We live in a world where being eco-friendly is quickly shifting from being a trend, to being a necessity, and one of the most impactful entities on the environment and human welfare is businesses.
Here is how the cycle works:
- Company A creates product X to soothe your frustration (loneliness, need for social recognition, boredom…).
- People get super excited about X, praised as the best product ever. Sales are skyrocketing!
- Product X no longer works as good as new (broken battery, slower than usual…) and people get frustrated.
- Repeat the above steps and replace X with another letter.
The issue with this model is that although it is an economical cycle created to sustain profit since the 20’s, it is a straight line in terms of product lifecycle. This leads to increasing amounts of waste that directly impacts us.
However, not all is lost and this is why I am here to offer you 5 ethical business ideas! They will be more or less easy to implement and will definitely have a positive impact on our planet!
1. Compostable packaging company
Ok, you’re not going to start this one in 5 minutes, but hear me out!
Try to picture how many plastic or non-recyclable packages you throw away every day/ week/ month.
Can’t figure out which ones I’m referring to? Here’s a few of them:
Now imagine if you replaced traditional sticky-tape with eco-paper tape? Plastic packaging with compostable plastics (made from corn or potato starch)? Plastic bottles with glass or cardboard bottles?
Your market could include medium or large retailers, industrials and/or SMEs.
2. Compostable disposable products
A similar idea as above. What if you sold disposable products that naturally decomposed in nature?
Not only will you secure a recurring revenue, but you will also do us all a huge favour!
I’m talking toothbrushes, razors, shampoo, toothpaste, cutlery, etc.
If you want to start safe, you can create an online store and start drop shipping products from Etsy or other suppliers.
Then when you feel ready to grow, you can develop stronger relationships with larger suppliers and even make your own products!
3. Self-caring home grown food
This project is for the plant-loving engineers.
One way to completely eliminate both packaging and transportation is to grow your own food.
However, we don’t all have a garden, let alone the motivation to take care of it all! (I always get told off for forgetting to water the plants…)
So what if you could sell pre-planted herbs, vegetables, and fruits that come with their own automated caring system.
You would only have to fill up a water tank and it would know when to water them, how much, and how often.
That way you would spend 5% of your time taking care of your plants and 95% enjoying them!
Don’t where to start? Here’s a little tip for you!
4. Charity/Non-profit linked businesses
While this might not be a business in itself, helping a charity or non-profit out is a great way to do some good!
There are many battles to be fought so start out by choosing what deeply matters to you and find trusted charities to donate a portion of your income to.
5. Nature themed organic sustainable clothing brand
This project is twofold. You will make money selling organic products AND raising awareness by making people love nature even more!
Imagine a cute sloth illustration, a personified bamboo, or a funny lama. The possibilities are endless and the good news is you can start right now from wherever you are reading this!
Here are some illustrations to get your imagination started. And if you want to take things further by having your own exclusive designs, you can either create them yourself or hire a professional designer on Fiverr or Upwork!
There are tons of sustainable and ethical business ideas to be brought to life. These are just a glimpse of what’s possible.
Of course the scale and ambition of your project will depend on your background, knowledge, and resources. But remember, however small you start, you are making an impact on the planet.
“Remember, the most common thing about common sense is how uncommon it is.”
― Jason Jennings