I just love Recycle Bill’s– here is his list of Green Business Start Up Ideas- perfect timing for those who have been laid off and are thinking of starting their own business.
For those who may not know, RecycleBills.com Llc. is more than simply another green blog– we are a new green business venture that plans to launJuly 1, 2009. We have a unique green product based on research on successful products from the Great Depression coupled with the Internet. In the meantime we thought we’d suggest some other green business ideas to those who might be looking for green ways to survive in a new greener economy. As for the rest of you, here’s more green business ideas.
Local Hybrid Vehicle Conversions, especially the conversion of various local delivery vehicles could be a huge money maker for the guy or gal who doesn’t mind getting greasy. The addition of a small diesel (think bio-diesel) generator to a GEM or other electric truck would turn these vehicles into real local delivery vehicles. Be sure to offer an enclosed cargo box as an option. Any company already making enclosed cargo boxes could provide you with boxes to install. And for anyone who considers themselves a real mechanic, welder or electrician this is a no-brainer.
Gasoline to Natural Gas and/or Hydrogen Automobile Conversions can be managed with the cars we drive today no matter how old your car happens to be. Refueling stations could be built in people’s homes and garages. For those homeowners who already have natural gas in their homes it’s a natural. For those of you with the technical background and little fear of grease this could be the next big thing. And if you happen to be a farmer you might want to consider building a still. Just be sure to fill out all state and federal permits to keep the revenuers off your back.
Local Home Grocery Delivery isn’t right for every community but for those of you who live in dense urban communities it might be just the thing– especially if you happen to be operating one of the nation’s few remaining mom and pop grocery stores. Yes, most of the big chains offer some sort of local grocery delivery service but it’s not something they’re geared up to do because it’s not a service they really want us to use. Big grocery chains make their big money on impulse shopping– home delivery doesn’t get customers into the store to buy on impulse. Buy that fuel-efficient delivery truck from your local hybrid vehicle converter and have at it.
Take Your Grocery Store where the people live. Think about it. Load that little truck with the things people need and park it in a neighborhood that doesn’t have a grocery store within walking distance. The cost of adding a local peddler’s license to your existing business license is quite low in most cities.
Parking Store Malls are the thing for the people who have some land in a densely populated area but haven’t the means or desire to develop the land. A parking store mall is simply an empty lot where you rent outdoor space to local peddlers. Might be just the thing for a landlord with several condemned houses and it might be enough to keep the neighbors from accusing you of being just another slum lord.
Reuseable Containers like canning jars, jelly glasses and attractive fabric feed sacks show great promise for existing manufacturers or the new manufacturer set to launch and looking for an edge. Henry Ford had Model T engines shipped in crates that became the floorboards for Model Ts– a shipping cart that could be converted into a chair or table might be enough to make RecycleBill buy your product over some other.
Reusable Restaurant Take-out Containers made from Aluminum and Stainless Steel and sold by green restaurants will be very much in demand by green patrons looking to do their parts to reduce waste and eliminate toxins ingested from plastics. Note: Aluminum should not be used with acidic foods and Stainless would no doubt be the best choice.
Electric And Gas Hybrid Bicycles And Scooters are going to be huge! I have a trike with an electric motor attached and it only took me about an hour to install. If only we could keep the stuff in stock…
Sell Your Junk On E-bay Selling your junk or other people’s junk is always better than throwing it away– one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, right? Anyway, RecycleBill’s Ebay Store is often our company’s biggest money maker. If you live in Greensboro, NC and would like for us to sell your personal or business junk on e-bay simply e-mail me at RecycleBill@gmail.com and we’ll talk.
Eco Lawn Care might work in some areas. Most lawncare businesses are anything but green using lots of gasoline and nasty chemicals. And they’re loud. But if everything were to happen to fall in place you might make a living using human powered reel mowers or electrics. And don’t forget the electric weedwackers.
Green Cleaning is yet another idea. Some like the Wadell sisters of Carolina Green are already making it happen.
Online Shopping, while not as green as buying local, is still greener than buying from the big box retailers. You see, those UPS, Fedex and USPO trucks are still going to be driving past your house no matter where you shop– might as well shop at RecycleBill’s Green Store rather than waste the gas. Most orders over $25.oo include free shipping.
Alternative Construction such as building homes from plastic bags is another green idea that is bound to be a money maker. And if by chance you need to buy a good used bailer… Well, RecycleBill just happens to have one under the shed.
Solar Powered Crawl Space Heaters are simple to build and have the added advantage of being able to keep crawl spaces under houses drier than conventional foundation vents. They help to reduce the cost of heating the house and help to protect pipes from freezing– think about it. Also, there are literally dozens of solar accessories from solar window units to attached greenrooms just dying to find small local manufacturers and installers.
Solar Hot Water Systems have been around for over 30 years and they work. I’ve had one on my own home since the early 1980s and it turned out to be one of the best investments we ever made. As one who once founded a solar hot water business you will need to be a liscensed plumber or work with a liscensed plumber in most states. Also, at the bottom of this article is an advertisement for a home weatherization business that might tie in well with solar hot water businesses. I can’t speak as to how well the advertised system works.
Green Roofing Companies are where it’s at. Cities have huge problems with air quality and water runoff– green roofs reduce both problems. It’s not as hard as most people think it is and most commercial buildings are far stronger than necessary to support the weight. And as more and more building owners look to LEEDS certifications you can expect the green roofing business to grow.
EPDM and Ceramic Coatings, while not exactly 100% green, these liquid rubber and liquid ceramic coatings have the ability to repair existing roofs without tearing off the old roofing materials and sending them to the landfills. Some are even water-based and safe to use in drinking water and fish tanks. And if you use white or other light colors they will reduce the cost of cooling your home in summer. Expect them to cost about 1/2 the cost of a replacement roof and last about 10 years before a new coating will need to be applied.
Green Roof Leasing will bring a fortune to the guy or gal who can sell it. It works like this: Find owners of houses and especially commercial buildings interested in leasing you their roof tops, install solar collectors on their roofs and sell the power generated to the utility market. A twist of this idea might be to lease “farm land” on the roofs of commercial buildings and sell the produce. And to make it easier to find customers we created a free green leasing forum.
Fresh Fish are going to become quite scarce in the next few years. The world’s oceans are running out of fish and fish farming in public waters is fraught with problems. A small pond in your back yard could provide extra income. A bigger pond might provide you with an ample living. Forget Bass, think Catfish, Crappie and Carp. Or Tipilia if you live far enough to the south or can raise fish inside a building. Having to restock your entire inventory of fish every spring simply isn’t sustainable business.
It might be you could charge people to fish in your pond. In that case you might want to include Bass. My grandfather used to do this. While the rivers and streams where he lived were teaming with wild fish, people preferred to fish his pond because fish in a pond are easier caught. You see, they’ve become accustomed to eating fish feed and aren’t as wary as fish in the wild. The secret to making money this way is to let people fish for free as long as they buy their bait from you. This allows you to control what goes into your pond. Add a small tackle shop and it could be a huge money maker.
Rabbits and Chickens for eggs and meat. They’re inexpensive, easy to raise, require very little rooom and taste good. And the byproducts of both are fertilizer.
Worms, especially worms that can be used for composting and fishing, might be a money maker. RecycleBill is experimenting with red wigglers grown in shredded scrap paper, chicken poop and vegetable scraps. The only byproducts of raising worms are compost and worm castings that make super organic fertilizer.
Goat Rentals for cleaning up overgrown properties.
Backyard Gardening, while profitable, might not be a viable full-time income but for those with the skills and the space it might be just the thing. Remember: In a down economy you’d best be pitching what people need and not something they simply would like to have.
Small Scale Industrial Composting would allow you to charge people for taking their garbage and sell it back to them as compost, mulch and soil.
Green Crafting is in for a very rough road. (See bold type above.) I admire people who make and sell products from various recyclables but most of what I see has no real value to people who are struggling to make do. Even those green crafters who make things people need are going to have a tough time but a few will make it big.
Tire Boots with soles made from post-consumer tires could do very well for the craftsman who figures out how to make it happen. Getting the soles to remain attached to the uppers has been the biggest hurdle but if you’d like to give it a try I’ll give you the post consumer tires and provide you with the answer to the problem. Adding bias to the worn out radial will solve the attachment problem and sawing steel belts isn’t a big deal with the proper tools. But you’ll have to take a used tire off my hands before I’ll tell you how it’s done. Just ask. BlackSpot makes shoes with tire soles but the soles are post-industrial and not post consumer. And they still have attachment issues. Either way you’ll never wear out the soles.
Niche Market Search Engines show promise and you need not be a computer programmer to build one. Google, Yahoo, MSN and other major search engines are quickly becoming worthless as SEO companies continue to game the system. As a matter of fact: Google is so into niche market search engines they will give you everything you need including the advertisers and a share of the ad revenue but for those of who who aren’t scared of selling, Squarespace provides me all the tools I need to build my niche market search engines at a very low monthly cost.
Pay People To Read will work for someone– especially if readers are presented with things they enjoy. Business like ClixSense are making money and making money for their users but frankly I find clicking on ad after ad to be quite boring. Still, I do it for a little while each week. The online publisher who figures out how to produce great content and share the profits with his or her readers will rule Web 3.0 and the online advertising industry. I’ve figured out how to do it but it’s not something that can be done alone. There simply isn’t time enough in the day for one person to manage such a business and produce the necessary content but a truly dedicated team could make it happen. This same idea could also be translated into print and would mean the death of the traditional print and Internet publishing industries. It will also take a few Million in capitol to get past the legal hurdles but someone with the bucks will eventually figure it out. Think billboards and forget Web 2.0 as it is set to die hard.
You can bet, if RecycleBill ever manages to scrape up a few million he will start paying his readers to read his RecycleBlog and he will then make a mint.
Legal Notices Website With newspapers going down the tubes now would be a fine time to drive a nail in the coffin by replacing their legal notices section with multiple blogs for legal notices that include a searchable database, keywording, categories and infinite storage capability. With Squarespace all the tools are already there and you can be up and running with such a service in just minutes. It could be ad based or you could charge a small fee the same way the newspapers do now except their fees aren’t small.