- 33 Green business ideas to make money and maintain a greener future:
- Recycle plastic bottles into brooms
- Upcycle and refurbish furniture
- Eco-friendly retail
- Establish a second-hand shop/brand
- Green blogging
- Provide environmental awareness & carbon emissions lessons
- Green financing
- Eco-friendly beauty salon
- Sustainable event planning
- Bicycle repair and refurbishing
- Bicycle Rental Service
- Sell sustainable construction materials
- Start a Green construction company yourself
- Solar panel installation
- Form a sustainable fashion brand
- Launch a green landscaping business
- Design small-space gardening tools
- Create a nursery and deliver plants
- Keep honey bees
- Launch a new carwash
- Start a green cleaning company
- Compost food waste
- Form a renewable energy farm
- Design eco-friendly kids' toys
- Create eco-friendly pet products
- Invest in green businesses
- Create apps & software for eco-minded users
- Become an e-waste recycling expert
- Recycle papers
- Transform waste into art!
- Start an organic restaurant
- To sum up
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) and environmental sustainability are becoming increasingly important to buyers and consumers. An interesting 2020 study on corporate social responsibility found that environmental responsibility had a 15% increase in customer engagement and up to a 35% increase in purchase intentions online!
These findings imply that eco-friendly consumption appeals to the modern buyer, confirming that eco-minded entrepreneurs have a large-scale, committed, and loyal customer market to reach with their green businesses and sustainable ideas!
And with the right marketing strategies and customer retention techniques, chances are, your return on investment (ROI) will be worth the shot!
So, with that said, let us get started!
33 Green business ideas to make money and maintain a greener future:
Recycle plastic bottles into brooms
Plastic bottles are one of nature’s worst nightmares. They not only pollute oceans and any surface on Earth, but they also stay there undecomposed for +450 years at least!
Yes, that soda bottle you shared with your best friend in primary school is most probably still swimming somewhere in the vast ocean, along with another 199 million tons of plastic!
This is a huge amount of plastic dump! And it increases by 33 billion pounds every single year!
The effects of this malpractice on nature and humans are alarming! But we can still face this together!
The best way to do so is to reduce our consumption of plastic products and opt for more eco-friendly alternatives. The second best one is to invest in green startup ideas and businesses & encourage eco-friendly entrepreneurship.
One awesome sustainable business idea that’s been flourishing the past decade is the recycling of plastic bottles into house brooms! The initial cost for this project won’t exceed your garage or backyard, $200/$350 worth of equipment like the ones on the attached picture from Giorggio Abrantes work space, plastic bottles, and 4-10 minutes of your time to make a $15+ broom!
Still, you can start small using basic pieces of equipment (scissors, hammers, and soda bottles) before going all in! And there are tons of how-tos and DIY guides for this particular method of plastic bottle recycling on YouTube!
As for the plastic bottles, you can reach out to your local restaurants and gyms and ask them to collect their consumed plastic bottles for you and your eco-friendly business. They most probably would love to contribute their dump for free or may ask for a fraction of your initial capital.
This environmental business idea is especially interesting and satisfying for me! And I’d really love to hear about it if you pursue it!
Upcycle and refurbish furniture
Furniture upcycling and refurbishing would be quite helpful in reducing waste and pollution. As furniture contains hardly dissolving materials like plastic and fiber, throwing them just because they lost their flair or because we no longer want them is at all not eco-friendly.
Let alone the fact that forests have to be wiped out for us to get our comfy wooden chairs!
All this makes upcycling furniture a very sustainable and eco-friendly business idea.
You can start small with things around your house that you want to change or no longer feel the need to keep. You can use basic power tools to dissolve, clean up, reassemble, and paint wooden materials like beds, tables, and chairs.
You can find great furniture that people want to sell for cheap or just want to get rid of in places like Facebook Marketplace!
The main challenge, if you’re new to the retail sales industry, is to actually secure high-ticket clients to help you sustain a stream of income. After all, retail, in general, requires high initial capital. Let alone the complexities that’ll follow you if you want to go green!
To overcome this, you’d want to do two things: start locally and start small.
You want to spend some time around your city looking for businesses that are green and simultaneously hunt for other businesses online that seem to be open to going green.
Next, you want to prepare a hitlist; that is, a list of potential customers with their business emails, phone numbers, and any information that can help you reach decision-makers.
Do reach out to as many as possible. Be persistent; email them, call, visit their physical headquarters, and knock on as many doors as you can! It takes one client to start the magic and get you going with your sustainable retail business. So, get them!
Establish a second-hand shop/brand
A significant amount of human waste is actually reusable and in good condition! With thousands of used listings every day on eBay, Etsy, and Facebook Marketplace, you’ve got a wide range of selections to find good items, refine them a little, and re-sell for a more elevated return on investment (ROI).
You can start relying on existing C2C marketplaces like the ones you find products on. But if you want, you can also build a cheap, functional e-commerce website in minutes on platforms like YouCan.
Blogging is cool if you’re into writing like I am. And it is very lucrative!
You can start off with a cheap website and a basic domain name, both of which may cost no more than $10! Then, you can start writing content about green ideas and provide insights and consultations about eco-minded entrepreneurship.
You can also turn it into a lead generation magnet to help you source clients who need consultation on how to go eco-friendly. But the most basic way to monetize your blog is through ads displaying platforms like Google Adsense.
What is distinguished about this option is that you can choose what type of ads you want to be displayed on your website, which allows you to narrow the ad types and select the ones that are apparently eco-friendly!
To get exposure and receive traffic, you can market yourself on social media and learn more about SEO blogging’s best practices.
If you have enough capital, you can even hire an agency like Overmentality to help you out with all of your efforts. If this’s the case, feel free to reach out & we can offer a massive cost reduction if you’re in the eco-friendly or nonprofit space!
If you’ve been a part of a course or you’re well educated on eco-friendly living, then eco-consulting is an awesome eco-friendly small business idea to pursue.
You can either start a website, as we explained earlier, and start getting clients there, or do some outreach and try to find companies and restaurants or any other business that wishes to go green and help make them do so.
Provide environmental awareness & carbon emissions lessons
You can also provide online courses and lessons on eco-friendliness. This is very powerful as you’d be able to sell your content to people all over the world, and you can also put content on YouTube for free and accept donations and AdSense revenue.
If you live in a big city, you can even invest in offering lessons in the real world. To do so, you can reach out to law firms and IT consulting agencies, for instance, and offer them paid training for their employees on environmental awareness, carbon emissions, and overall eco-friendly lifestyle.
This is rather a social, philanthropic idea rather than a monetization one. The idea is that you can help finance green projects and practices locally to help create a positive impact in your community and its environment from an eco-perspective.
You can either finance it yourself from your own pocket, or you can put in the work to collect donations online.
Green financing is also common among large companies that tend to pollute the environment; they pay green companies and eco-minded activists and nonprofits to help them with their cause as a form of tax for their malpractices.
Eco-friendly beauty salon
Building an eco-friendly beauty salon brand is an awesomely lucrative, green, and sustainable business idea to pursue.
It’s a pretty great eco-friendly startup opportunity as people are now growing more aware of the danger chemicalized cosmetic products can present to their health and nature, and they’re constantly searching for natural alternatives!
You can search for suppliers from all over the world for natural products like Moroccan Argan Oil for skin and hair care, Aloe Vera soaps and shampoos, Kaki and Coconut conditioners… etc. You name it!
It’s important to try to find a suitable location for your business, as better places equal more clients. And also, remember that incomparable services mean returning clients!
Sustainable event planning
With business advancement and demographical explosion all across the globe, the amount of events being held every day is tremendous. And needless to say, the size of waste these events leave behind is inconceivable.
Can you believe that around 20% of food is tossed into the trash at events around the globe!? Let alone other plastic material and non-consumable waste!
All these factors open up a worldwide market for this green business idea. You can either start your own event planning and management agency or try to pitch local ones and convince them to suggest your services to potential clients, then collaborate on planning an eco-friendly event!
You can also resort to digital marketing opportunities to reach executives and other C-suite decision-makers. Pitch them about turning their events into sustainable ones, and wait for feedback!
For sure, most won’t respond and give time, but as always… it takes one client to get the ball rolling!
Bicycle repair and refurbishing
It’s no news that bicycles contain a high percentage of polluting materials, from oils and metal to plastic and rubber parts…
But, their longevity, durability, and extremely low carbon emissions make them an incredibly great eco-friendly personal transport. And helping people who rely on bicycles maintain their lovable vehicles can be a prosperous green business.
Mastering the craft, however, is not for everyone! You need to be handy and able to adapt, as different bicycles have different parts & face different problems!
You’d need to learn how to diagnose the problem and fix it efficiently.
Joining a larger repair shop as a trainee for some time can be extremely helpful. But you also need to spend some time practicing in your backyard & learning from online reviews and tutorials.
To encourage you to pursue this particular green business idea, I think you need to know that:
- 17.7 million bicycles were sold in the U.S. alone in 2022, and more than 15 million units have been being sold yearly since 2010!
- There is an estimated 120 million functioning bicycle in the US right now!
- The demand has been consistent for the past 20 years for bicycles, and it’s only likely to go up with the rise of electric bicycles!
Bicycle Rental Service
Down the same forenamed road, renting bicycles is yet a worthwhile green business idea! It is especially profitable if you happen to live in a tourist or crowded city, as people would need an efficient, cheap, and casual ride.
Study your city. When you find a suitable area, go ahead and give it a try with just 2 or 3 bicycles… If it goes well, you know what to do next!
Great places for this business can be near parks that allow bicycles, hotels, and/or beachside.
Sell sustainable construction materials
Cities are ever-evolving. And building houses is an inevitable part of human expansion, as it’s necessary to shelter the population & maintain monetary activities.
Sadly, the production of building materials can be very contaminating for soil and air, creating an opportunity for a very lucrative eco-friendly business: eco-friendly construction materials…
These can be anything from tools to green building materials and decor products.
There are tens of real estate agencies and construction companies just around your area! And there are definitely ones who’d be willing to incorporate sustainable materials into their activity.
Start a Green construction company yourself
Not all construction and building companies excel in using green building materials. Which, again, gives you the chance to conquer this market.
You can also offer sustainable and/or eco-friendly interior design and decoration ideas. Per se, make designs that allow for natural air circulation and light to ensure minimum use of electrical light and air conditioners in the property.
Solar panel installation
Solar panels are eco-friendly in the sense that they turn the endless natural stream of sunrays into usable electrical energy. They don’t produce any carbon or heat gases when producing energy.
They also help households and businesses use a sustainable source of energy, helping reduce carbon emissions and other polluting substances.
This business idea is regarded as green and eco-friendly, not because of the installation process itself but actually because you do help people use almost free eco-energy!
De facto, there’s a plethora of other eco-friendly energy resources that you can establish a business around! However, these can be very expensive to launch!
Form a sustainable fashion brand
A massive 60 million tonnes of clothing is produced yearly. But did you know that as little as 13% of recyclable textiles are actually recycled in the U.S.?
Over-production & over-consumption are massive issues for the modern fashion industry. And with the “it’s a trend” and fast fashion cultures, this is apparently a here-to-stay ecological challenge.
However, the sustainable fashion business idea is here for the counter!
Eco-friendly fashion revolves around the revision of processes, such as production, distribution, and recycling. This includes using natural raw materials like wool and silk and also relying on electrical transportation methods to transport and deliver products!
There are also several methods to create clothes without using new materials. Upcycling and recycling are two popular ones.
Upcycling is the process of transforming unwanted products and giving them a second life. Recycling, on the other hand, is the process of collecting and processing materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash.
Launch a green landscaping business
Green landscapers contribute positively to climate change. They essentially help design and create beautiful outdoor landscapes using native plants and local greenery and flowers.
This is very beneficial for nature and the environment as it would contribute to the enforcement of the local ecosystem, thus conserving the life of local insects, birds, and even rodents.
Green landscapers also help create an ever-green landscape relying on drought-resistant and low-maintenance plants to reduce water consumption without sacrificing the aesthetics of nature’s colors.
This sustainability-oriented business pursuit can grow in popularity quickly as you appeal to many eco-conscious customers who prefer earth-friendly solutions such as conserving water, decreasing the use of toxic pesticides & fertilizers, and utilizing native plants.
Design small-space gardening tools
Landscaping and greens keeping is growing in popularity. But with millions of apartment and condo renters, the urge to add life to their space becomes a hardship, especially as landscaping often requires large tools.
This offers hack-minded entrepreneurs an interesting green business idea, which is to design small and space-efficient gardening tools. This includes small and cute pots and any other landscaping tool you can think of!
You can then sell these goods on C2C platforms like Amazon and eBay, or build your own website and market it!
Create a nursery and deliver plants
The increasing interest in plant-keeping grants green thumbs a chance to build, grow, and scale a nursery.
If you happen to be one, then this might be the ideal idea for you! You can focus on growing local herbs, succulents, flowers, air plants… etc, then either sell directly to households or collaborate with local landscapers for wholesale deals.
This or that, try to focus on selling plants that won’t consume a lot of water, and, at the same time, won’t affect the balance of the local ecological systems.
Keep honey bees
Got a large backyard!? Why not buy a couple of bee boxes and hives and… that’s it!
You really won’t have to do much to care for the bees except watch out for any potential rotting in the boxes, which is extremely uncommon!
One box of bees can produce up to 5.4 gallons of honey per year with little to no help from your end! Each gallon can be sold for up to $40, based on quality and thickness.
This, although it won’t add much to your pocket, does boost plant growth and fruitfulness in the region, especially as bees can travel up to 8 miles to find their favorite meals!
The main problem you could face keeping bees is if you have kids or curious pets around your property… Nosey people and animals would really suffer some bitter stings if they got too close to the hives!
Launch a new carwash
Am I the only one who remembers Walter White’s carwash when I read this business idea!? And it gets hard to convince you that this can be a green, ethical business idea when Walter’s on your mind!!
But think about it!
Launching a carwash that focuses on water efficiency and using natural and as few chemicalized products as possible can have a great impact on the environment.
You can also offer incentives to owners of electric vehicles to improve customer retention. Later on, you can invest in a water filtration system to reuse water, reducing consumption massively!
Start a green cleaning company
As in the former example, implementing water efficiency and natural cleaning products into a cleaning service can have a massive positive impact on nature. You can start with a door-to-door service selling, as many do online, and you can franchise after and work with large buildings and companies as well!
Compost food waste
The rising population of the world wastes nearly 2.5 billion tons of organic foods each year. The U.S. is responsible for at least 60 million tons –120 billion pounds– of this waste.
With restaurants and hotels being the main contributors, you can easily find your targets to get this dump for very low prices or even for free! You simply need to offer food-waste collecting services for these hotels and restaurants, and chances are they won’t have a problem with it!
You, then, can use compost this food waste and turn it into a nutrient-rich soil substance. Then, you can sell it to local gardeners and/or landscapers as an eco-friendly alternative to chemically processed fertilizers that harm insects and microbiotics.
Form a renewable energy farm
We usually associate the term farm with the countryside and animal keeping… well, not always!
Energy farms are farms where energy is produced in large amounts. Renewable energy farms, accordingly, focus on producing electrical energy with solar panels and wind turbines, then distributing this energy to customers who can be households and/or businesses.
The market for renewable energy was around $988.26 billion in 2022, with an expectation of hitting the $1912.12 billion threshold by 2030. And with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 8.6%, this is indeed an exceptional environmental business idea if approached right!
To ensure ultimate success possibility with this green business idea, we recommend you start by establishing a market for your business first. Then, make a very detailed step-by-step plan to conquer this market; this must include where you will install panels and–or turbines, where to store energy, how to deliver it to end-users, and eventually, collect payments.
You should also consult competent attorneys to assist you with the paperwork, such as applying for licenses, insurance, and other liabilities.
Left is to land your first client and lock in the right force to start printing cash! What is powerful about this sustainable business idea is that it can be automated, scaled, and turned into a passive source of income in no time!
Design eco-friendly kids' toys
Plastic has been the go-to material used in kids' toys for quite a long time! But things are changing, and parents would be interested in purchasing eco-friendly toys for their beloved kids, especially since the toys would be safe for the kids just as much as for nature itself!
Relying on natural raw materials like wool, cotton, and bamboo is a common practice in eco-friendly toy manufacturing. But the sky’s the limit! You can get as creative as you wish.
Per se, you can try to find natural paint alternatives, add seeds to the stuffies’ materials so that they turn into a tree if flung, and find solutions to make these toys easy to clean and long-lasting.
Create eco-friendly pet products
Pets keeping is an extremely common practice in the West. In the U.S. alone, 38.4% of households keep at least one dog, and 25.4% keep at least one cat!
These pets do consume a lot of dry food, pets, houses, cans, plates… most of which are not nature-friendly.
Pet keepers are, by default, animal lovers, so it won’t be hard to convince these customers to buy products that are less harmful to nature and wildlife, while simultaneously being better for their lovely furballs.
Invest in green businesses
You don’t feel like pursuing green business ideas by yourself!? Or simply, schedules are too tight!?
Well, why don’t you invest directly in green businesses and help them grow!? This way, you can earn a passive income while also contributing to the growth of eco-conscious practices.
Start by picking a business practice you understand to an extent, then investigate if the business owners are really eco-minded entrepreneurs and that their actions are not harming nature. Then, it’s time to either invest or ask for a look at their books if you plan to pour some good capital into the business!
Create apps & software for eco-minded users
Creativity with this sustainable business idea is limitless! From apps that expose the production background of a product’s manufacturing process with a straightforward barcode scan to AI-powered engines that suggest eco-friendly diets and recipes… you can really build anything!
You can also create a reviews app that specializes in eco-friendly hotels and restaurants. And writing this line, I myself became interested in creating one..!
Become an e-waste recycling expert
Electronic waste is not only tremendous in size, but it is also extremely dangerous for nature; this material is hard to mine, manufacture, and recycle. And it can take thousands of years to decompose.
And even during their decomposition process, they leak extremely harmful substances into the soil, underground water, and the whole ecosystem.
E-waste includes parts of computers, phones, TVs, printers, fridges, washers, cars… etc, you name it! You can help recycle these materials by getting your EPA Certificate of Electronic Waste Recycling, thanks to which you will learn about the best practices for this business.
Paper is an easily malleable substance. Although it doesn’t last long in nature, it’s always a good idea to recycle it, as manufacturing paper products means cutting more trees in places like Finland… In fact, 42 million trees are cut each year just for paper production purposes only!
So, recycling paper waste to produce paper products like food plates, coffee cups, egg plates… etc, can help you generate good money while simultaneously reducing paper dumps.
Transform waste into art!
Many artists turn metal and wooden waste into breath-taking pieces of art. These can be sculptures and–or decoration objects that people are willing to pay for.
If you have a knack for handy crafts, it’s time you try something like this and put your work online! You’d be surprised how many people would be ready to trade cash for art!
Start an organic restaurant
Maintaining an organic food-oriented diet might be expensive for most people. Fitness geeks, models, all the way to conscious consumers, however, can be a great customer base to target!
Still, organic restaurants do benefit society as a whole. These businesses, although for-profit, have a positive impact on the food market because they sell food that is manufactured under eco-friendly circumstances.
For instance, organic farming develops healthy, rich, and vivid soil. Healthy land is also more productive as it maintains soil nutrients and helps solve erosion-related problems. In addition, healthy soil encourages healthy biodiversity and reduces the need to use synthetic fertilizers and insecticides.
To sum up
There’s simply no doubt –eco-friendly products are the way to the future. Our planet is facing an environmental crisis that affects everyone on Earth.
If you’re an environmentally-conscious person with entrepreneurial skills, starting a green business could be the best decision of your life.
It’s not only the right thing to do! However, eco-friendly businesses increasingly attract more attention and funding from donor organizations and banks. Thus, securing financial resources can be easier if you are pitching environmentally conscious ideas to potential investors.
I am the CEO and founder of Overmentality. I am a professional business and technical blogs writer and on-page SEO specialist. I hold a degree in Culture Studies and Media Literacy from the English Humanities and Art Department. And I am interested in Digital Marketing, Business, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, and pets of course!
You can reach me via email hair: email@example.com
Or find me on my LinkedIn Profile.