Global warming, rising fuel prices, and the rise in job loss seems to be on everyone’s mind and on the front page of the news. But instead of letting it consume your life, break out and doing something unique in your career path. A green career focuses on the well being of the environment and poses practical solutions to those problems for businesses and local residents alike. But it’s still a business with hard work and the day-to-day managing of marketing, books and finances.
A green entrepreneur might already know a great deal about the industry and start out as a consultant to share their own knowledge and skills. And even if you don’t have the experience to dive into a successful business, any entrepreneur can get ahead by offering their services for free to friends and colleagues in exchange for a reference or referral. It will also help work out any kinks in your business before taking it mainstream. You might want to consider applying for jobs at green businesses to gain an insider’s perspective and make a name for yourself in your community. You can also entice future clients by donating your own time and money to green projects and national organizations.
Keep in mind a green entrepreneur tends to have a moral responsibility to “walk the walk”. Make sure your own home and lifestyle reflects the green sensibilities and skills you’re trying to sell. It’s also a good idea to connect with like-minded entrepreneurs who can help keep you focused and on track. But before you get started, determine if a green career is right for you by checking out the 10 jobs below.
10 Jobs for Green Entrepreneurs
1) Waste Consultant – New business, or old ones trying to revamp their environmental policies, need someone to put a waste system in place including recycling, hauling services, and waste reduction. Draft a plan of attack customized for each client’s needs. It’s also a good idea to interview their staff to find out how easy or difficult their job makes it to reduce resources and recycle.
2) Rooftop Landscape Designer – Many cities, including Chicago’s City Hall, showcase ingenious rooftop gardens to cut down on cooling and heating costs within the building. The gardens can serve as a natural cooling mechanism and shade on even the most blistering days. Research rooftop gardens and try your hand around town, study models, and contact other designers to be a mentor.
3) Organic Textiles or Clothing – If you love fashion, making clothes, or even knitting, you can start an organic textiles or clothing business. Use only the best in organic materials and peddle your wares from flea markets to boutiques and work your way up the commercial ladder. You can make extra income by giving organic knitting classes or speaking at workshops on how to go green.
4) Green Boutique – Build an online store through yahoo or other inexpensive carriers and find green products through affiliate programs or sell your own. Research products that help your clients go green at home and offer a free newsletter to help market yourself. To forgo the cost and time of building your own store, you can also open an ebay store in less than half an hour and start selling your products immediately.
5) Green Infopreneur – Even in today’s society where global warming and environmental issues are a major focus in the media, many don’t know where to start and how to do their part. Design your own brochures, booklets, ebooks, guide books, and speaking engagements to help your community take a step toward green living. Offer lists of easy things you can do around your home to go green, list shops and restaurants in your area that adhere to environmental standards, keep tabs on recycling plants, offer breaking news on the latest products and trends, and more.
6) Farmer’s Market – I knew someone who started her own Farmers Market from scratch without much experience or knowledge on how to do it. It proved to be wildly successful and respected, especially for residents who wanted to buy locally and organic. Start by contacting your local courthouse or city hall to find out the first step in getting started. Choose a location, make an announcement for vendors, and start organizing. Make sure and hire vendors who tote natural, organic, pesticide-free foods for your customers.
7) Solar Energy – Know something about solar energy or someone who does? Combine forces to start selling or consulting on solar panels for the home. If the complexity of the topic proves too difficult to tackle right now, start by putting together a presentation and information on the benefits of solar power. You can approach solar businesses and inquire if you can work as an independent consultant or sales force.
8) Organic Chef – Organic chefs are in high demand not just for their flavorful food, but ability to identify environmentally friendly and healthy options. Hold presentations in your local recreation center, in your home, or at client’s homes. Market your services as not only a private chef, but also an educator to teach others on healthy eating and environmentally friendly methods. Position yourself as an expert and make more money by selling a self-published organic cook book or seasoning.
9) Green Festivals – Raise money for your favorite environmental cause with green festivals. Persuade eco-minded musicians, artists, and performers to entertain the crowds while green vendors well their organic treats and wares. Donate part of the proceeds to your environmental charity and use the rest to market your services for more green festivals and fundraisers.
10) Green Travel – Consumers are confused by how their carbon footprint will be effected by how far they travel. Start a business catering to green travelers by offering carbon calculators, links to reputable carbon offset websites, and customized green itineraries. Your clients may come to you for suggestions on green hotels, activities, and transportation. Approach chamber of commerces and tourism boards for assistance marketing your products to green travelers.
For more information or inspiration on green careers, please visit www.ecopreneurist.com.