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Starting Your Own Green Business?

Updated on June 8, 2011

It's a Green World Now...

As we move through this challenging economy, we are going through a change of identity. The nation is no longer following a similar path, but rebuilding and re-emerging much leaner and meaner. We are struggling to break away from our dependence on foreign oil by looking to new sources of energy. The new stimulus package from Washington spells new jobs focused on improving the nation's infrastructure and our environment. This will all lead us towards a greener world and economy.

Glen Croston, Ph.D., has researched this growing trend and assembled a collection of opportunities for eco-entrepreneurs in his recent book, 75 Green Businesses You Can Start To Make Money And Make A Difference. If you are unemployed or just looking to begin a new career with purpose and promise, you owe it to yourself to look at the innovative possibilities within this book.

The eleven chapters,followed by both on and off-line resources, represent a comprehensive overview of green business. The specific 75 green businesses discussed span a broad spectrum including green energy,green careers,green building,green money, conservation,food,water, homes and businesses, and green services. As Glen states these 75 opportunities are "unprecedented...to build profitable and rewarding businesses while providing solutions for the challenging problems we face. Explore the possibilities to find the green business that best fits your personal interests, skills, and resources...."

Areas of Growth

Solar power is growing at a significant rate each year. The production of solar photovoltaic panels has increased a pronounced 40 percent from 2000 to 2005 alone (The Economist, March 10, 2007). Moreover, solar power is being used to energize more and different products from camping gear and outdoor lighting to purses. This growth and continued technological innovation will begin to drive down prices so that solar power will be more affordable. This spark will mean it's going to be difficult to train "green collar" workers fast enough or let alone establish the businesses that train them. Visit here for more specific information on home solar energy (http://www.greenworldtree.com/homesolarpower.html). For every job opportunity discussed, the author lists a thumbnail categorization of its market need,mission,knowledge to start,capital required, timing to start,and special challenges.

As one gazes across the nation's landscape today, he will see more and more wind turbines appearing--with more to come. They are bringing needed energy to both homes and businesses--and with that more jobs. Wind business grew an incredible 50 percent in 2006 (The Clean Tech Revolution, 2007). Installers of small-wind-turbines and towers are needed now. Wind power is an energy source that is ,also, in its early stage of development.

In addition to wind turbines, we are seeing more green homes and buildings appear. Crosten reports that "the U.S. Green Building Council is hoping to see 100,000 LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) commercial buildings by 2010...From there another ten-fold increase by 2020 to 1 milllion buildings." Workers with LEED certification will be needed to commission building to make sure all systems are functional and green-rated. Creating green reports and performing inspections when a home is sold will also be required. In the future a great number of buildings will be needed to be inspected and certified.

Some Not So Obvious Opportunities

Glen Croston features job opportunities in sectors or areas one may not have considered. For example, rebuilding and selling furniture will waste less and contribute to both the economy and the planet. In our throw-away mentality, too often furniture, that is used, lands in a garage sale or is simply tossed. Fixing it up and selling it is a job option. Running an actual green furniture store is another. How about designing and creating green furniture that is sustainable.

Besides offering many possibilities of jobs that can be created, another benefit of this book is to get our imaginations moving. About half way through the book, I, myself, began thinking of new job ideas. An area that lends itself to one's creativity is green food. Do you think you might be able to come up with a concept for eco-friendly and healthy fast food? If so, you may want to open a store or begin a franchise. Or sell recyclable or compostable plates, spoons or cups to a green restaurant...

Other areas one might want to consider for innovation are water (catch and store rainwater to use, un-bottled water, toilets that use less water or landscaping that conserves water), green services (advertising for green organizations, dry-cleaning alternatives, ecotourism, green ranking of restaurants and retail outlets or helping people redesign or remodel in a green way) or wasting less (help businesses reduce waste,make products that can be reused,creative packaging of products, or reducing demolition waste by reusing). This book gets you thinking.

Read On For Further Details

Of course, this guide gives more concrete job information in all areas forementioned and also intersperses insights from "Green Revolution Leaders." But its most signficant asset, again, is that it opens the reader's mind. If you are interested in the green market, this book may be the catalyst and tool needed to really discover a job that matches you,

As Josh Doftman (author of The Lazy Environmentalist) adds,"75 Green Businesses gets you quickly up to speed on the fast-paced trends propelling the green economy and shows you where to find the opportunities. If you're considering starting your own green business, Croston's book has practically written about half your business plan for you."

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