Here’s are a few ideas of becoming a climate change advocate and earning from your efforts at the same time.
The first option is to join the “GO GREEN” bandwagon by first focusing on a particular area of interest then using that as a springboard to become an advocate of living a “green lifestyle”.
From Website to Blogs
The easiest way is to design your own website which will help educate people on climate change and its related issues. You could also start a blog and get feedback on what interests people the most. The information you get can give you an idea of what particular products would sell.
From there, you could link your website to “green” products themselves (alternative energy, waste reduction, organic lifestyle etc) or you can actually invest in buying such products wholesale and selling these products yourself.
Commission Junction is one site where, by becoming an affiliate, you can sell “green lifestyle” related products without having to keep actual stock or doing actual delivery.
If you are into actual face-to-face selling, EcoBusinessLinks is an online directory of retailers, wholesalers and green products. You can even create and sell items made from recycled materials; or buying, re-designing and re-selling outgrown or unused clothing in flea markets.
Here are some really innovative ideas that are fast catching attention to get your creative juices following…
The Spoons We Eat
Narayan Peesapathy, former scientist for India’s International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, is now a businessman manufacturing edible spoons made from the sorghum crop which is full of iron, phosphorous, fibers and vitamins.
Triggered by his concern over carcinogenic qualities of plastic cutlery and its increasing market, Peesapathy stumbled upon this alternative during a visit to a remote area. Today, his company Environmental Innovations churns out 1,500 spoons a day selling at less than 20 cents per piece. Orders are coming in from all over the world including Thailand, Malaysia, America, Canada and Dubai.
The Air We Drink
Element Four, a company engaged in developing environmentally friendly and sustainable water generation technologies, introduced the “Water Mill”. It is a device that produces from 11 to 20 litres of water per day from the outside air. Initial markets of the product are Mexico, the U.S., Australia, Japan, Central and South America.
The Clothes We’ve Worn
This is one for the “recessionistas” who love fashion but may not have the money to splurge. Upcycled clothing is second hand clothing or garments made from recycled pieces of existing clothing. These pieces are sewn together to make new unique pieces.
As from helping reduce the amount of discarded clothing and landfills, the new item has already been washed and soaked before so there’s no need to worry about shrinkage.
A Green Investment
If you have the capital, an other option to make money from the climate change phenomena is to directly invest in “green” companies. But before you do so, do your homework in determining the type of investment and what company best meets your finances.
- Choose a particular “Green Sector” which aligns with your personal and investment goals. This can be in areas such as renewable energy, pollution control, environmental cleanup, and organics. Bear in mind though that investing in any new technology or field always involves risks. Eventually, you can diversify into other areas, thereby broadening your investment portfolio. It would be helpful to set your own personal guidelines or criteria in choosing your investment. This way, you also narrow down your choices to a critical few.
- Make time and the effort to understand and scrutinize your prospective investment especially the company’s product or service claims. Remember if the company’s claims turn out to be false, your investment goes down the drain. Find out how they deal with problems, the community at large, and their policies. If the company is listed, check out its financial and environmental performance through such tools as the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, Annual and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) reports. Ask a Green Investment analyst.
- Beware of “Greenwashing” (a “green” term for whitewashing) where unscrupulous companies present themselves to be more environmentally friendly than they really are. “Watchdog” groups like the Earth Day Resources for Living Green and EcoPledge.com monitor and release reports annually on the 10 worst greenwashers, and companies that have made misleading claims on the benefit of their products to the environment, the latter falling under two main categories i.e. producing genetically-engineered foods, and environmental pollution.
- Be an active stockholder rather than simply buying shares in green companies. Voice your own green opinion on the company’s programs and directions when proper. In that way, you also contribute to continuous improvements and stronger environmental reforms. If you lack the personal funds to increase your shares, join an investment club which have your same values and objectives. By pooling your money, your club not only creates an account that will need to be managed by the company separately but also increases its influence over the company.
As you can see there are many ways in which people can make money from climate change. Use your imagination, do further research and if this area sounds like something you’d be interested in pursuing you’re only going to be helping the environment in the process.
Are you making money from the climate change movement or thinking about doing so? Be sure to share your comments, thoughts, ideas below…