Going green can net you some green: for the aspiring or seasoned businessperson, what’s good for the environment may also be good for your wallet.
Natural ingredients, no trans-fats, locally grown, organic: these phrases plastered on today’s food packages represent a response to growing consumer concern about what goes into what we eat. Forget that favorite packaged snack cake-even carrot sticks may contain chemical residue from pesticides.
The smart businessperson knows that today’s consumers are more than willing to shell out additional cash for the peace of mind and body that comes from buying organic.
From manufacturing food products and ingredients certified organic (grown without use of pesticides or other chemicals), to setting up a natural foods store or vendor company, the opportunities for going organic go beyond a mom-and-pop fruit stand.
If we are what we eat, we’re also what we wash with, so don’t underestimate the demand for natural and organic personal care products.
Shampoos, toothpastes, soaps and deodorants made with natural ingredients and without unnecessary chemicals are no longer health-food-store specialty items: get going with a product line, and it could get on the shelves of big box stores around the country.
How are green consumers getting to the big box store to grab these items? In a hybrid car, or another green-friendly ride that runs off alternative fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel.
Right now, the demand for green cars exceeds their availability-tax incentives for owning a hybrid or AFV (Alternative Fuel Vehicle) are adding to their appeal. Hop on the supply train for green cars by selling or distributing this environmentally-sound trend (hint: moderately-priced green rental services can be a hit in cities that house a normally car-less crowd).
If your start-up funds are less than savory, consider manufacturing or marketing reusable shopping bags. Talk to local grocery stores, drugstores, even clothing boutiques, and get in on a deal that promotes the store’s logo and benefits the earth by cutting down on plastic waste and paper resources.
The go-green trend has touched consumers of a variety of ages and socioeconomic brackets. Teens love earth-friendly logo tees and bags, new parents are running (or driving hybrid cars) to the store for organic baby food and natural shampoo, and the adult with financial knowledge and significant investment capital or investor connections can serve the needs of all green consumers by becoming a green financier.
As specialized lender, the green finance business gets money to others wishing to get in the business of green. Branding your lending as environmentally-friendly will get you standing out from the start.