Ideas for budding green entrepreneurs and businesses seeking to become more sustainable and attract the growing number of consumers concerned about waste, climate change, and environmental degradation:

A borrowing shop / Library of Things
...something like Berlin's first "borrowing shop", "a library of things". "The average electric drill is used for 13 minutes in its entire lifetime – how does it make sense to buy something like that? It's much more efficient to share it." See also Library of Things.

TTK and others give advice about energy efficiency and insulation, and there could be an opening for a local social enterprise that followed up the advice with workshops on how to draught-proof and/or sourcing and installing draught-proof and insulation measures. See Transition Town Brixton's Community Draught Busters for ideas. 

Ugly fruits and vegetables
Surely we don't have to go to France to get misshapen veg at a discount price? Why do we care so much what fruit looks like? Why is so much edible stuff turned into compost or worse, dumped in landfill? Some supermarkets are starting to offer these, and you can get them on-line from Odbox, but it would be nice to have a local supplier. 

A junk food cafe
The Real Junk Food project, a cafe serving only surplus edible waste with the aim of abolishish avoidable food waste. Our nearest one (2018) is ETNA's Community Kitchen project in Twickenham.

The Local Food Takeaway Project
A new co-op of local chefs, food educators and charities in Bridport, offering low-cost space for sustainable,local, ethically sourced and nutritious fast food alternative food takeaways, educational workshops and coaching for young and new entrants to the food business.

Observer Ethical Awards
Every year some of these awards go to sustainable and ethical enterprises

Unpackaged / Zero waste shopping
A shop where you take your own containers along - see here. Our nearest one used to be The Refill Larder in Teddington but new ones are now appearing  - see our Retail section.

Reusing leftover paint
Seagulls is an environmental social enterprise working to promote and develop a community resource centre and tackle the issue of waste in the Leeds area by finding positive and effective ways to encourage people to reuse, with a focus on promoting community participation through the renovation and reuse of waste materials in Leeds.

Local office hubs and meeting rooms for those who no longer want to commute but find working at home difficult


- A Climate Cafe or a Vegan Cafe where customers can try vegan snacks and pick up info about climate change and local green activities

- Repair and reconditioning shops or repair cafes

- Hire shops where you can hire clothes for one-off events

- Shops and cafes which sell only sustainable/organic/recycled products and are energy-efficient.

- Energy-efficient businesses that close their doors in winter, turn the heating/air conditioning down, switch off, e g, lights and computers at night - and in doing so cut their overheads.

- Greening your premises by planting a tree or a roof garden or a green wall...


Greening existing businesses - useful advice and support

Green Mark provides advice and accreditation
Federation of Small Businesses Free Guide: How to get started with sustainability
Kingston Council’s Climate Information for Businesses
Business Growth Opportunities from the Green EconomyKingston Council, in partnership with Kingston Chamber of Commerce, invited all businesses in and around the borough to join virtual roundtables in May 2021, focusing on the opportunities from the transition to a green economy, with the aim of helping local businesses grow back from the pandemic stronger and greener. You can view the introduction session here amd see the slides from the break-out groups at

And what about pensions? Make my Money Matter has created the world’s first Green Pensions Charter, which calls for all organisations to match their pensions with their values. “Because if your business goes green, your pension should too. green, your pension should too. 

Contact the Green e-Directory