Little green businesses

Climate change is probably the biggest threat to the future of the planet. On top of that, forests are disappearing, population is growing, and toxic chemicals are a fact of life.

Because of the costs involved, governments — not just ours– are at a stalemate on making major commitments to change.

In the meantime, green businesses are sprouting up and quietly making a difference.

Maybe you have an idea that just could fix things.  (Maybe not the whole thing, but some small part.  It’s going to take a lot of small parts working together to nudge the curve on climate change.)

Maybe you have a great idea for recycling greywater — I met a man once who had figured out a system that cleaned water from his house’s sinks and bathtub and ran it into his toilet for a second use before it went to the sewer.  He was working — from a wheelchair — on getting a patent and financing.

Maybe you install solar panels, or build energy-efficient houses, or teach recycling to children.

I went back to college as an environmental studies major in 2010, at a thoroughly untraditional age.  My goal was to make a difference, somehow.  Later, in a master’s program, I studied social movements and the mechanics of creating change.

And in the end I concluded that the best way to make a difference was to empower others to make a difference.  A lot of others.

It takes just as much planning and savvy to launch a green business venture as it does to start any other business — maybe more, because you may be competing with companies that care less about people, the environment, and the social consequences of their products.