Starting Your Very Own Sustainable Business

Starting Your Very Own Sustainable Business


The Bush Administration is putting on a new environmentally friendly face. Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth just won the Academy Award for Best Documentary. Environmental headlines are flashing across the cable news crawl every day.

After thirty or forty years of scientists’ warnings, the media and the public are finally starting to come around to the fact that environmental issues like global warming, biodiversity, and human population need to be at the top of the agenda. And the business community is finally understanding that what is good for the environment is also good for the bottom line. Making money and contributing to the health of the planet: what could be better!?


So you want to get in on the action… I believe so deeply that new sustainable businesses are needed that I’d like to share with you a list of startup ideas you’re free to run with!

The Gymdromat: Get a workout and do the laundry at the same time. Harness the energy generated by bike-riders, stair-climbers, and tread-millers to power the washers and dryers!

The Gourmet Encore: Tons of perfectly good, untouched food from the plates of gourmet restaurants is discarded every day. The Re-Eatery collects that food and turns it into delicious, epicurean meals for the environmentally hip!

The Postal Commute: Millions of letters get delivered around the globe by postal vehicles every day. Millions of workers commute to their jobs every day. Let’s get those commuters on letter trucks and save some oil!


Not to worry! Perhaps the business you already operate is a cutting-edge powerhouse–a model of efficiency and value. But you’re also realizing that you want to align your business with conservation and sustainability so that it continues to prosper for generations to come. Here are some innovative suggestions for the following industries to green your products and services that you can begin implementing immediately to truly demonstrate your shift toward environmentalism.

The Auto Industry: The SUV, protested by environmentalists for years for its ostentatious wastefulness, can now be a symbol of sustainability by developing a compartment completely devoted to the recycling of bottles and cans.

The Health Care Industry: Eliminate some of the waste created by millions of bureaucratic insurance forms and handbooks by denying patient care outright with a simple restaurant sign that says “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.”

The Fishing Industry: A recent study warns us of the health risks of eating fish as their mercury content rises to dangerous levels. If you’ve got a fishing business, why not consider developing the first fish-based mercury thermometer for scientists to monitor rising global temperatures!

Public Education: Develop exciting new video games to replace tired old photocopied worksheets and text books to save millions of trees. A win/win for both students and the environment!

Use and/or build on one of these innovative ideas, and let me know how it goes!

About Administrator

Alicia Dattner is a comedian and speaker who jousts with such topics of love, time-management, money, environmentalism, politics, spirituality, and creativity. Her first solo show, The Punchline, recently won Best of the Fringe in the San Francisco Fringe Festival 2008. Her second show, Eat Pray Laugh won Best Storyteller at the NY United Solo Festival. Her company, Making Light, is dedicated to bringing humor and lightness into spirituality, relationship, and every day life.

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