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Best green businesses to start



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    sdlewissdlewis subscriber Posts: 3
    I am with you. Been catching up on posts due to some busy days at work.My personal opinion about renewable sources of energy involves using as many sources as possible to maximize output. Wind of course is a part of the formula for success.I envision a decentralized energy infrastructure in our future. Currently we have huge electrical generation plants distributing  power over  long distances.  What I see is reversal over time where I put solar collectors on my roof and maybe a small wind turbine in my back yard.  My household will use the power that is collected and generated and any excess would go back into the power grid. Over time many more folks are doing the same thing and more power is being put into the grid from decentralized mini power plants i.e. homes, businesses. Maybe local governments could subsidize the initial cost to outfit a roof with solar collectors or wind turbines. Or a business start up would make it affordable to equip homes with alternative power sources and organize the customers into a huge collection of mini power plants. Of course this is all very high level and all my opinion.
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    thrgreendgagonthrgreendgagon subscriber Posts: 0
    How about adding to that mix solar collectors, a hydrogen power cell; and produce electricity and hydrogen during the day and electricity from the hydrogen at night?
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    sdlewissdlewis subscriber Posts: 3
    MikeExactly what I am thinking. Multiple sources that help overcome each others weaknesses.
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    RichRich administrator Posts: 582 Site Admin
    bridalchic,i love how you define your business and passion as so much more than an online store - it sounds like you`re on a mission!be sure to enlist the help of fellow SUNsters to critique your soon-to-be-released website.happy for you,rich
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    rossbrossb subscriber Posts: 5
    bridalchic -What an awesome green business, I never would have thought of it.  Nice going!R-
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    deltadelta subscriber Posts: 0
    OMG, so many interesting points of view.  I read through all the posts. They were amazing. May be I am way off track here but I thought the original question had to do with "green" businesses. Well, everyone else got on a rant, so here`s my chance.
    The newest buzzword for today is "green". Many people these days are concerned with saving the environment from pollution , but are unsure what to do about it.
    Did you know that there are 100,000 chemicals on the global marketplace and less than 10% of those have been tested for health affects.  We all know about how factories, traffic and such pollute our earth, but have you ever considered how you are polluting the environment in which you live?  Did you know that over 90% of the pollution that you are exposed to is right under your nose? It comes from your home and the products you use to keep it clean.  Interesting, isn`t it? Almost all brand name cleaning and personal care products on the market are toxic!  Exposure to these toxins are responsible for an increase in unhealthy conditions from arthritis and symptoms of aging to cancer and heart disease.
    Consider the baby crawling on the kitchen floor? Mom thinks the floor is safe because she just cleaned it, right? But the residue left behind by the cleaner gets on the little hands crawling on the floor and go right into that little mouth.  You don`t have kids, you say? How about walking barefoot on the clean floor? The residue is absorbed into your system through your skin.  We`ve all heard about how this works; why do you think they developed the "patch" for everything from quitting smoking to birth control.?
    Over time, exposure to everday products is a key factor in the increase of certain illnesses, such as cancer,asthma, fibromyalgia, ADD, ADHD, lupus, multiple schlerosis, Alzheimers, birth defects and many others. The birth defects part is why I have such a passion against these household chemicals...my fifth child was born prematurely because of my cleaning the kitchen floor, had to be put on a respirator and now has Cerebral Palsy.  Oh well, enough about me.
    Breast cancer has increased by 26% since 1982, there are more than 3 million accidental posionings every year; did you know that women who work in the home are at a 54% higher risk for developing cancer than those who work outside the home?
    I could continue ranting, but I better get off my soapbox now.  Anyways, I am involved with a "green" business that only manufactures natural products. No ammonia, no bleach, no caustic chemicals, no synthetic chemicals, no abrasives, no formaldehyde...just God created substances. I don`t think I am allowed to mention the name of it here but if anyone is interested you can contact me through my signature.
    Thanks for listening me to me go on and on and on.
    God Bless,
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    spungeyspungey subscriber Posts: 2
    Exactly what I am thinking. Multiple sources that help overcome each others weaknesses.

    I`ve thought about this some, but haven`t put much effort into it.  (Instead I put my efforts into first getting a steady job that I like, to provide a financial foundation and keep my wife, well ... my wife.)
    A complete hybrid "home" system should have some of the following characteristics:
    1. Solar PV (virtually anywhere in the US)
    2. Solar thermal; I prefer stirling engines; Hydrogen cracking for night time generation makes sense too
    3. Wind, if the home is someplace that actually gets wind
    4. low-head hydro if the home is someplace that has water
    5. geothermal, possibly
    6. Good windows and good insulation
    Probably some other stuff too. 
    I think that hybrid systems have a lot to offer.  The customer can get into them one or two pieces at a time, using the return from the first to boost the second, etc.,  kind of like paying off your bills.      When designed and installed right they should be able to produce excess green power to feed back into the grid (opening the way to use carbon offsets to help defray the costs further.)  They could continue to produce at night, in bad weather, in good weather, etc.
    Oh yeah, one nice thing about stirling engines run on solar power ... one could pair two of them back-to-back so that excess heat from your solar PV would power the first one, which pushes the second one to cool your home.  In other words a solar-powered air conditioner.  You`d think a few sun-belt states would pay a lot for something like that.
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    alohamonkeyalohamonkey subscriber Posts: 0
    Hi everyone.  I`m new to this site but love all the dialogue that is happening here.  I have also been thinking a lot about green businesses recently.  I agree that our power sources will be decentralized in the future.  I definitely think some of the bigger, energy conglomerates will offer green energy but I foresee a big push in individual self-sufficiency coming on. 
    In addition to solar and wind, I have often wondered if the production of methane gas could be incorporated on an idividual basis.  Before you start making jokes about individual "methane production"  . . . I was hoping to get someone`s opinion with more knowledge on the subject than myself.  I know a lot of farms are taking animal waste, harnessing the methane gas, and converting it into energy.  There is a farm in VT that is doing this currently.  I was wondering if there would be a cost-efficient way of creating something like this for the individual household.  Maybe harnessing methane from a compost pile that could also be used as a source of energy???  Just brainstorming here.
    Regardless, I am very interested in pursuing alternative energy businesses.  I have thought about creating a distributorship based upon "Becoming Self Sufficient".  The idea being, the company would sit down with the customer, analyze their energy usage, find ways to trim down energy usage (new windows, insulation, etc.), propose a 5-10 year plan for purchasing solar, wind, etc. and providing the customer with these products and installing them.  Any thoughts on this idea?  Like I said, I`m not the most technical person but I really believe a business like this would thrive. 
    - Greg
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    spungeyspungey subscriber Posts: 2
    Is being the most technical like being the weakest link? 
    Have you thought about self-sufficiency self-evaluation kits?  Glitzy
    marketing style brochure with tables to fill out, a thermometer, paper
    or something to detect drafts, a ruler to measure thickness of
    insulation ... "stuff" people would need to do the job right and then
    call you for help? 
    I`m also having a kernel of an idea about a (maybe) way to process methane
    that is continuous, non-distilling, and low-maintenance.  It would take
    some genuine experts to do the dirty work though, again highly speculative.
    The advantages to "green" are staggering.  I can see whole counties on the coast (I`m in Oregon) that could turn their local economies around by switching from dying extraction industries like fishing and timber to sustainable energy production (if they actually do it instead of selling out to the big energy conglomerates.)  Further east I see huge dairies and feedlots that could turn an additional-income-stream profit from harvesting their methane and from converting their ammonia and nitrates back into fertilizer.
    I like your ideas.  Getting better power, cheaper power, and more power
    into the hands of individual people and families is something I`m
    passionate about.  I`m not sure how that plays into my life plan or
    even into a business plan yet, but maybe someday. 
    Greg -- and anyone else sufficiently interested -- drop me an email here and let`s brainstorm and/or form a mastermind group around this.  Maybe we can come up with some plans that work for us. 
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    kjlltdkjlltd subscriber Posts: 1
    I belong to an organization called Co-op America. They have an email list serve where people share ideas, events, etc. I have learned a lot from this group. I would consider my business to be green. I sell natural pest control and cleaning products at www.RepellNet.com. I believe that it is imperative that all businesses do something for the environment even if it is just recycling the paper.
    kjlltd3/18/2008 12:19 PM
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    JulioFJulioF subscriber Posts: 0
    I have read a lot about recycling clothes. Reusing the fiber used to make clothing could be an area of focus.
    What do you all think?

    Hmmm. If cost-effective, this is a great idea. I think it would fly on the level of a supplier to the garment industry. And such a supplier could of course purchase some of their raw materials from the likes of Goodwill, helping the community and building an exemplary reputation.
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    MrbusinessMrbusiness subscriber Posts: 8
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    mightyforkmightyfork subscriber Posts: 2
    This topic was started a while ago, but rather than start a new one on the same line... there`s a lot of different ways to be "green" I really respect the big businesses who do a lot in their plants to make them more green... which is obviously worth advertising, since companies like Subaru and manufacturers of household appliances etc are edvertising this fact.
    Then there are the products themselves... a lot of companies advertise that they are safer for the environment, and your home.
    The best line of products that are eco-friendly and not overly expensive is also one of the best busniness opportunities I have found (yes, yes, it is the business opportunity I am involved in, of course). I may be biased, but the facts are facts. I am proud of the great products that help get toxins out of your home by replacing them with reasonably priced and VERY effective alternatives (no more bleach!!! YAY). The company manufactures it`s own unique products, and is itself is so GREEN it hurts. It`s GREAT.
    Going Green is a great trend I hope sticks around and keeps growing! I just love working with a company that helps me, our customers, and the environment all prosper!
    mightyfork5/7/2008 4:33 PM
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    julie1319julie1319 subscriber Posts: 0
    Big drag, Ross!  I clicked on the link and got this message: This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by BBC Worldwide Ltd. What was it about?
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    CPAandMBACPAandMBA subscriber Posts: 0
    Every business should be green.  I can`t think of a single business that wouldn`t benefit from sustainable business practices.
    It reduces costs, attracts and motivates employees, improves supply chains and improves customer and community relations.
    Companies with green practices outperform their competition. 
    Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.  The future is green.
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