Eco-entrepreneurs small business

Published on August 8th, 2016 | by Carolyn Fortuna

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Top Ten Ideas for Starting Your Own Green Small Business

A Two-Part Article

PART I:  Five of 2016’s most popular ideas for starting a green small business

You’re an advocate for saving our planet through environmental awareness.  You do all you can to spread the word about how to live a green life. Maybe now it’s time to take the next step.  You can encourage others to Go Green by starting your own eco-friendly small business.

small business

The market for sustainable consumption is growing quickly, as more and more people are seeking green alternatives to their favorite products and services.  If you’re ready to take the plunge into green entrepreneurship, here is a list of the Top Ten Ideas for getting started. And, because there’s a lot to learn, this article is broken into two parts. Check back for the second in this series in our next installment.

  1. Green baby boutique

An eco-friendly baby boutique has real potential to be profitable.  Like any small business, however, it needs careful planning.  Say you decide to sell organic baby clothing.  Choose a name like “The Green Baby” to confer your eco-focus.  Also, according to Melinda Gaines in The Houston Chronicle, if you choose to sell online, be sure to acquire a domain name and “e-commerce solution package, complete with web hosting, a shopping cart, editing software and design templates.”

  1. Recycled jewelry business

Versatility is the key to success in recycled jewelry. Yes, have a keen eye for materials that might be repurposed or interesting items that could be bundled together for a contemporary flair.  Jewelry artist Carolina Gonzalez suggests that you don’t limit yourself to selling recycled jewelry, however.  Also teach classes or workshops.  Sell tutorials online. Design kits. Become a gem seller. And, if you have html knowledge, you could offer website design services to other jewelers.  A recycled jewelry business will need space, organization, and light to photograph your featured items.  A simple lightbox, digital camera, and tripod are necessary.

  1. Socially responsible investing firm

What is sustainable, responsible, and impact investing? SRI is an investment discipline that considers environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG).  In the United States, at least $7 trillion is invested in strategies focused on environmental, social, and corporate governance causes, according to The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment. Investing based on social and environmental ideals is gaining momentum. That’s because younger investors, women, and new political forces are supporting sustainable businesses with their stock portfolios, according to Jeff Benjamin at Investment News.  So, if you were the teacher’s pet in statistics and probability, this one’s for you.

  1. Green house cleaning

According to Diane Maceachern of Care2, more and more consumers are rejecting cleaning products that contain chemicals and impede breathing. Many good green cleaning products are already available in the marketplace, so production isn’t necessary.  It’s up to you to research and determine what your catalog will contain, where you will house it, and how you will market it.  Derek Markham on Ecoprenterist reinforces the potential for this eco-business, as he says a healthier workplace will create a better working environment for employers and their employees.

    6. Sustainable fashion

Ethical and sustainable fashion is gaining popularity in many circles.  Emma Watson’s work with People Tree, which promotes sustainable and fair trade fashion, has been in the news.  So, too, has Ben Affleck’s collaboration with Toms, the charitable shoe line which supports the Eastern Congo Initiative. Nicole Fallon Taylor on Business News Daily says that organic cotton and reused fabric scraps can be the basis for a green fashion line.  You can create silk screen artwork on eco-friendly T-shirts. Or design handbags and accessories made of recycled materials. How do you make sure your fashion line is sustainable? According to Green Living, a sustainable line should have some of the following.  Made in the U.S. Secondhand. Vegan friendly.  Fair trade. Organically harvested.  Non-toxic.  Custom-made.

PART II: In our final installment, we’ll share 2016’s final Top Ideas for Starting Your Own Green Business.

Photo Credit: Foter by  HALDANE MARTIN

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About the Author

writes from her home in Chepachet, RI, where she advocates with her lake association for chemical-free solutions to eradicate invasive species. She’s an organic gardener, nature lover, and semi-vegetarian (no red meat since 1980) who draws upon digital media literacy and learning to spread the word about sustainability issues. Please follow me on Twitter and Facebook and Google+



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