blog, website, newspaper, or magazine. Many people would be better stewards of the earth if they were better informed. This could be your mission and business model.
Thrift consignment store
Selling used clothing is eco-friendly recycling which reduces waste. You could open your store in a fixed retail location or as a mobile business a pop-up store or an online thrift shop.
Printer ink refill
Computer printer cartridges create masses of unnecessary landfill. Reduce non-bio-degradable waste by starting an ink refill business. While many offices are transitioning to paperless systems there is still plenty of paper being printed in homes and offices every day.
Local food distributor
Consumers and restaurants want to eat food that is locally grown and prepared. Your food brokerage company could specialize in distributing locally grown or manufactured food items to businesses and individuals.
Vegan organic chef & educator
The single biggest way that any individual can reduce the environmental impact on the earth is to begin eating a vegan diet reports the researchers at the University of Oxford. They discovered that by eliminating meat and dairy products a person’s carbon footprint is reduced by 73%. Your company could educate people and teach them how to cook delicious vegan meals for the better health of their bodies and our planet.
In communities that do not have a local farmer’s market, you could start one. You do not need to own any land because many cities will offer you parks, shopping centers, or parking lots to set up your vendor booths. In fact, in my town, there is an unused prior furniture showroom in the downtown area that is used every Saturday for an indoors Farmers Market that is very popular.
Vendor in a Farmer’s market
Start small by renting a booth in your local farmer’s market. Begin by selling a variety of green products such as locally grown produce, organic garden fertilizers, sustainable fashions, and plants.
The public is becoming more aware of the unsustainable floral growing practices practiced across the globe. Now there is a demand for organic and sustainable floral arrangements. This could be your business opportunity to sell eco-friendly flowers and plants.
This is a term that refers to landscape design that incorporates drought-tolerant plants and decorative rocks eschewing lawn turn and water-hungry plants. This is often used in desert climates but can be utilized anywhere to conserve water usage. It is a benefit to the homeowner because it requires less maintenance, is less costly, and supports a healthy planet due to reduced water, fertilizer, and pesticide usage.
Think about opening a restaurant that serves locally sourced food that is organic and eco-friendly. Be sure to include vegetarian and vegan options. But please do not forget to include some humanely raised animal products on your menu.
Juice and Smoothie Bar
These healthy snack spots are becoming increasingly popular. Yours could focus on using organic and sustainable food ingredients in interesting recipes. In addition to making a profit, you would be helping people live a healthier life.
Organic health coach
This business model is to help people eat clean and healthy food. You will counsel them on their nutritional needs, coaching them to follow a diet of organic, locally grown products.
Become a travel agent and plan vacations that are eco-friendly and nature-oriented for tourists and businesses. Experts report that green travel is growing at three times the rate of the travel tourism industry. Some of the most popular eco-tourism trips are for birders, hikers, scuba divers, gardeners, bicyclists, and campers.
Green Transportation Service
Your company can stand out from the standard taxi or limousine service by offering rides using biofuel, electric and hybrid cars. If you are in a city or a tourist destination consider investing in pedicabs.
Bicycle tour guide
Do you know your local area and love to ride your bike? If so then combine the two and launch bicycle tour companies. Touring your city on a bicycle is more eco-friendly and healthier for local visitors. You do not need to own a fleet of bicycles. Either use bicycle rentals or request that your clients use their own bicycles. Plus you could expand this business idea into a bicycle event company that organizes races, charity drives, and party rides for bike enthusiasts.
Environmentally concerned businesses and brides are looking for sustainable event planners. This type of event planning would focus on reducing the event’s carbon footprint.
Organic Salon and Spa
Traditional salons use harsh chemicals that harm the environment. Your concept would be to focus on completely organic treatments that are beautiful for your clients and kind to Mother Nature.
Natural skincare products
Create your own natural skincare line which could include hair products, home fragrances, and soaps. Use organic naturally sustainable materials and eco-friendly manufacturing practices. Consider selling your items in a farmer’s market or health food store. These are locations where your target customers most likely shop.
Homeowners and businesses want to reduce their costs and their carbon footprint by using less energy. You can help them by auditing their energy use and then recommending ways to save energy and use alternative energy options.
Green business consultant
Many businesses, both large and small, want to make their companies greener and more environmentally friendly. You can help them by showing them how to run a paper-free office, reduce manufacturing waste, and implement sustainable practices.
Urban garden planner
Design and plant sustainable gardens in urban areas to help families feed themselves with healthy freshly grown produce.
Community Garden advocate & educator
Help your neighbors by setting up a community garden for everyone to share. Utilize fallow land such as abandoned. construction zones, unused parks, and museum grounds for your community garden.
Our fragile environment needs to be protected by laws. If you are an attorney you could provide legal services that enforce environmental law and hold companies accountable for the violation.
Carbon Offsetting Dealer
Carbon offsetting is a system of buying credits for emissions. These monies are then used to finance energy projects to reduce the carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. Businesses and organizations working to reduce their carbon footprints by participating in these programs.
Consider starting a composting business that picks up green waste and then delivers finished compost to homeowners, gardeners and lawn care companies, and plant nurseries. The profit potential is high because you only use free materials.
Green cleaning company
Cleaning businesses are easy to start, offer expansion opportunities, and can be very profitable. Your eco-friendly cleaning services would use green products to clean homes and businesses safely.
Indoor air pollution is a very real concern for homeowners, businesses, and public facilities. Dust and dirt can get trapped in air ducts preventing heating and air conditioning systems from working properly and consuming too much energy. Your green business would be regularly cleaning air ducts from homes, businesses, hotels, and restaurants to cut energy consumption and improve indoor air quality.
Environmental grant writer
Many worthwhile environmental organizations and non-profit companies need help applying for grants. You could become a fundraiser and grant writer to earn money. This is especially fulfilling because you help support their mission.
Upcycling is the process of taking an existing item and remaking it beautifully to be reused instead of adding it to landfills. This is a hot trend you can profit from. Your company would use recycled materials and build furniture and home decor for people’s homes or offices.
Custom crafted clothing
Forget fast fashion! It is a nightmare for our economy and the environment. Instead, utilize recycled materials, vintage outfits, and sustainable fabrics to create one-of-a-kind clothing items. This practice is called Refashioning. Your handmade clothing could be sold online, at craft shows, fashion shows, flea markets, or local boutiques.
Most toys sold in major retailers are made with unsustainable materials, contain possibly irritating chemicals, and are not recyclable. Offer parents an eco-friendly alternative by creating toys out of sustainable material that is safe from toxic fumes and will last generations.
One of the fastest-growing segments of the construction industry is eco-friendly buildings. Whether it’s refurbishing existing homes using sustainable materials or building using green practices these are lucrative business opportunities. Need name ideas for your construction company
Tiny home builder
The current trend towards tiny houses, those with less than 1000 square feet, is sweeping the nation. Design and build these homes for clients to reduce their carbon footprint and become minimalists. Some homes are built on traveling chassis while others are meant for a more semi-permanent situation.
Shipping container construction
Instead of using new building supplies materials to construct homes and offices use a sturdy shipping container as the basis for creating new space. Beautifully innovative structures can be built. My husband’s first home was constructed from two shipping containers.
Wood Pallet Furniture
Wooden pallets are free sources of usable would that can be recycled into hundreds of attractive items including furniture, toys, and planters.
Minimalism training & shopping consultant
A creative way to help the environment would be to train people to use and buy less. You could sell services as an organizer and shopping consultant to help them live a minimalist lifestyle supporting our planet. Every person that you coach to purchase less helps reduce waste.
Use your woodworking talents to create products out of nature’s best sustainable material – wood. These items would replace those created from plastic reducing manufacturing waste and increasing the wear time of the item.
Efficient Lighting supplier
Lighting, both interior, and exterior is a major factor in electric usage. Think about designing and selling super-efficient lighting fixtures and bulbs to reduce their electric usage.
Herbal Health Treatments
The pharmaceutical industry is one of the largest polluters on Earth. Fight this pollution by selling herbal remedies made from natural, or organic plant items. Your products and supplements would be made naturally and sustainably and help people to use less conventional medicine.
Start farming organically to support people’s health and our planet. If you have a small amount of land you could grow specialty items for local markets and restaurants.
Improve the neighborhood and the world by designing new buildings sustainably.
When people live together in a commune type community the carbon footprints of the neighborhood are drastically reduced. This is because everyone shares items such as tools, appliances, and vehicles which reduces which cuts down waste.
Cooperative Buying club
Begin a cooperative to bring people together and share resources and buying power. Members benefit from lower costs, manufacturers appreciate bulk orders and you profit from the membership fees and profit margin on the item.
Green venture capital
Invest venture capital, your business partners, in companies that are green, eco-friendly, and sustainable. This helps these start-up firms to help our planet.
Many intelligent and compassionate individuals want to invest their financial assets into environmentally conscious businesses. You could be their financial planner to ensure they both get a good return on their capital and support sustainable companies.
Rescue technology devices from the landfill by refurbishing tech gadgets and reselling them at a profit. This could be part of a computer repair business or a mobile phone shop. This industry has a trade organization that supports nonprofits by refurbishing technology and providing it low-cost or free.
Developing mobile apps is extremely environmentally friendly. To begin with, there is little to no waste products that need to be disposed of as opposed to other forms of manufacturing. Design apps that help people to become more environmentally friendly. Examples of such apps are ones that help people monitor and reduce their water usage, find and buy sustainable products, locate recycling centers, and purchase used goods instead of new items.
Organic dog food and products
Pet owners are buying billions of organic pet food annually. Develop products such as food, treats, shampoos, and flea treatments.
Sustainable Building Materials
America is rethinking its use of building materials and you can be part of that growing trend. Design and manufacture eco-friendly products for builders to use for infrastructure, buildings, and homes.
Recycled construction supplies
Reusing existing materials is better than manufacturing new ones and straining our Earth’s resources. Start a company that repurposes construction supplies and materials for reuse. This could be a retail store of wood, windows, doors, and cabinets that are excess from building projects. Or it could be antique vintage shop reusing materials from demolished buildings for decor.
Buy a green franchise
Buying a franchise business can be a wise investment. These are business models that have been proven successful. Here is a list of green franchise opportunities that will allow you to make money and care for our environment.
Green Errand service
Start a service that offers to run errands for busy families and small businesses in your neighborhood. By you combining all these errands your client saves time and money. You use less gas and the environment thanks you. Drive or a hybrid or electric vehicle for your green errand business for a double environmental win. The national household transportation survey discovered that car trips of under 1 mile add up to over 10 billion miles per year. If errand services were able to reduce half of these short trips it would reduce CO2 emissions by 2 million metric tons annually. That is similar to taking 400,000 cars off the road every year. Help your neighbors get their chores done and reduce pollution.
Organic poultry farming
Small farms can reap profits by organically farming chickens. By raising meat on pasture you are being both environmentally sound and animal-friendly. Consumers are willing to pay more for humanely farmed poultry.
Organic lawn care
Traditional lawn fertilizers and pesticides can harm our environment. Offer a healthier alternative with organic lawn care services.