There are more and more green business ideas
becoming reality these days. Find reasons this
is happening, and ways to get involved today.
The idea of "going green" gets a lot of buzz. More and more people and organizations are gradually going greener for health and economic reasons and/or to help "save the earth".
BusinessTune-Ups.com is interested in helping people start and improve their businesses, become more productive, secure and content, and that is why this page is included on our executive coaching website. You can also contact me directly at no cost to you.
REduce - The basic goal is to lower our carbon footprint by reducing the amount of fossil fuels, etc. we consume, lessening our impact on the world around us. Substituting fossil fuels with renewable resources is a means for preserving our environment and world for generations to come. Reducing our use of other scarce, expensive or hazardous materials are other ways to going green.
REcycle - this reuses the raw materials that various products contain; rather than throwing goods in a dump, its materials (paper, glass, plastics, metals, etc.) are sent to facilities that separate and reprocess them, potentially saving energy, pollution and much more.
REuse - even better than recycling, many perfectly good items can be re-used (by us or others) rather than thrown out or recycled.
REdesign -Redesigning products 1) to last longer - rather than so much "planned obsolescence", 2) to be greener to manufacture and operate, and 3) to more easily recycle, are the three ways products can "go green".
Redesigning popular services to 1) reduce transportation and energy costs, and 2) be more user-friendly, encouraging more green services, are other ways to redesign how we operate.
• Green bed & breakfasts - might use solar and wind energy, grow food on-site, etc.
• Plant Gardens - grow food organically yourself (even the White House has a vegetable garden now)
• Green Remodeling - of existing buildings can reduce energy use, and be healthier to live in.
• Design and Build Green Buildings - when done from scratch, this can give you the most possibilities and options to produce sustainability
• Green salons & spas - using organic products, including the construction materials of the building
• Organic ranching - for meat, eggs, and poultry, etc.
• Green Cleaning Maid Services - use non-toxic cleaning products, vacuum cleaners that actually clean the air, etc. One company that offers these services in Northern Virginia is Mrs. Lavender, "Keeping the earth the way it was given to us".
• Green bookstores - sell/rent books that are printed on recycled paper, using soy-based inks, and bound with organic material.
• Green plumbing services - provide water-conserving toilets, water fixtures, etc. Use hybrid vehicles.
• Recycling furniture - Find new homes for pre-owned furniture, or produce new furniture from some of the pieces of used furniture
• Solar Panel Installation - solar panels (to heat water, heat air, or generate electric) typically get mounted to roofs. This is often labor-intensive but if done in volume, the costs come down.
• Solar Lighting - mounted through roofs, they bring natural light (and vitamin D), but not much heat, into a room
• Paint Roofs White - houses and cars located in hot, sunny areas can cut their energy use greatly by having white roofs. Some of the reflected light and heat actually can be sent back to outer space, helping to cool our planet to some degree, reducing global warming.
• Green Roofs - although expensive, some flat roof buildings can have "green roofs", growing plants, controlling rain flow, and providing extra insulation to cut heating and cooling costs.
• Waste management - with population growth, and more industrialization around the world, there is a growing need for ways to properly handle waste products.
• Green shopping bags - reusable bags made often made from recycled materials
• Cleaning Products - made from natural ingredients rather than hydrocarbons.
• Green upholstery products - using sustainable and renewable materials, also may be made from renewable energy sources
• Porous Concrete - also called pervious concrete pavement, has openings which let water go through it, improving drainage and many other good environmental advantages. Read more about porous concrete.
• LED and CFL Lighting this expanding high-tech lighting lasts 5-10 times longer than incandescent bulbs and use only 10-25% as much electricity, for the same amount of lumens (brightness). One bulb can often save over $100 or electricity during its lifetime.
• Green toilets/toilet seats - very popular in Japan, features may include: 1) low water usage power flush, 2) toilet fan to remove odors (without needing more energy consuming room fan), 3) water jets and dryers for cleansing, similar to a bidet.
• In-sink water filters Make your own purified water and use re-usable bottles rather than continuing to buy water in throw-away bottles.
• Car-pooling - can save LOTS of fuel and congestion; just think: if everyone would car-pool with just one passenger (instead of everyone driving alone), there would be HALF the cars on the road!
• Bicycles - is now catching on gradually in certain parts of America, but there needs to be more safe places to ride, places to safely store bikes when arriving at destinations, and more place to shower if/when biking to work.
• Electric bikes - there are some amazing e-bikes on the market, capable over cruising at 25-30 MPH. The best ones are very expensive, but will come down in price as the high-tech batteries come down in price, and volumes go up. Optibike probably has the best AND most expensive e-bikes available. Another very good and less expensive electric bike line is made by E+ Electric Bikes.
• Car sharing - this relatively new business model; you join a club and can rent a car by the hour by going on-line and/or by swiping a credit card type device to a nearby car. A great example of this concept is Zipcar.
• Fully Electric Cars - with the advent of the lithium ion battery, fully electric vehicles with a long range are now possible, although still quite expensive. Tesla Motors sells its $110,000 sports cars with amazing acceleration and a range of about 200 miles between charges.
The top photo below shows me, Larry Rudwick, before my exhilarating test-drive (0-60 in just 3 seconds)!
• Fuel Efficient Transportation Research - UC Davis Sustainable Transportation Center is a leading organization and testing lab, coordinating with designers, auto manufacturers, governments and universities to help speed progress. You'll probably enjoy seeing Professor Daniel Sperling, the Acting Director of the Energy Efficiency Center in this humorous 2009 interview by Jon Stewart on The Daily Show, discussing cars of the future in his book Two Billion Cars: Driving Towards Sustainability
• Battery Technology for Vehicles - hi-tech batteries have come a long way in the last 5-10 years, and are starting to be used in bicycles, cars, buses and more. But they are still quite expensive. Over time, I predict their storage capacity to continue to increase and their price to fall to the point where the majority of cars will be hybrids or fully electric by 2025. As battery technology continues to improve, it will have many other applications outside of transportation as well, making more green business ideas feasible.
• Recycled Heating and Cooling - for example, some factories and buildings generate excess heat that can be routed to other buildings that need heat.
• Solar Cells - Also called photovoltaic cells, they convert light to electricity. They continue to be cost-effective in more and more applications, particularly in rural areas where power lines don't exist. Today, more and more feasible green business ideas include using photovoltaic cells as the energy source.
• Geothermal Heating and Cooling - in many areas of the populated world, the earth's temperature is approximately 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit several yards underground. In summer months, this temperature can be used to cool buildings. In winter months, this can greatly decrease the energy cost to heat buildings.
• Smart Grids - this uses computer technologies to better balance electricity loads. They can turn on and off electrical devices to reduce the peak power requirements power plants need to generate.
• Automatic shut-off devices - these devices reduce energy consumption by controlling when appliances are in use or shut off.
• Green advocate - if you're knowledgeable, pro-green and a good speaker, you could talk to selected communities about implementing appropriate green business ideas. Repeat after me: "Let's go green!" :-)
• Green energy adviser - help homeowners and businesses make smart decisions about switching to using solar or wind energy in place of fossil fuels, as well guiding in them other green solutions.
• Green Engineering - if you have the technical knowledge, take green business ideas, then design and manufacture them into marketable green products! Or work with other businesses that want this done for them.
• Green Attorney - these are lawyers with knowledge and interest in the green movement. Any growing field needs attorney to guide them through the maze of regulations that exist or WILL exist in the future. In addition, green attorneys can form PACs (Political Action Committees) to lobby the government to promote green projects.
• Green coach/consultant - people need knowledge and encouragement to do new things, including "go green". Green coaches and consultants can provide the hand-holding that's often required.
• Green writer - write about the green movement from a variety of aspects and perspectives (i.e. green landscaping, green business ideas, etc.)
Take a look at the world around you, watch the news, browse the Internet, attend meetings and conferences, and make lots of connections with people that are working in areas you're interested in.
If you already have a green business idea but aren't sure what steps to take next, take a look at other pages on this website and consider contacting me. This is an area I'm quite interested in and, with my patents and coaching and consulting experience, I might be able to offer some help to you.
Did you know? Green energy jobs and opportunities are growing, even in this difficult economy. If you're out of work, or looking to switch industries, depending on your skills and interests, you may be able to capitalize on these green business ideas. This is a new industry that will grow and grow for years to come. Back to top of page
If you're considering changing fields, or are thinking about other changes in your business, career, or personal life, please consider clicking just below. And, look over the bottom section of this page. You may be surprised what free things you'll find. More than just green business ideas - ways to make changes in many areas of life! Check it out! If you're intrigued, and want to find out more, contact me directly.