Eco News from 4imprint

5 business ideas to spark your imagination!
Looking for a new revenue stream or angle for your business? Whether you’re looking to complement your existing products and services or considering something completely different – ‘going green’ could definitely be the way forward.

Have a read of our 5 business ideas for some truly inspiring thoughts that may help to unleash the ‘green entrepreneur’ within!

Healthy Food
Essential for each and every one of us! With the increase in home cooking and people being more concerned about food miles and provenance, opportunities abound in the healthy, local food sector.

  • If you’re already in the catering industry switching to organic, locally sourced or fair trade products could instantly prove popular with existing customers and of course, may tempt others to try you out. Promote your green credentials on cool bags packed up with tasty samples!
  • How about establishing a mobile Fairtrade Coffee business and target audiences at local events, carnivals and festivals? Having fun is thirsty work! Charge a little extra to cover the cost of a Thermal Mug this will save paper-cups and serve as a lasing reminder of your brand!
  • Co-operative Grocery organisations are increasingly popular amongst foodies looking for organic groceries at a fair price. Let the award winning Unicorn Grocery business in Manchester be your inspiration; you can also find lots of advice online on sites such as Co-operatives UK.

Consumer Goods
Demand is growing for safe, effective, non-toxic products that don’t harm the environment and this sector offers plenty of scope for home-based businesses.

  • If you’re handy with a sewing machine why not start making organic clothes using sustainable materials? Or, accessories are always popular and with some creative thinking you could soon be producing unique pieces using recycled materials. Book yourself a stall at a fete or farmers market to showcase your ideas and gather valuable feedback, take plenty of pens printed with your phone number and Facebook details.
  • Soaps, cosmetics and environmentally friendly cleaning products are perfect everyday consumables and can also make for thoughtful gifts. With plenty of research and a bit of experimenting you could soon be producing one-off household products to sell to friends or even online. Clever eco-friendly packaging will help you to stand out from the crowd.

Recycle & Upcycle
Remaking consumer goods is a great way to earn your green stripes and the building trade offers some canny business opportunities too.

  • If you’ve seen the TV show ‘Kirstie’s Fill Your House For Free’ you’d know with a few power tools and lots of creative thinking you can recycle and upcycle everyday items into multi-functional objects of value and desire. Scouring local tips and skips (with permission!) and using sites like Freegle you can pick up your ‘stock’ for next to nothing; then the only thing holding you back is your imagination. Promote your designs to chic interior designers and furniture shops in trendy areas.
  • If you enjoy getting your hands dirty how about offering salvage services by removing, cleaning and then re-selling used building materials directly to local builders or DIY enthusiasts?

Green Transport
This is an area with huge potential and a wide range of benefits both for the environment and public health.

  • With many employers offering Cycle to Work schemes and interest in cycling growing amongst all ages, offering a Mobile Cycle Repair and refurbishment service could be a winner.
  • At the other end of the scale, you could develop an app to promote car sharing within your city or local business park or go the whole hog and start a Green Cab company with a fleet of environmentally friendly cars. Give out magnets printed with your contact details.

Green Energy
Even more ambitious and innovative is the Cleantech sector where green businesses are offering everything from renewable heating systems in domestic properties to data centre cooling systems. The Government has pledged enormous support to encourage growth in the Cleantech market with grants and loans available at both national and regional levels.

Whatever sector or industry experience you currently have, it’s likely both you and your business could benefit from the huge interest in sustainable and environmentally friendly organisations. Go on – go green!

Sources / References / Further Reading
Co-operatives UK
Unicorn Grocery
Kirstie’s Fill Your House For Free
Freegle
Ten Green Business Ideas for New Entrepreneurs. Green For All.
14 Green Business Ideas for Eco-Friendly Entrepreneurs. Business News Daily.
Business Ideas for 2014: Cleantech business. startups.