Posts Tagged ‘Green Business’

How to Start Your Own Green Business- “Starting Green”

Friday, October 30th, 2009

When it comes to the environment it often seems like we only hear about the problems we face.  And there are problems, to be sure, big ones, but these problems also present us with opportunities to provide solutions.  My books, blogs and site are all designed to show the way forward for businesses to deliver these solutions, including my recently released book “Starting Green: An Ecopreneur’s Toolkit to Start a Green Business – From Business Plan to Profits”. 


My book “75 Green Businesses” took all of these environmental problems and turned them around to show the many opportunities they hold.  Looking at how we produce energy, build homes, produce food, provide services, use water, and take care of waste, “75 Green Businesses” highlights the many opportunities for greener, cleaner, businesses can provide solutions and build strong businesses as well.


One of the comments people often have about “75 Green Businesses” is that they want more detailed instructions to move from vision to profitable business.  That’s where “Starting Green” comes in, picking up where “75 Green Businesses” left off.  “Starting Green” is the how-to guide to make these businesses a reality, providing insight into the green angle on business fundamentals like planning, marketing, and raising capital, and talking in more depth about the hottest green business opportunities today, including solar, energy efficiency, franchises, direct sales, and retail. 


I got the chance to talk to a great number of outstanding green leaders while working on the book, for which I am extremely grateful.  These are people who are unique not only in their commitment to building a better world, but in their demonstration over and over again that green businesses really can be both successful and profitable.  In talking with green leaders like Gary Hirshberg, CE-Yo of Stonyfield Farm, and Hunter Lovins, co-author of Natural Capitalism, I was reminded how they have paved the way for so many others.  An increasing number of businesses in a wide range of industries are following the green business path every day.  And if they can do it, so can you.


Here’s the Table of Contents of “Starting Green”, to give you a taste.  You can also use the “Look Inside” function on Amazon to browse through, or Google books, to see more of what it has to offer:


Preface:       How to Join the Great Green Upswing                                      


Chapter 1:    Welcome to the Green Revolution

Chapter 2:     RISE to the Opportunity

Chapter 3:     From Green Dreams to Open Doors

Chapter 4:     Finding Money to Start and Grow Your Business

Chapter 5:     How to Green Your Business Operations and Facilities

Chapter 6:     Green Marketing and Communications

Chapter 7:     The Role of Government - Carrots and Sticks

Chapter 8:     How to Start a Green Franchise

Chapter 9:     How to Start an Energy Efficiency Business     

Chapter 10:   How to Start a Green Retail Business

Chapter 11:   How to Start a Renewable Energy Business

Chapter 12:   How to Start a Direct Sales Business: Small, Green, and Beautiful

Conclusion:    The Conserver Economy and Beyond



Here’s what some of the green leaders have to say about “Starting Green”:


“Glenn Croston’s Starting Green is the indispensable guide for the entrepreneur of the 21st Century. Croston’s extensive research and incredible examples will illuminate the incredible opportunities within Green Business. Even as a green business owner for the past two decades, I drew countless ideas and inspiration from this book.”

-Eric Corey Freed, principal of organicARCHITECT, author of Green Building & Remodeling for Dummies


“We face great challenges today in our economy and environment, but the shift toward sustainability offers even greater opportunities. Starting Green gives you the tools to join this revolution with a business of your own. The business case for sustainability is clear; what we need now is action. This book will help you pave the way forward and thrive.”

-Hunter Lovins, Co-author of Natural Capitalism, co-founder of the Rocky Mountain Institute, and president and founder of Natural Capitalism Solutions


“The emerging green economy offers a wealth of opportunities for entrepreneurs and innovators, building everything from green-minded service providers to breakthrough products and technologies. Glenn Croston has created a valuable roadmap that can help find the profitable opportunity that’s right for you.”

-Joel Makower, executive editor of, and author of Strategies for the Green Economy


I hope you’ll give it a look, and join in with the growing number of people changing how they do business to help build a more sustainable economy, profitable businesses, and a healthy world for us all to share. 

Talk to you soon.

What do Star Trek and Green Businesses Have in Common?

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

I haven’t seen the new Star Trek movie yet, but while listening to talk about the movie I realized that the movie is like the green business world in at least one important respect. 


Is it because they are both action packed?  Maybe.


But more importantly success for both the movie and for green businesses requires breaking out of their niche to reach the broader mainstream market.  And the way to do this is by constructing a great product that just happens to be Star Trek, or green, on top of this.


The worlds of Trekkies and green consumers can both be insular.  Like attracts like.  Trekkies memorize and recite dialog to each other and think nothing of going out in public wearing Spock ears.  They would be first in line for the movie, no matter what. 


The makers of the movie realized though that they could not restrict their audience to the diehard Trekkies.  For the movie to do well, it had to appeal to a broad audience, including those who don’t have a clue who Sulu and Uhura are.  It had to be a great movie first, and a Star Trek movie second.  It had to be a movie that even non-Klingon speakers will want to see.  The movie has managed to do this without losing the original fan base, the Trekkies who have been loyal followers for all of these years. 


The same is true for the greenies.  Deep greenies tend to aggregate together, all of them speaking the language of sustainability with each other.  They talk about Paul Hawken, Hunter Lovins, and Van Jones.  They are the 5% of the population who value green above all else, even if it costs more. 


For most people though, green is only one part of the product puzzle.  They buy products because they work well, or have the right price, or were well marketed to make them feel cool.  To reach the mainstream, green businesses have to sell products that are first of all great products, and green on top of everything else.  In many cases the green economy is just starting to break into the mainstream, with huge opportunities for future growth ahead still.


So, maybe there is something for green businesses to learn from the success of Star Trek. 


Live long and prosper.