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“Green business”: how to make money on ecology

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“Green business”: how to make money on ecology

Green Business

An environmentally friendly business, “green business” or eco-business, demonstrates a commitment to an environmentally sustainable future. Modern business is moving into a phase of sustainability and focuses on environmental friendliness. Relevance, high demand, profitability, and development prospects are the reasons why it is worth starting an eco-business today.

The issue of ecology is one of the most important all over the world. In the wake of the popularity of the eco-movement, “green” entrepreneurship appeared – an environmental business that brings not only profit, but also benefits to the environment, society, and the planet. For many countries, the environmental direction has long become the norm, and in Russia it is just beginning to develop.

The green business model, while providing sufficient income, prioritizes minimizing the company’s environmental impact instead of maximizing profits. This could include limited use of fossil fuels, focusing on energy supplied by solar panels, and other approaches to drastically reduce energy consumption.

Why eco-business is relevant in 2023

Attention to the environment is increasing every year. Sustainability has become a new trend, and business has quickly turned it into a marketing ploy. In today’s world, consumers want to buy a product not only because of its price and quality, but also because of its environmental impact. Over the past 5 years, store shelves have been filled with goods with the prefixes “eco” and “bio”. A New York University study has proven that green products sell much better.

In 2023, the eco-trend is developing especially actively – both around the world and in Russia. The goal of an environmental business is not to make a profit, but to improve the ecology of the planet and the health of society.

As part of eco-entrepreneurship, you can engage in various activities:

  • resource saving technologies;
  • environmental improvement, eco-design, etc.;
  • the use of secondary raw materials;
  • organization of recreation;
  • eco-education;
  • production and sale of eco-goods;
  • provision of eco-services.

A green business can be seen as a profitable idea because its benefits are clear:

  • environmental friendliness is a global trend;
  • is in great demand among consumers; demand is expected to grow;
  • weak competition in certain niches;
  • supported by the public and the state;
  • opportunities for the manifestation of creative ideas;
  • eco-technologies often allow you to reduce the cost of your business;
  • there are different formats of work: from a small shop with eco-products to a large company producing organic products. A business of any size can bring an entrepreneur a stable income.

Eco-business includes entrepreneurial activities that ensure pollution prevention, resource- and nature-saving technologies, the use of biotechnologies that implement measures to improve the environment, recycling, green energy, the production of “healthy” food, clean water, building goods, and the construction of eco-parks. , waste management, tourism, infrastructure, crop and animal breeding.

How to choose a business idea and make money on ecology

Eco-friendly business in Russia is a rather young direction, so there are many niches and niche projects that can be taken up and successfully implemented. It is advisable to start with what you understand and are competent in. Most areas are easy to refocus on environmental friendliness. For example, working in the cleaning services market, you can offer an eco-cleaning service. Change the assortment of the grocery store to farm products, and turn the tourist base with barbecue facilities into an eco-hotel organizing a “green” holiday.

Also, when choosing an idea, you should take into account the conditions for business in your area. Assess the demand for a product or product, the presence of a target audience and other conditions. And finally, analyze your capabilities as an investor, organizer and specialist.

The review contains more than 20 promising eco-business ideas with different budgets and focus:

organic food store

Investments: from 200 thousand rubles

Trade in organic products is one of the fastest growing industries in the country. Demand for such products is constantly growing, despite high prices. As a rule, organic products cost 50% -100% more than conventional ones.

Accordingly, the profit here is slightly higher than in ordinary grocery stores. Therefore, you can open a profitable business selling eco-products.

The essence of the idea is simple: you open a store and sell the goods that farms supply to you.

To start, you will need small investments – for 200 thousand rubles you can open a farm online store or an eco-shop. Difficulties may arise at the stage of selection of suppliers and promotion. An eco-shop must have stable supplies and quality products – establishing this system takes a lot of time. In addition, you will need to carefully consider the storage and marketing of products. After all, healthy food (without additives and preservatives) has a short shelf life. To avoid losses, the entrepreneur must find a balance in the volume of supply and sales.

Eco-bags made of natural fabrics

Investments: 100 thousand rubles

You can build a profitable business in the manufacture and sale of environmental products. One of the options is to open a production for sewing eco-bags. This will require a minimum investment – almost the entire amount will be spent on the purchase of equipment and consumables. And the production is easy to place at home.

Eco-bags support the idea to abandon plastic bags that pollute the environment and use reusable bags made from natural fabrics in everyday life.

The target audience is young people aged 16-35. It is this age range that the manufacturer should focus on when he chooses the design of bags and promotion channels. The most profitable option is to open your online store through social networks.

Reusable grocery bags

Sustainability is at the forefront of many people’s minds these days; As more and more people are looking for an alternative to wasteful plastic grocery bags, there is a good market for a reusable grocery bag business.

There are several ways to bring this startup idea to life: create more functional bags (for example, with thermal protection, pockets, waterproof material, etc.) or develop bags for a specific audience by identifying trends.

Production and sale of eco-friendly bags

Investments: from 20 thousand rubles

Continuing the theme of eco-bags, you can go in a more original way and start producing eco-friendly fabric storage systems. Shopping bags, bags for storing fruits, vegetables and cereals, canvas bags, jute bags, reusable shoe covers, wax napkins for products, etc.

Such products will be in demand, but many of them are not yet as widely promoted as the same eco-bags or shopping bags. So the main task is to come up with an original product and reach out to your customers.

You can organize such a business at home. This will require a minimum of money. But creativity is important here, since you will have to come up with a design and sew products yourself. Of course, you can hire specialists for production, but then business costs will increase.

Making eco-friendly firewood

Investments: from 15 thousand rubles

One of the topical environmental issues is the use of safe fuel. Despite the spread of gas and electric heating, the demand for firewood is consistently high. They are used for fireplaces, greenhouses, saunas, wood-burning boilers or stove heating.

Not so long ago, an idea appeared on the market – to produce fuel briquettes (pellets) from pressed leaves. By adding wax for gluing, manufacturers get eco-pole: 1 kg of such fuel releases about 30 megajoules of energy. This is enough to keep the fire in the fireplace or cook food on the grill.

The amount of initial investment depends on what scale of production to plan. For a full-fledged production, about 1 million rubles will be required, and for a home business or mini-production, 20-50 thousand rubles will be enough. You will need to purchase a briquetting press and a complex for drying the finished product. It is also desirable to provide a production facility that can be equipped in your own yard.

It is easy to master the production process. There are many videos on the Internet that tell the intricacies of making leaf briquettes. You can also find tips on how to make equipment with your own hands.

The main difficulties are associated with the search for raw materials (it takes a lot to produce it) and marketing. This category of goods is quite complicated: in order to make money on the sale, you need to clearly understand your target audience. It is worth opening your own production of fuel briquettes only if you can establish the supply of raw materials and distribution channels.

Eco design, eco construction

Investments: from 200 thousand rubles

Green building materials are the future, and creating a startup focused on the production and supply of sustainable building materials to construction companies can be a great way to change the pollution situation. Construction and design with the prefix “eco” is a modern trend that is gaining more and more popularity. The idea involves an eco-friendly lifestyle in the field of housing construction. This may include:

  • various “natural” designs, such as phytowalls or landscaping;
  • eco-repairs and construction using eco-friendly materials;
  • the construction of eco-houses, which are provided with all the necessary resources only at the expense of environmentally friendly energy sources (alternative, renewable).

Knowledge in this area can be obtained at practical seminars on eco-building, training workshops, etc.

Eco-tourism, organization of eco-tours

Investments: 50 thousand rubles

Recently, ecotourism has been gaining popularity. According to experts, ecotourism has every chance of becoming a “hit”. City dwellers are happy to spend outdoor activities. Entrepreneurs quickly picked up the idea and maintained interest. Today you can find many offers of tours and excursions in this direction.

Ecotourism involves spending the night in tents, healthy eating, swimming in the river, fishing, hiking … For those who love comfort, the market offers accommodation in eco-houses, excursions, a sauna and other entertainment. One of the areas that is in demand among the townspeople is the opportunity to live a village life: chop wood, harvest, look at pets, take a steam bath, drink tea from a samovar.

The amount of investment depends on the idea itself. To create an author’s tour, you will need a minimum of financial investments and a maximum of organizational skills. But the construction of a town with eco-houses will have to spend a significant amount.

You can start with a small range of services and invest profits to expand your business. Start by organizing fishing, boating, cycling, themed tours, etc. There are many ways to make money on ecotourism. The main thing in this business is your enterprise.

Bulk goods store

Starting capital: 50 thousand rubles

The best-selling product in domestic supermarkets is plastic bags. 80 billion pieces are sold every year – and they all end up in landfills. Paper bags that are used in packaging are also not environmentally friendly. Many products are sold in polypropylene or cardboard packaging. The solution to this problem is not to use packaging at all.

This is the basis of the idea of ​​a store without packaging. The business works as follows: an entrepreneur buys goods in large quantities from a supplier and sells them by weight. The buyer comes to the store with his container. By the way, you can also sell eco-friendly packaging in the store – bags, storage bags, etc.

For today the niche is free. In large cities, such stores are just beginning to appear.

The complexity of the business lies in the fact that many buyers are not ready to give up convenient packaging. Therefore, you will have to invest in the promotion of the store in order to spread your idea.

Production of edible tableware

Investments: 150 thousand rubles

Edible tableware is a new trend that is actively used in many countries. Disposable plastic is being replaced by edible tableware. Many cafes and restaurants strive to acquire such a novelty. Fashion has already captured the United States and Europe, which means it will soon reach Russia.

In our country, a very small number of companies use edible tableware. And even fewer of those who produce it. Therefore, you can occupy a free and very promising niche. It is fashionable, original, convenient and eco-friendly.

Opening the production of edible dishes is not difficult. This can be done at home, without complicated equipment and large sums.

The production of edible dishes is a rather primitive process. You can easily make coffee waffle mugs, rice, bread and cheese plates, jelly glasses, dried fruit cups, etc.

The easiest way is to choose those products for the production of which the standard equipment of the confectionery shop is sufficient. For example, waffle cups.

The main risk in this business is low demand. Unfortunately, not all companies can appreciate the prospects of this idea. Your first priority will be to find customers among catering establishments. And you need to start with those organizations that already support the theme of sustainability.

Eco consulting

Investments: from 20 thousand rubles.

If you can be considered an expert in eco-tech, then you can provide consulting services in this niche. The essence of the consultations is to give an environmental assessment of houses and offices, to suggest ways of optimization. For example, how to switch to energy-saving technologies or implement a waste management program.

To increase customer confidence, become a certified eco-consultant. Today you can find many training courses, some of them are available online. Training takes place with experienced specialists in the field of nature management and environmental safety.

Serious training will cost about 20 thousand rubles. To start, investments of about 30 thousand rubles will be required – almost all funds will be spent on training and advanced training. Do not forget to also provide for the costs of promoting your services.

Organization of eco-weddings

Investments: from 20 thousand rubles

The problem of ecology is close to many, so the organization of weddings in eco-style will be a popular service. The implementation of such an idea is a chance to occupy a free niche in the wedding industry, where there is fierce competition. Some statistics: traditional weddings leave behind 400-600 tons of garbage and waste every year. Therefore, the idea of ​​an eco-wedding is not only about decor, but about a philosophy of life.

To build a business on eco-friendly weddings, you will need to assemble a team of like-minded people who are committed to eco-style. Such an idea should be embodied by caring people, then it will be possible to achieve success.

At the heart of this business is the concept of sustainability. To organize such weddings, you will need to find extraordinary solutions, show maximum creativity. All wedding decor should be made only from natural materials. Also, an eco-wedding involves: a special menu (dishes from environmentally friendly products), simplicity, the rejection of cars, fireworks and balloons, etc.

In other words, a real eco-wedding denies most of the attributes of a traditional wedding: no limousines, fireworks, and even paper invitations.

Despite the concept of simplicity and economy, you can make good money organizing eco-weddings, as this trend is now at its peak in European countries.

Recycling point

Investments: from 200 thousand rubles

Organizing a recycling center is one of the popular ideas when it comes to green business. According to statistical studies, in Russia only 12% of waste is sent for recycling. The rest remains in landfills. You can change the situation if you start collecting and sorting garbage.

The main task is to think over a system for receiving recyclables and further processing. Of course, you will get more profit if you combine collection, sorting and recycling in your business. However, to implement such a large-scale idea, an impressive start-up capital is required. Entering a business is quite difficult: from obtaining permits and registration, ending with a high level of competition.

But opening a recycling center is a little easier. You can accept all types of recyclables or specialize in individual materials: waste paper, plastic, metal, glass, etc. There are different formats for such recyclable items. For example, you can install a vending machine where used batteries, plastic bottles, etc. are handed over. In Russia, such machines are not yet so common.

You can donate recyclables at the base, and to make it easier to transport raw materials, it is advisable to purchase a small press. With its help, cardboard, plastic, aluminum cans, waste paper are pressed. The equipment will cost at least 100 thousand rubles. Approximately the same amount will be spent on opening a reception point.

At the start, it is better to resolve the issue with the delivery of recyclables. In any city there is a reseller who accepts large quantities of recyclables. It is better to conclude an agreement and work on an ongoing basis in order to eliminate sales problems.

Recycling of garbage and waste

Investments: from 3 million rubles

Recycling garbage and waste is a profitable and rewarding business. The profitability of such an enterprise can be 50% or more. However, getting into the business is not easy.

To organize a complex for the reception and processing of solid waste, you will need to go through a complex registration procedure with obtaining permits and invest a large amount. The basic set of necessary equipment for waste processing will cost at least 2 million rubles.

Profitable and popular types of MSW are paper waste and plastic. Recycled paper is used to make food packaging and toilet paper, while plastic is used to make containers, furniture and even clothing. However, these are highly competitive areas, so it is better to choose less popular niches – for example, organic waste processing.

Upcycling – recycling household items

Upcycling, sometimes referred to as reverse commerce, gives used items a second life by reducing landfills and conserving resources and materials. From recycling old clothes for resale to creating wall art from broken keyboards, upcycling allows you to offer shoppers something truly unique.

Recycling household items is a particularly sustainable initiative, as the average piece of furniture generates about 47 kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent from processes ranging from textile production to wood and timber products.

Eco-pencils and other eco-little things

Investments: from 50 thousand rubles

This idea will appeal to those who love original solutions and thoughtful little things. Eco-pencils have appeared in Europe, in which capsules with the seeds of a plant are placed. When the pencil is worn down, it is “planted” in the ground. There are several pencils in one box, where variations with seeds of vegetables, herbs and other plants are presented.

The pencils themselves are made of cedar wood, and instead of a lead rod, a mixture of graphite and clay.

This idea was well received by buyers, so you can try to implement it in Russia. To do this, it is not necessary to open your own production of eco-pencils. You can just start selling them by opening an eco-friendly store.

For example, bamboo toothbrushes, wax wipes, silicone storage bags, canvas shopping bags, reusable drink cups, etc. You can create your own online store, sell goods through Instagram, or open a small eco-shop in a shopping center.

Production of eco-toys

Investments: from 20 thousand rubles

Wooden toys are on the rise. Eco-friendly, aesthetic handmade products – in all respects, this corresponds to modern trends.

Currently, wooden toys are not cheap, but they are well bought. Parents are willing to pay more for a toy if it meets their requirements.

You will need to purchase several woodworking machines and various auxiliary tools. The start-up costs are low: 20 thousand rubles.

You can sell products via the Internet using various resources: Instagram, Masters Fair, Etsy.com, Avito, etc. You can earn on this from 50 thousand rubles of net profit.

The production of wooden toys is an interesting and promising business. If you come up with an original concept and manage the initial stage, then you will have every chance to develop production.

Solar energy and solar water heating systems

The cost of traditional energy in the world continues to rise, which makes green business ideas related to saving energy and reducing energy costs a promising green business both now and in the future.

Solar water heating systems can provide significant energy cost savings (if properly installed, they provide up to 70% of hot water for a family).

  • Use of alternative energy

Alternative energy is a catch-all phrase that describes any energy source that is not derived from fossil fuels. Solar, wind and geothermal energy are the most common forms of alternative energy, and they can be used by manufacturing companies to reduce dependence on oil, gas and traditional forms of electricity. While it may not be possible for a company to completely phase out the use of fossil fuels, it can reduce its energy consumption by using alternative energy wherever possible.

Wind turbines

Investments: from 100 thousand rubles

The issue of alternative energy supply is relevant now and will only gain popularity in the future. There are various solutions – from solar panels to wind turbines. The latter option is popular and is increasingly common in Russia. We are still far from Europe, where the use of wind energy has reached an industrial scale, but we are already taking the first steps.

The essence of the business is the installation of wind farms (wind generators). This is a very promising direction. Entry into this market is available not only for large businesses, but also for medium and small businesses. The amount of investment will depend on the scale of the wind farm.

The minimum that is needed to start is 100 thousand rubles, and a powerful station will require several million rubles. A novice businessman can think about making such a wind generator with his own hands – now on the Internet you can find calculations and drawings for the construction of such a generator.

However, it should be noted that not all areas are suitable for wind energy. Keep this in mind when considering an idea for implementation.

organic cosmetics

Investments: from 300 thousand rubles

The topic of ecology penetrates into all spheres of life and, of course, touched the beauty industry. Shops that specialize only in organic cosmetics began to appear on the market.

Green cosmetics contain at least 95% natural ingredients, and all plants used in cosmetics must be grown in environmentally friendly conditions. Packaging must also comply with the principles of environmental friendliness.

The business idea is to open an eco-friendly cosmetics store. There you can sell organic products of various types: from soap to lipstick.

Disposal of electronic equipment

Investments: 300 thousand rubles

Many people sort their own recyclables (paper, glass and plastic), but forget about recycling broken electronics.

You can earn by collecting and recycling old TVs, broken laptops and mobile phones, batteries, cathode ray lamps, and other electronic waste that is harmful to the environment.

The problem of e-waste disposal is attracting more and more attention, so it is important to seize the moment and carve out a niche.

To open an enterprise for the collection and disposal of electronic waste, a significant amount will be required. But you can organize a business to provide intermediary services – and deal only with the acceptance (export) of decommissioned electronics.

Your functions will be to accept the equipment, disassemble it “for spare parts” and sell it to large processors, whose production facilities allow recycling electronic waste.

Eco restaurant

Investments: from 700 thousand rubles

An eco-restaurant is a profitable idea that fits perfectly into modern food culture. Healthy food, healthy products, environmentally friendly furniture and building materials, an established waste disposal system, eco-design and the philosophy of the establishment as a whole are just some of the advantages that will interest visitors.

Moreover, an ecological restaurant will attract a different audience: connoisseurs of cozy establishments, adherents of proper nutrition, and eco-activists.

It is better to open such an institution in a large city. But keep in mind that this idea can bring you a lot of problems. The fact is that you must fully comply with the concept of the institution. In an eco-restaurant, everything must match: from building materials to the menu. Many details need to be considered. Therefore, it is recommended to open such an institution for those who are “in the know” of the restaurant business.

Sale and installation of solar panels

Investments: from 400 thousand rubles

Another option for alternative sources of electricity is solar panels. In foreign markets, such products have long been used by ordinary people. And in Russia, the niche of solar collectors is not yet developed.

No more than a dozen manufacturers are engaged in the production of solar panels, and the total coverage is no more than 100,000 square meters. The business niche is relatively free and promising. As a rule, solar batteries are used in three areas: heating greenhouses and various utility rooms, heating residential buildings and heating water in swimming pools, summer showers, etc.

But given the climatic features in Russia, this idea is not available in every region. It is most advisable to install solar collectors in the south of the country, where there are more sunny days.

You can engage in both the production of solar panels and their installation. The easiest option is to open a solar panel assembly business. To do this, you will have to invest about 300 thousand rubles. A full-fledged enterprise requires investments of 5-6 million and the involvement of serious specialists.

Ecological cleaning

Investments: from 400 thousand rubles

Environmental friendliness extends to all spheres of life, including the proper arrangement and maintenance of one’s own housing.

Recently, eco-cleaning services have gained popularity in the market. Eco-friendliness lies in the fact that organic, safe cleaning products based on herbs and essential oils are used.

Eco-cleaning also uses environmentally friendly equipment: washing vacuum cleaners, steam generators, etc. The purpose of such cleaning is not only to achieve cleanliness, but also to create conditions that are safe for health.

Ecocleaning services are actively used by families with small children, allergy sufferers, pet owners, etc.

The very scheme of opening a business does not differ from ordinary cleaning. The question is only in the selection of environmentally friendly equipment and cleaning products.

In custody

Eco-business is a popular and promising direction, which is just beginning to gain momentum. Today, many niches are free – and this is a chance to open a profitable business. The demand for environmentally friendly products and services is growing every year.

Of course, you need to remember about the difficulties. To implement some ideas, you will have to go through a lot of bureaucratic procedures, other projects require large investments or special competence. Certain niches are occupied by competitors and are practically closed to newcomers.

You can solve these problems at the planning stage: analyze the market, the level of demand and competition in advance, draw up a business plan, and also objectively assess the possibilities to implement the idea in specific conditions. If at this stage everything is done correctly, then the risks will be minimal.

Questions and answers

💡 What is the relevance of environmental business?

Attention to the environment is increasing every year. Sustainability has become a new trend, and business has quickly turned it into a marketing ploy. Over the past five years, store shelves have been filled with goods with the prefixes “eco” and “bio”. A New York University study has proven that sustainable products sell better.

In 2023, the eco-trend and “green business” are developing especially actively – both around the world and in Russia. The goal of an environmental business is not only to make a profit, but also to improve the planet.

💡 Which business to choose?

As part of eco-entrepreneurship, you can engage in various activities:

  • resource saving technologies;
  • environmental improvement, eco-design, etc.;
  • use of secondary raw materials;
  • organization of recreation;
  • eco-education;
  • production and sale of eco-goods;
  • provision of eco-services.

💡 What are the benefits of an eco-business?

An environmental business can be seen as a profitable idea because its benefits are clear:

  • environmental friendliness is a global trend;
  • is in great demand among consumers; demand is expected to grow;
  • weak competition in certain niches;
  • supported by the public and the state;
  • opportunities for business creativity;
  • eco-technologies often allow you to reduce the cost of your business;
  • there are different formats of work: from a small shop with eco-products to a large company producing organic products. A business of any size can bring an entrepreneur a stable income.

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