If you find the idea of being your own boss an attractive one, but are concerned about how to balance being a business tycoon with living a green lifestyle, then read on. Here are 10 green and/or ethical business ideas that you could start this year that do not require large sums of money to get off the ground. If you find any of the ideas of appealing then stay tuned for more tips on starting and running a green business.
1. Greener cleaning
A lot of people these days have less time on their hands and more of us are hiring domestic cleaners. How about starting a green cleaning company that only uses green cleaning products? You could even take this a step further and make all of your own greener cleaning products from household ingredients such as vinegar and lemons.
2. Homemade beauty products
A lot of commercially produced beauty and cosmetic products contain ingredients that can be harmful to the environment, such as microbeads and palm oil. How about making your own range of simple, homemade beauty products that contain all natural ingredients? Bear in mind that this industry has a lot of regulations around safety so make sure you do your homework.
3. Garden gifts
If you have a particularly crafty talent, how about using it to make gifts for use in the garden? Encouraging people to have a go at gardening, even if it is simply growing some herbs in a pot, will help wildlife in gardens and reduce food mileage. How about making cards that contain seeds which can then be planted or producing some handmade bird feeders?
4. Make do and mend
Are you an accomplished sewer? How about setting up some local sewing classes or up-cycling classes? Today’s ‘fast fashion’ is having a damaging impact on our environment along with the ethical issues around how some clothes are produced. Instead, help people learn to make garments that they will love forever and to turn old items into something new and useful.
5. Say ‘I Do’ the green way
Weddings are a big industry in this country and more and more couples are hiring wedding planners to help them organise and run their big day. But with people trying to live a greener and more ethical life they may appreciate the help of someone specialising in how to have a green and ethical wedding, from the invitations to the honeymoon.
6. Cruelty-free food
Budding chef in the kitchen? How about starting a food based business aimed at vegetarians and/or vegans? How about producing a great vegan ice-cream or starting a vegetarian hot-dog stand? With food the possibilities really are endless! Again, this is a heavily regulated area so be sure to do your homework.
7. Write it all down
Maybe not exactly a business but, if you have a way with words, why not write down your ideas for green and/or ethical living? You could write a book and approach publishers or go down the self-publishing route. If you want to start smaller consider starting up a blog and approaching green lifestyle magazines with ideas for a feature.
8. Professional up-cycling
The trend for up-cycling shows little sign of diminishing so if you fancy yourself as a creative type why not turn this hobby into a business? Craft fairs are full of up-cycled items from wine bottle vases to board game jewellery, so you will need to think about how you will stand out from the crowd,, but you will save a lot of items from ending up in a landfill.
9. (E)card designer
If you have a talent for art, how about using it to produce a range of e-cards or e-invitations for people to buy instead of paper-based ones? E-cards reduce the usage of paper as well as reducing the impact of shipping and delivery. The great idea for this business is that once you have made your design you can sell it multiple times with no extra work.
10. Those who can, teach.
If you are already a dab hand at living a green and ethical life then how about teaching others how to do it as well? You could start a series of classes or workshops focused on green living or offer your services to local businesses or organisations who may be interested in changing their working practices.
Are you planning on starting a green or ethical business this year? I would love to hear your ideas!