For those of you looking for startup ideas that are hot today and recession proof, consider anything to do with saving energy, sustaining the environment, or solutions to the global warming problem. These are especially good for Gen-Y (millennials) who have the passion, or every Gen-Y “wanna-be” (over 25 but not yet fulfilled).
Especially during a recovering economy, these will get you extra attention with investors, as long as basic business principles are not forgotten. Doing the right thing has to be profitable and competitive if it is to be sustainable.
Here are ten themes to get your mind rolling:
- Reduce, reuse, recycle. Figure out how to recycle profitably your old cell phones. Come up with a responsible way to dispose of old medicines. Generate energy from the stuff you recycle.
- Sustainable agriculture. Eliminate poisons from insecticides, weed killers, and other common products as well as the use of sprays in agriculture, and reduce dangerous chemicals in the food source.
- Wildlife and resource conservation. Replant deforested areas to improve air quality, and restore indigenous forests. Protect wildlife to restore natural selection and the natural environment.
- Renewable energy. Harvest renewable energy sources to power your home; sell that renewable energy back to your utility company site and build your dream eco-home; minimize your fossil fuel use; and more.
- Alternative transportation. The alternatives here range from wind-powered battery-electric vehicles, to concentrated solar powered, geothermal-powered, tidal powered, wave-powered, to nuclear powered vehicles for different roles across the world.
- Hyper-efficient appliances. Residential technologies – heat pump water heaters, new air conditioners, programmable thermostats, lighting, electronic appliances.
- Organic food. This can be done both as big business and on a relatively small farm; and the third, help in hunting and gathering food for oneself.
- Healthy fast food. Make visits to fast-food restaurants healthy rather than the culinary equivalent of "impulse buys."
- Save the global environment. Global warming, air and water pollution, and reducing energy usage are just the beginning.
- Green construction. I’ve heard many ideas for greening your house and your business, from minor improvements - such as what paint to use - to major ones, such as how to choose and install solar electric panels.
There are programs out there to help businesses green their practices in a way that works with, and often enhances, the bottom line. There's a phrase in green-talk, "the triple bottom line" which encapsulates what it takes for a business to be truly sustainable - economy (profits), ecology (resource management), and equality.
The last refers more to the social issues of green businesses today. It's all about how a thriving business can enhance the community it is located in. Go green, and make it a triple bottom line – for your business, the economy, and the environment.