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10 Green Business Ideas

10 Green Business Ideas

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Ten Green Business ideas for new enTrepreneurs

Green For All CAP Green Business Content


Ten Green Business ideas


TaBLe of ConTenTs
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Ten Green Business Opportunities: Enterprises that Preserve Environmental Quality, Improve Social Equity, and Stimulate Local Economies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 1 . The Healthy, Local Food Movement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 2 . Renewable Energy Alternatives, Green Collar Job Training, and Green Business Incubators . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 3 . Green Transportation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 4 . Green Product Innovation and Consumer Goods Retail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 5. Green Home- and Office-Cleaning Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 6 . Become Part of the ReUse Revolution! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 7. Energy-Efficient Homes and Green Home Retrofits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 8 . Green Landscaping and Green Plumbing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 9 . Green Information Technology (IT) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 10. Green, Grassroots Community Lending and Microfinancing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Green Franchise Opportunities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Successful Examples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Healthy, Local Food Movement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Renewable Energy Alternatives, Green Collar Job Training, and Green-Business Incubators . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Green Transportation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Green Product Innovation and Consumer Goods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Green Home and Office Cleaning Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The ReUse Revolution! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Energy-Efficient Homes and Green Home Retrofits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Green Landscaping and Green Plumbing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Green IT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Green, Grass-Roots Community Lending and Microfinancing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 17 19 21 22 23 23 24 25 25 26

Green For All CAP Green Business Content

A recent study by The Pew Charitable Trusts found clean-energy technology outpaced all other sectors in job growth and investments.4 At the same time. A study conducted by Green Seal Inc. such as disastrous droughts.org/global_warming/science_and_impacts/science/hurricanes-and-climate-change. 2.3 America currently faces two historic sets of challenges. 14 . Retrieved from http://www. even during the recession . and ever more destructive storms . Where other people might see problems and crises. A wave of companies both large and small is using success in business to achieve social and environmental change . It is big business .businesswire.9 million Americans were unemployed .pewtrusts. Retrieved from http://www.org/news_room_detail. A number of other trends also point to the increasing premium the private sector is placing on environmental outcomes. 2009 4. Today green has gone mainstream .2 In fact.nytimes. 2009.gov/news. 5. innovative green business leaders see opportunity .sciencedaily. Retrieved from http://www.t10. promote social equity.release/empsit.5 The emerging clean-energy economy can solve both sets of problems .com/releases/2007/03/070315161102.enviromedia. 60% are looking for minimally packaged goods and 58% are buying green cleaning products.aspx?id=53254 on November 12.htm. http://www. For example.html.3 Ten Green Business ideas n inTroduCTion For almost half a century. and stimulate sustainable economic growth .com/portal/site/home/permalink/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20090604005585 &newsLang=en on November 12. http://www.html. the Pew report predicts that government and private investments are creating “tremendous potential” for the green economy in the future . 2009. These emerging business models seek to preserve environmental quality. In February 2010. 3. people here and across the world are facing increasingly dire immediate and impending impacts of climate change. Yet even ten years ago. environmental. melting arctic ice. and EnviroMedia found that 82% of consumers say they buy green products and services. Green For All CAP Green Business Content . including the growth of the market for green building materials1 and reports that a high percentage of consumers are purchasing environmentally friendly products . Retrieved from http://www. it was rare to hear of any business with dedicated green. http://www.bls.ucsusa. major corporations like Walmart and Clorox are leading the way with 1.com/enviroblog/?tag=education-gap on November 12. or sustainability initiatives (outside of those designed to protect them from regulatory fines and other liability for polluting activities) .com/2009/04/17/science/earth/17drought. It has the potential to drive innovation and stimulate a sustainable economic recovery that changes the environmentally harmful “business as usual” practices of the past . environmentalists have been advocating for big businesses to incorporate sustainability principles into their practices .htm on March 5. one to our economy and the other to our environment . 2010.

With a mission to combat unemployment and improve urban environments. Retrieved from http://www.burgerville. The Garden Project in San Francisco9 is a great model for community-based change . succeeding in the market while contributing to sustainable local economies .pdf Green For All CAP Green Business Content .and job-creation responsibilities . 2009.8 Small businesses are leading in their own way. In many ways. the world’s largest retailer. jobs . The immense scale of this economic activity gives such enterprises the ability to drive environmental and economic recovery efforts. gaining media attention.11 The report further suggests that job creation from startups is less volatile in economic downturns than job creation in the economy as a whole . com/2009/07/16/business/energy-environment/16walmart.gardenproject. 7. Retrieved from http://www. which brings industry and government leaders together with consumers and conservation groups to help drive efficient computing practices and innovations in hardware design .4 Ten Green Business ideas sustainability initiatives6 and the development of successful green products7 that are less toxic and reduce impacts on human and environmental health . 6. Google and Intel launched the Climate Savers Computing Initiative.and parttime employees . At times like these. small business owners and entrepreneurs will be key to solving the economic and environmental challenges we face .kauffman.pdf 9. 8.S . http://www. securing investments. announced a new sustainability index initiative that will require more than 100. fast food chain Burgerville10 is an excellent example of a for-profit business.000 of their suppliers globally to answer a set of questions related to their sustainability practices. founded on sound environmental and social principles.com/article/pressRelease/idUS88912+12-Jan-2009+BW20090112 on November 12. Burgerville purchases 100% renewable wind energy for all of its locations and offers healthcare benefits and leadership mentoring programs for all full.reuters. A recent study published by the Kauffman Foundation found that more than half of the companies on the 2009 Fortune 500 list began during a recession .climatesaverscomputing. entrepreneurs show the way . http://www. Since Clorox launched its biodegradable cleaning products brand “Green Works” in early 2008. and capturing market share with innovative business solutions to environmental and social problems .org/uploadedFiles/the-economic-future-just-happened.com 11. 2009. In the Pacific Northwest. it has become the #1 natural cleaning product brand. while also transforming inner cities with greening projects that reintroduce native and edible plants. http://www. Kauffman Foundation report: http://www. small businesses as a whole provide more than 70% of U . Though each may have only a few employees.html on November 11.nytimes.org 10. the Garden Project offers training and education programs for at-risk youth and former offenders. And the very difficulty of these economic times will likely produce a new wave of businesses that can shoulder a significant portion of the country’s wealth.org/media/whitepaper11302007. Walmart. For example.

you can—with passion and hard work—find success in the clean-energy economy. taking your economic fate into your own hands and creating positive change in the marketplace as well as your local community. http://www. Each opportunity gives entrepreneurs a chance to make a profit while tackling important environmental and social issues. We hope this guide inspires you to develop a business plan and prepare to start one of these enterprises . Green For All CAP Green Business Content . for preserving the environment. 2009. background.html.13 It is a favorable environment for those looking to start green businesses .5 Ten Green Business ideas A number of trends show that the clean-energy economy is growing12 and that consumer awareness of.com/enviroblog/?tag=education-gap on November 23. This guide is designed to help such entrepreneurs leverage this growing market and positively impact the environment and local economic development . 13. 2009.pewtrusts. Emerging green enterprises hold great promise for creating green-collar jobs on a large scale. Instead of splashy.aspx?id=53254 on November 12. Organic food sales are increasing between 17-21% per year and a majority of consumers say they buy green products.org/news_room_detail. We have identified ten different business segments.enviromedia. resource-intensive businesses like wind farms. and for reinvigorating distressed urban economies . ranging from hand-made clothes to green construction.ota. Retrieved from: http://www. green products is on the rise . Which of these segments is best for you will depend on your location. 12. Retrieved from: http://www. As the successful examples at the end of the guide show. Many of you can start these businesses from your own home . that are ripe for entrepreneurship . we focus on opportunities that require only low to moderate capital investments . The suggestions in this guide are tailored to everyday Americans looking to start new enterprises . and interests .com/organic/mt/food. We hope that this guide inspires you to start your own green business. and demand for. Pew reports tremendous opportunity for the green economy based on increasing venture capital and government investments.

http://www. improve soCiaL eQuiTy. and reduce greenhouse gas emissions . This concern creates an opportunity for organizations offering healthy food grown locally without the chemicals and pesticides that can damage human and environmental health . then sell memberships (or shares) to consumers. http://oklahomafood. http://brickcityurbanfarms.coop Green For All CAP Green Business Content .org/what-we-do/capital-access-program/overview-of-urban-farming 15. Starting such an enterprise is a great way to support your local economy.org/ 19. To learn more about urban farming. http://www. please refer to the Green For All publication Overview of Urban Farming. California 18 Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program: Grow healthy food. promote community health. Local Food Movement Americans are increasingly concerned about food safety. and the greenhouse gas emissions associated with transporting food long distances to reach consumers .15 Coffee Roasting: Roast and sell local. Example: Sweetwater Organic Coffee in Gainesville.org/ 20. and sTimuLaTe LoCaL eConomies 1. Example: Brick City Urban Farms in Newark. New Jersey19 Local grocery store or cooperative Example: Oklahoma Food Cooperative in Oklahoma City.com 18.greenforall. who in turn receive a designated allocation of seasonal produce throughout the farming season . childhood obesity. Oklahoma20 • 14. The Green Restaurant Association offers guidelines: http://www.com 17.com/ 16.cityslickerfarms. fair-trade coffee and tea at your own café or from a cart at local events . outdoor areas for kids to play and interact with nature .spinfarming. Spin Farming offers additional resources: http://www. organic coffee . Florida16 Urban farm or garden17 Example: City Slicker Farms in Oakland.sweetwaterorganiccoffee.14 POTENTIAL BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES • • • • Café or Coffee Cart: Sell organic.dinegreen.6 Ten Green Business ideas n Ten Green Business opporTuniTies: enTerprises ThaT preserve environmenTaL QuaLiTy. The Healthy. Urban farms and gardens also provide much-needed safe. http://www.

are expanding the market for such products and services .org 23.28 Provide Renewables Directly: Partner with state or federal programs29 to • • • • 21. For example.dsireusa. we need to reduce our consumption of fossil fuels and turn instead to alternative.ca.asp 25.com/ files/2009/03/kalamazoo-cc-offers-first-wind-turbine-installer-training-in-us.23 Wind Turbines: Distribute or install small wind turbines . Information and training available: http://www. Example: Veterans Green Jobs in Denver.cpuc. http://www. Example: Green Worker Cooperatives in the Bronx27 Expand Access to Renewables: Develop an innovative business model that increases access to renewable-energy technologies .org/ 29.windpoweringamerica.com 26. wind and geothermal energy) .org 27.treehugger. train low-income residents to be the green-collar workers of the future .organiccatering. Small wind installation training program information: http://www. For more information on tax incentives in your area: www. http://1bog. Example: One Block off the Grid in San Francisco harnesses community organizing to purchase solar technology at reduced rates. and Green Business Incubators 2.html. solar. Green Collar Job Training. http://www. http://www. http://www. California’s Single-Family Affordable Solar Homes (SASH) Program: http://www. renewable sources of energy on a large scale (e . manufactures small wind turbines and is seeking distributors.awea.com/Wind-Programs..org/ . To curb global warming. Colorado26 Green-Business Incubator: Support.22 These governmental efforts.24 Example: Mariah Power in Reno.25 Job Training: Whether as a for-profit business or a non-profit organization.7 • • Ten Green Business ideas Organic restaurant or catering service Example: Back to Earth Catering in Berkeley.mariahpower.htm Green For All CAP Green Business Content .first-time entrepreneurs aiming to solve environmental and social problems in their communities . http://veteransgreenjobs.gov/ small_wind. Emerging entrepreneurs can take advantage of this opportunity in a number of ways .greencareersguide.com/PV-Solar-Panel-Installer-Schooliing-Training. Additional information provided by the American Wind Energy Association: http://www.com/ 22. Nevada. http://www. California21 Garden Training: Teach basic gardening skills to adults and youth so they can grow their own healthy food Renewable Energy Alternatives.greencareersguide. http://greenworker. That will require a number of new policy regulations and tax incentives to promote the use of renewable energy by homeowners and businesses alike .html.bootsontheroof.com/ 24.g . POTENTIAL BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES • • Solar Installation: Install solar panels or solar water heaters .php.gov/PUC/energy/Solar/ sash.coop 28. combined with general interest in clean energy.

restaurant coupons. tickets to shows) to online community members for transportation choices that reduce greenhouse gases. which can harm overall public health .usgs. Example: GRID Alternatives in Oakland. California30 3.water.nytimes. Example: Nuride offers rewards (e. non-toxic products that do not harm the environment is steadily growing . Example: Bikes 4 Life in Oakland.com 35. http://www. effective. http://www.gov/pubs/fact-sheets/fs.org 31. Guide to starting a car-sharing program: http://www.. Opportunities abound for innovative entrepreneurs to meet this demand with home-based businesses .35 Car-Sharing Program36 Green Product Innovation and Consumer Goods Retail • 4. http://www..g. retailer discounts.com/2008/04/27/us/27bikes. Consumers are becoming more aware of the health and environmental impacts of the products they use every day (e . http://www. http://bikes4life. Additional information on electric bikes and scooters for resale: http://www. International Bike Fund resources for community bike share programs: http://www.com 36. Starting a business that offers alternative transportation solutions can benefit both the environment and community health. the enormous amounts of water and pesticides required to produce cotton) . Gas-powered cars also create smog in our cities.gridalternatives.com/ 32.pdf 37. gasoline-engine cars) contribute to climate change by releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere . Retrieved from: http://ks.html on November 23.electric-bikes. from something as simple as fixing up old bikes to something more ambitious like starting up a green cab company in your city .com/organic/environment/cotton_environment.org/download/CCS_BCCtYC_Long.html. Promoting Alternative Transportation: Start a non-profit to find innovative ways to promote alternative forms of transportation .NuRide.html.com/ 33. Green For All CAP Green Business Content .022-98.citycarshare. http://www. 2009.8 Ten Green Business ideas provide renewable-energy alternatives to low-income communities.org/encouragement/freebike.g . 30. You can do this in any number of ways. California32 Community Bike-Share Program33 Example: SmartBike DC34 Green Cab Company: Use hybrid vehicles to help people get where they’re going .htm 34. Green Transportation Many forms of transportation (such as traditional. reducing their electricity bills .ibike.37 Demand for safe.ota. POTENTIAL BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES • • • • • Electric Bike and Scooter Dealership31 Refurbishing Bicycles: Refurbish and sell used bikes .smartbike.

com/index.htm 43. Toxic cleaning agents can be harmful to humans. 2009 42. http://www. so does the demand for fewer toxins in the home and workplace .com/ 39.42 POTENTIAL BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES • Green Housecleaning: Offer green housecleaning services using all-natural and biodegradable cleaning supplies . http://www. house cleaners. California44 Green Janitorial Services: Offer green janitorial service for offices or schools.beelinestore. create safe workplaces. http://shop. made from organic ingredients and not tested on animals . particularly janitors. Georgia39 Natural Make-Up and Body Care: Market all-natural make-up and body care products. California38 Online Retail: Take advantage of a growing market by selling goods online.and Office-Cleaning Services • • • 5.com/ 45.greenseal. http://www.gov/epp/pubs/cleaning. biodegradable containers. as well as concerned residents.homegreenhomesf.willotoons. For additional information on products and techniques: http://www.cfm?id=773. are creating a market for cleaning companies that use environmentally friendly cleaning products and techniques . Example: Black Energy in Atlanta.envirocleanusa. Example: Sweet Beginnings in Chicago. Retrieved from: http://www. Illinois40 Green Everyday Products: Develop daily-use products that help consumers cut their greenhouse gas emissions. such as sustainable baby goods or green home and bath products .com 40.html 41. minimize waste and reduce their exposure to toxins .org/Janitorial/factsheets/carpetcleaning. Some toxic ingredients in cleansers not only can harm those in the buildings where they are used.org/certification/proposed_env_stds_for_cleaning_svcs. Example: EnviroClean USA in Atlanta. http://www. Article on how to start a green house cleaning business: http://ezinearticles.00&id=5122 44. As awareness about the health and environmental impacts of toxic substances grows.greeningschools. Georgia 45 • 38.epa.43 Example: Home Green Home in San Francisco.blackenergy. Example: WilloToons in San Francisco.org/resources/view_resource.org/ Green For All CAP Green Business Content .pdf . These businesses. and reduce the environmental impacts of their operations . and residents in buildings where volatile organic compounds (VOC) may affect indoor air quality . http://www.westp2net.9 Ten Green Business ideas POTENTIAL BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES • Organic Clothes: Design and produce organic clothes for babies and adults using sustainable materials like organic cotton and natural dyes . biodegradable trash bags Green Home. but can pollute the greater environment and adversely impact community water quality as well . http://www.com/?How-to-Start-a-House-Cleaning-BusinessUnder-$200. Example: reusable water bottles.htm on November 23.41 Many businesses are implementing new sustainability initiatives that address employee health.

a Silicon Valley venture capitalist.51 By bringing existing buildings up to current standards. Recycling is a great alternative to throwing things away. The ReUse People in Oakland. Public and private investors are working to expand the opportunities in this field further. was recently quoted in the New York Times proposing a “Cash for Caulkers” program akin to the successful “Cash for Clunkers” automobile trade-in program .org/ 48. For example. it also helps the environment . “Cash for Caulkers” is the kind of policy innovation we are seeing more of—putting unemployed contractors and construction 46. drastically reducing raw materials consumption and greenhouse gas emissions . Example: Urban Solutions in San Francisco. or refurbish old furniture to be sold as improved . Clothes: Design and produce clothes from recycled or used fabrics . removing. but reusing materials is even better. http://www.49 Example: Ekologic in Troy. With energy costs rising at an alarming rate. Making new consumer goods from landfill-bound materials reduces waste.org/ 47.com 49. California48 Furniture: Make furniture out of scrap materials. And a niche market is growing within the construction industry for used building materials . POTENTIAL BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES • Salvage: Become a salvage expert. Green For All CAP Green Business Content . California46 Become Part of the ReUse Revolution! 6. we can avoid constructing new buildings. New York 50 Energy-Efficient Homes and Green Building Retrofits • • 7. American buildings are responsible for one-third of the country’s annual greenhouse gas emissions. CA offer demolition training and certification for used building materials: http://thereusepeople. 2009.heritagesalvage. and curbs global warming. Article: http://earth911. Constructing and operating buildings also takes an environmental toll.org/greenbuilding/ on November 23. Remaking consumer goods (also called upcycling) is also becoming hip as entrepreneurs find ways to make fashion statements with recycled clothing and salvaged furniture . preserves space in overflowing landfills.10 • Ten Green Business ideas Train and Certify Green Cleaners: Start a training and certification program for low-income residents to open their own green cleaning businesses. requiring large amounts of raw materials and water .com/blog/2009/07/13/recycled-clothing-remade-to-last/ 50. many homeowners and businesses are turning to efficiency experts to help them reduce their monthly utility bills.urbansolutionssf. Increasing efficiency not only cuts costs. or to green their existing cleaning businesses with new products and techniques . http://www.com/ 51.ekologic. John Doerr.cec. http://www. selling. they consume more than 60% of America’s electricity .47 Example: Heritage Salvage in Petaluma. and installing used building materials for a profit. Retrieved from: http://www.

electrical engineering. For additional information on tax incentives in your area: http://www. http://denbyenergy.55 Green Retrofits: Perform energy-efficiency and green building retrofits (e. Cool roof installations comply with green building codes and reduce greenhouse gas emissions .org 54.11 Ten Green Business ideas workers back to work making America’s homes more energy efficient. http://www. Green Roofs for Healthy Cities provides green roof information and accreditation: http://www. Home energy audit training: http://www. Green Building Products: Supply green building products to the growing green construction industry Example: EpOxyGreen in Venice. providing building insulation.greenroofs. or architecture have a range of opportunities to start new businesses in the booming green building and energy-efficiency fields.com/2009/11/18/business/economy/18leonhardt.org/ 59.mysmallbiz.nytimes.54 Duct Cleaning and Repair: Improve indoor air quality and seal up leaks. Those with little or no experience have the chance to gain skills and create their own career opportunities . roofing.org/ 57. http://www.dcgreenworks. Build It Green promotes green building practices in California: http://builditgreen.html.com Green For All CAP Green Business Content .php 56.56 Example: Recurve in San Francisco. POTENTIAL BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES • • • Energy Audits: Offer energy audits that help homeowners and businesses improve energy efficiency and save money on their utility bills.coolroofs.businessweek. helping reduce urban air temperatures. and creating habitat for wildlife .53 and more incentives are likely in the future . htm.php/ eduprogram. California60 • • • 52.com/low-cost-business/duct-cleaning-business. 2009.com/home-energy-audit. See also: http://www.sustainablespaces. 53.html on November 23.org/index..dsireusa. which increases energy efficiency. California57 Cool Roofing:58 Install cool roofs. For information on duct cleaning: http://www. The Cool Roofing Council provides information on industry products: http://www. weatherization.g.com/ program-comparison 55.alternate-energy-sources.com 58. Retrieved from: http://www. Green roofs have many environmental and energy-efficiency benefits. solar panel installation and solar thermal installation) to help building owners reduce their energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions while increasing the value of their property . Cool roofs increase energy efficiency and reduce the heat-island effect in urban areas. made from materials that reflect the sun’s heat instead of allowing a building to absorb that heat .52 A number of tax incentives already encourage businesses and homeowners to make energy-efficiency upgrades to their buildings. Those with backgrounds in construction.epOxyGreen.com/investor/content/dec2005/pi2005121_4811_pi001.org 60. Green Roofing:59 Install green roofs (or “living roofs”) covered with vegetation and soil. For additional information and training: http://www.

greenplumbersusa.65 Example: Middlebrook Gardens in San Jose. and passive solar water heating systems in client buildings . 2009. California66 Native-Plant Nursery: Grow and sell drought-resistant native plants in your community . low-flow toilets. Example: Green Plumbers. and have beautiful gardens .com/ 69. Many consumers are also considering alternatives to grass lawns.epa.64 Inefficient plumbing and wasteful landscape irrigation are major culprits in America’s water waste .middlebrook-gardens.gov/WaterSense/pubs/outdoor. 2009.67 Green Plumbing:68 Install tankless water heaters.html on November 23. expanding demand for these services even further . Climate change and an ever-expanding human population are squeezing the supply of potable water . nearly doubling Europe’s water consumption (7:4) and completely dwarfing subSaharan Africa’s (70:4) . Natural Lawn of America offers natural lawn care products: http://www. Retrieved from: http://www.S .htm on November 23. The U . POTENTIAL BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES: • Green Landscaping: Help property owners protect the environment.ipcc. For additional information and resources: http://www.php?id=25 on November 23. 65.com 67.gov/greenacres/conf12_04/conf_knwldge. 63. Retrieved from: http://www. For additional information: http://www.worldwatercouncil.html 66.org/index.aspx 68.12 8. 62. LLC in Los Angeles. is a leading waster of water.com/ Green For All CAP Green Business Content . fossil fuel. That means that green plumbers and landscapers have a prime opportunity to save consumers money while conserving one of our most important natural resources . which require significant amounts of water (about one third of residential water use in America)61 and chemicals to maintain . polluting as much in one hour a car does during a 20-mile drive .63 More than a billion people worldwide have no access to clean drinking water. Ten Green Business ideas Green Landscaping and Green Plumbing People with backgrounds in plumbing or landscaping are in high demand as buildings look to conserve water and reduce their energy consumption. Conserving water is particularly important . http://greenplumbersllc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg2/index. Retrieved from: http://www.nl-amer.62 Green landscaping can minimize chemical.epa. http://www.gov/greenacres/conf12_04/ conf_knwldge. conserve water.epa. and water inputs .com/CoFranchisingOpportunities. California69 Green Plumbing Retail: Become a retailer of and advocate for low-flow.gov/reg3esd1/garden/. Green Plumbers USA offers training and certification programs: http://www.epa. http://www. Gas-powered mowers make grass lawns even bigger environmental liabilities. 2009. a point that is likely to lead to political tension and instability as the demand for water grows .php?idp=384 64. Water and energy efficiency are prerequisites for the increasingly valuable LEED certification. Green Garden & Lawn Retail: Offer environmentally friendly lawn and garden care products . water- • • • • 61.

g .bls.70 tankless water heaters. 2009. Department of Labor. Example: MegaWatt Consulting in Reno.73 POTENTIAL BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES • Efficiency Consulting: Offer businesses analysis of their data centers’ energy consumption and propose cost-saving changes . Retrieved from: http://www.htm 71. Low-flow toilet overview: http://www. http://www. and passive solar water heaters in your community . systems. Some IT career paths require only an associate’s degree.htm#outlook on December 22. According to the U. perhaps with minimal vocational training or technical certification.71 IT careers also provide good wages. many of whom have been recently laid off due to the recession .megawattconsulting. Nevada74 Green Data Center Design and Construction IT Training: Enhance overall efficiency by teaching best practices to IT teams at large corporations . routers and servers) are essential to many businesses operating in the world today . This creates a number of green business opportunities for IT specialists. Oklahoma75 Green. employment for administrators of computer networks. data switches.100 in May 2008 .trainingindustry. In particular.terrylove. 73.com/it-training/top-companieslistings/2009/2009-top-20-companies. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4182/is_20080212/ai_n21306655/ Green For All CAP Green Business Content .. 2009. They often lack credit history or sufficient collateral.com 75. Many medium and large businesses dedicate significant space to this equipment. which have significant power requirements. the median annual salary of network systems and data communication analysts was $71. 70.gov/oco/ocos305. Grassroots Community Lending and Microfinancing • • • 10. It is also an excellent opportunity for those looking to start a new career in the IT field. Retrieved from: http://www. Green Information Technology (IT) Computers and other IT products (e .com/crtoilet. E-Cycling: Recycle electronic waste . For a list of IT training companies please go to: http://www. Most companies are looking to save money by reducing the costs associated with their data center operations. temperature-controlled conditions . without sacrificing quality or security. 9.S. This presents opportunities for socially responsible entrepreneurs to make seed funds available at low rates .bls. creating data centers in centralized. and databases is expected to increase as much as 53% leading up to 2018 .gov/oco/ocos305.aspx 74. secure. Many great business ideas never take shape due simply to a lack of access to capital . and may be asking for a loan too small to be considered .13 Ten Green Business ideas efficient toilets.72 And these opportunities are available to people from diverse educational backgrounds . entrepreneurs in low-income and distressed communities find it nearly impossible to borrow money from traditional banks. Example: Earth E-Cycle in Tulsa.htm#outlook on December 22. 72.

http://www.76 POTENTIAL BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES • Green Microfinancing: Start a green microfinancing institution to fund new entrepreneurs who aim to enhance environmental quality and social equity .com/ 78. Example: Seattle Microfinance Organization in Seattle.fwa. well-connected member of your local community with a financial background. California79 Online Finance Community: Start an online community to connect green U .seattlemicrofinance.grameenamerica.S .77 Community Lending Circle: Organize a community lending circle with fellow women.ca/resources/PARO_CirclesAndLoans. Another example: http://www. scale green jobs.78 Example: Cesta Populares in San Francisco.com. http://www.htm#3 77.org/about.greenmicrofinance.missionassetfund. microfinance institutions and green lending circles so that more low-income entrepreneurs can benefit from this model of community green financing.pdf 79. fellow community members. Washington80 • • 76.paro. Resources for advice and consulting: http://www. Example: Grameen America in New York City. http://www.mficonnect.com/ Green For All CAP Green Business Content . Paro Centre guide to women’s peer lending circles: http://www.org. so we recommend you contact organizations that can help you get started . If you are a trusted. and reverse the environmental degradation of urban centers .14 Ten Green Business ideas Supporting green entrepreneurs in distressed communities can stimulate economic development. http://missionassetfund. There are a few different models of microfinance and microlending. or fellow immigrants . org/community/microfinance.org/cestas 80. http://www. which offers loans to low income entrepreneurs. consider launching a non-profit green microfinancing institution (MFI) or a green microlending program.

Some programs require an upfront “buyin” for training materials and inventory.com Franchise distributors of water filtration systems for offices.oxxousa . POTENTIAL GREEN FRANCHISE BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES Green Irene http://www . Additional information and resources: http://www. Zola http://www . OXXO Care Cleaners http://www .com/CoFranchisingOpportunities . which help offices reduce their waste and carbon footprint by eliminating bottled water in the office. it may also be helpful to meet with current franchise owners to discuss the opportunity .greenirene .com/ Online retailer of environmentally friendly goods for the home .php Franchise distributor of environmentally friendly products and office supplies. Zola Coordinators host parties in their communities to educate people about their consumer choices and sell products (similar to the Tupperware Parties model) .aspx Natural and organic-based lawn products provide an alternative to chemicals.zolagoods .html Dry cleaning franchises that use Green Earth cleaning products in lieu of harmful petrochemicals . so we recommend you inquire about all upfront costs before agreeing to start your own franchise .com/franchisepage .greenbusinessopportunity .com/ Independent eco-consultants and green product distributors who work from their own homes or offices. Before you go this route. Natural Lawn of America http://www . 81.com/ Green For All CAP Green Business Content . a number of franchise models offer part-time or full-time opportunities in the green business sector .onlygreen4me .com/become-dealer .81 This is a great way to learn about sustainable practices and products while earning money to pay the bills .nl-amer .greenfranchisedirectory.15 Ten Green Business ideas n Green franChise opporTuniTies If you are not yet ready to start your own green business and take on the risks associated with ownership. Only Green 4 Me Dealer http://corporate . HSI Pure Water Technology® dealers http://www .

In the U . You can be a part of this new wave of entrepreneurship . training programs. we hope that you now understand that there is a place for everyone in the new green economy . Read the next section to learn about other people who have already made this leap and found success . You could be next! Green For All CAP Green Business Content . New entrepreneurs are not wasting any time crafting a future that looks a lot brighter—one where small businesses provide products. This guide focuses on only a handful of the countless opportunities in the marketplace . decades of irresponsible and unsustainable business practices have created an unstable economy. Still.S .16 Ten Green Business ideas n ConCLusion Businesses in the emerging green economy are as diverse as the people who start them . and living wage jobs that preserve the environment and lift people out of poverty . and environmental degradation that threatens us all. services.. severe social inequities.

City Slicker Farms Oakland. LOCAL FOOd MOvEMENT Mo’ Better Food Oakland.17 Ten Green Business ideas n suCCessfuL exampLes This section highlights successful organizations across the U .org/ This urban farm grows food in vacant lots. then sells the food through a CSA and donates it to projects that feed the poor . all while supplying healthy food to the African-American community . For more success stories and information about the impact of small businesses in solving economic and environmental problems.S . addressing social inequities. that are solving critical environmental problems.smallwondersreport.org/ Urban farm committed to combating environmental racism by growing healthy food for low-income residents and offering job-training programs . New Jersey http://brickcityurbanfarms .com Organization with a number of different programs meant to promote self-sufficiency and economic independence. 82.82 Hopefully their stories will inspire you to begin working on your own green business plan! * Companies in green participate in Green For All’s Capital Access Program Business Coaching Initiative HEALTHy.pdf Green For All CAP Green Business Content . California http://www . see Small Wonders by The Center for Small Business and the Environment: http://www. and creating green-collar jobs in their communities .org/docs/ SWR_Final.cityslickerfarms . *Brick City Farming Solutions Newark. California http://mobetterfood .

California http://www .com/ Edible gardens and landscaping company that advocates for policy changes to support community agriculture . People’s Grocery Oakland. California http://www . Sweetwater Organic Coffee Gainesville. Java Shack Arlington. and a greenhouse. Florida http://www . Green For All CAP Green Business Content . as well as plans to open a community grocery store . sustainable and local foods .peoplesgrocery . a CSA program.com/ A green coffee house that supports community organizations . fair-trade coffee roasters. fair-labor practices and organic tea products . Has multiple urban farms. Numi Tea Oakland.revfoods .alledibles . Virginia http://javashack .sweetwaterorganiccoffee .18 Ten Green Business ideas All Edibles Oakland. Its vehicles run on 100% biodiesel . California http://www .worldpantry .com/ Supplies healthy natural lunches to school districts.com/cgi-bin/ncommerce3/ExecMacro/numitea/home .organiccatering . implements energy-efficiency practices. and seeks to reduce rates of childhood obesity through education programs .com/ Uses organic. Revolution Foods Oakland. Back to Earth Organic Catering Emeryville. Minimizes waste in all aspects of operation . fair-trade. California http://www . California http://www .org/ Provides healthy food to low-income residents .com Organic.d2w/ report A tea company committed to sustainability. dedicated to sustainable business and trade practices .

Re-creating a local food system where members know the source of everything they purchase.galacticpizza . weatherization. Minnesota http://www . electric vehicles.org Green-collar job training for veterans in energy efficiency.com Restaurant chain committed to sustainability and the use of renewable energy .coop Member-owned organization providing food from farms and producers within the state . Oklahoma http://oklahomafood . Burgerville Washington and Oregon http://www . Green For All CAP Green Business Content . alternative fuels production. which increases food safety . California http://www .letsbefrankdogs . vehicle conversions.burgerville . such as waste reduction. and green construction .com/vision/ Implements sustainability initiatives. RENEwABLE ENERGy ALTERNATIvES.com Supports local. Colorado http://veteransgreenjobs . and organic ingredients. Donates 5% of profits to charity. family-owned farms that are committed to sustainability . Offers living-wage jobs with affordable healthcare and community leadership programs for employees . renewable energy.19 Ten Green Business ideas Let’s Be Frank Hotdogs San Francisco and Los Angeles. California http://solarrichmond . *Solar Richmond Richmond.org/ Solar installation trainer that also provides job-placement services . Galactic Pizza Minneapolis. GREEN COLLAR JOB TRAINING. ANd GREEN-BUSINESS INCUBATORS Veterans Green Jobs Denver. Oklahoma Food Cooperative Oklahoma City.

California http://www . Pennsylvania http://gtechstrategies . products and services by building and servicing the rapidly growing green economy . *Growth Through Energy & Community Health (GTECH) Pittsburgh.20 Ten Green Business ideas Rising Sun Energy Berkeley.com/ This incubator offers shared workspaces and general support for green startups .html Solar installer and manufacturer .org/ Biofuel company that utilizes vacant blocks of land to produce biofuel crops . California http://www .org Provides energy-efficiency upgrades. Baltimore Green Works (BGW) Baltimore.greenspacesny .gridalternatives . Grid Alternatives Oakland.bootsontheroof . California http://www . Green Spaces New York. *Imani Energy Los Angeles.com/home . New York http://www . California http://imanienergy . Green For All CAP Green Business Content .com Training future green-collar workers and entrepreneurs in the solar. and solar installations in low-income communities . job training. Maryland http://baltimoregreenworks .com Offers education programs about sustainable ways of living to Maryland’s diverse communities . Committed to creating high-demand training and jobs. wind and energyefficiency fields. Boots on the Roof Fremont.org Provides green-job training to youth and adults who face barriers to employment .risingsunenergy .

Green For All CAP Green Business Content . Virginia http://www . Discount Cab Glendale.NuRide. NuRide Essex.com Bike rental company . *Bikes 4 Life Oakland.bikes4life .21 GREEN TRANSPORTATION Ten Green Business ideas Pedal Revolution San Francisco.com/index .org A non-profit bike store that refurbishes used bikes and provides at-risk youth with employment and job training . EnviroCAB Arlington. Connecticut http://www. California http://www .com Online community promoting greener transportation by offering points and coupons for choosing green transportation . http://www .C. SmartBike Washington D.envirotaxicab .com/ Uses hybrid cabs and completed $1 million remodeling of its corporate headquarters to reduce its carbon footprint . Also offers programming focused on leadership development and community organizing .html An environmentally sustainable taxicab company . California http://www .smartbike .discountcab .pedalrevolution . Arizona http://www .com Social enterprise that sells used and recycled bikes at affordable prices .

Illinois http://www .com Online retailer of energy-efficiency products.com Organic baby apparel .greentoys .tymelstyle . New York http://www .tygabox .blackenergy .com/ Retailer of green cleaning products . Pennsylvania http://www .ecofabulous . *WilloToons San Francisco. California http://willotoons .com • http://www . Additional examples: • http://www .com Green For All CAP Green Business Content .gotgreenkits .html Personal care products made from bees’ honey.biobagusa.com 100% biodegradable and compostable bags . Georgia http://www .22 Ten Green Business ideas GREEN PROdUCT INNOvATION ANd CONSUMER GOOdS BioBag USA Palm Harbor. *Tyga-Box Systems New York. *Tymel Style Villanova. *GotGreenKits Atlanta.beelinestore .com • http://gogreenbabyshop .com/index . Georgia http://www .com Produces reusable. sustainably manufactured designer bags . harvested by the recently incarcerated .com/ Reusable storage and moving boxes . Florida http://www . *Sweet Beginnings Chicago. *BlackEnergy Atlanta.

com/ THE REUSE REvOLUTION! Heritage Salvage Petaluma.com http://www .org/ Women’s co-op cleaning services and incubator for other cooperatives .com A worker-owned green cleaning cooperative .net GREEN HOME ANd OFFICE CLEANING SERvICES *EnviroClean USA Atlanta.earthcreations . and consultation . deconstruction services.thegreenjanitor .com Building material reclamation company providing site clearing.naturalhomecleaning . Employs out-of-work tradespeople and offers training services to build capacity for jobless and at-risk individuals .envirocleanusa .23 • • • • Ten Green Business ideas http://www .net/ The Green Janitor New York. California http://wagescooperatives .heritagesalvage .katequinnorganics . California http://www .com http://sagecreekorganics . New York http://www . California http://www . *WAGES Oakland.net/servlet/StoreFront http://www .org/ Green office cleaning services.organicgurus .greencityofficecleaning. Georgia http://www . Green For All CAP Green Business Content . Natural Home Cleaning Professionals San Francisco. Green City Office Cleaning San Francisco. California http://www.

htsenterprise .com Green engineering services . The Mouse Works Earlysville. ENERGy-EFFICIENT HOMES ANd GREEN HOME RETROFITS Recurve (formerly Sustainable Spaces) San Francisco. *Stinnette & Brown Chicago.com Sustainable home audits and green retrofits. California http://www .ekologic . Urban Ore Berkeley. *HTS Enterprises Atlanta.24 Ten Green Business ideas Ekologic Troy. Virginia http://www .sustainablespaces .com/ Designer clothing made from 99% recycled materials .epOxyGreen .themouseworks . The ReUse People Oakland.ypguides . *EpOxyGreen Venice.stinnetteandbrown . California http://www .com/ Green building development and construction . Georgia http://www . California http://www . Green For All CAP Green Business Content . California http://urbanore .org Recycled building materials and demolition/salvage training and certification.com/ Hand-made clothing and hats made of recycled materials . Illinois http://www .thereusepeople .net/ Recycled building materials .com Sustainable building materials and design center . New York http://www .

com/ Energy-efficiency engineering and business consulting. The Garden Project San Francisco. Colarado http://cleanairlawncare . Clean Air Lawn Care Fort Collins. California http://gardenproject . including gray water system installation.25 Ten Green Business ideas *Enpulse Energy Conservation Greensboro. Green Plumbers.megawattconsulting .enpulse .org Employment. California http://www . HVAC. Nevada http://www . North Carolina http://www . GREEN IT MegaWatt Consulting Reno. and education for at-risk youth and former offenders . GREEN LANdSCAPING ANd GREEN PLUMBING Middlebrook Gardens San Jose. and solar thermal installation .com/ Green plumber and contractor offering an array of services.com Offers consulting services on energy-efficient data centers and renewable energy.com Environmentally friendly lawn care services . Preserving the environment through low-impact gardening and native plant stewardship .middlebrook-gardens . Green For All CAP Green Business Content .com A sustainable landscape design and build company . LLC Los Angeles California http://greenplumbersllc . job training.

Seedco New York. Massachusetts http://www .S . Prosper San Francisco.S . Green For All CAP Green Business Content .htm Energy-efficient data center consulting services. with a specific green-focus. New York http://www . with an internal commitment to social responsibility and sustainability .org/ Microlending organization that focuses mainly on entrepreneurs in developing countries.prosper .com/services/consulting/infrastructure/expertise/infrastructure-consolidation . as well .greenmicrofinance.org/ An organization focusing on community development within the U . Pennsylvania http://www. California http://www .org/ Committed to addressing climate change and environmental justice through education and microfinancing for the poor in developing countries.) Green MicroFinance Center Phoenixville. GREEN.org/cestas A formalized peer-lending program that helps low-income immigrants participate in peer-lending and improve their credit scores . California http://missionassetfund . or microfinance and lending in the U. GRASS-ROOTS COMMUNITy LENdING ANd MICROFINANCING (Most of these organizations either focus on green microfinance overseas. California http://www .S.emc . Cesta Populares San Francisco. but recently announced microlending within the U .26 Ten Green Business ideas EMC Consulting Hopkinton. by providing investments in low-income communities .kiva . Kiva San Francisco.seedco .com/ An online investment and lending company that formalizes peer-to-peer lending .

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