What are green jobs anyway? All business activities that directly affect the use of natural resources, which use clean energy and reduce the pressure on water, air and land can be classified as green jobs. Below is a list of 10 promising ideas for green businesses.
Removal of harmful gases from the atmosphere
In addition to the need to significantly reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions, combating the rapid rise in average global temperature must include the removal of these gases from the atmosphere. This is especially important for CO2 which, once emitted, can remain in the atmosphere for 300 to 1000 years. Afforestation or sustainable agriculture is known to be a very good way of naturally removing carbon dioxide. However, due to the amount of GHG we have emitted in the last 100 years, these natural processes are unfortunately not enough.
Smart use of “captured” CO2
In connection with the above-mentioned need to remove GHG, for captured CO2 it is necessary to find adequate ways to use it. According to McKinsey & Company, the market for carbon dioxide-based products could reach between $ 800 billion and $ 1 trillion by 2030. If this estimate is realized, as much as one billion metric tons of GHG can be reduced annually.
You can see some of the interesting products that can be produced on the basis of carbon here: https://www.drax.com/technology/can-made-captured-carbon/
Certification programs for neutralization of emitted harmful gases
If, as a company or a private person, you want to neutralize your personal negative contribution to global GHG emissions (for example, if you often use a plane or a car on fossil fuels), you can do so by buying the so-called “offset” certificate. By purchasing these certificates, you practically invest in environmental projects (e.g. afforestation), which neutralizes the negative impact. Currently, such programs exist, but there are often sharp criticisms at the expense of transparency and the real impact of projects on the environment.
(Hint: If you want to see how much your air travel has affected the climate, visit: https://www.atmosfair.de/en/offset/fix. Also, if you want to see how much carbon footprint your household leaves, click and have fun at this link: https://www.footprintcalculator.org/)
Assessment of the impact of climate change on the public and business sectors
Climate change from year to year, faster and faster, brings new challenges for the business and public sector. Increasingly frequent floods, droughts, fires and other similar disasters are affecting the value of assets of companies and their customers and clients. In addition, the functioning of cities and settlements is becoming very challenging, as it is not based on qualitative environmental risk assessments. For that reason, the job of the future definitely needs expertize to predict potential damages caused by climate change and to be able to define potential scenarios, on the basis of which better decisions for future planning will be made.
Tool lending libraries – libraries for tools and various equipment
Do you happen to occasionally need a piece of tools or equipment for small home repairs, interior decoration, arranging a terrace or garden? Most people are not professionals whose daily work involves the use of equipment and tools. Therefore, when there is a need, instead of buying often expensive tools, going to a tool lending library can solve the problem. Tool lending libraries are places where you can rent tools, machines, and even sports and camping equipment.You can see an example of such a practice here: https://www.berkeleypubliclibrary.org/locations/tool-lending-library/tools
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)
In order to get an answer to what it means to analyze the impact of a product throughout its entire life cycle, it is necessary to ask a simple question – what is the impact of a given product on the planet? Using different products every day, we don’t think much about what they are made of, and especially how the inputs for production were obtained. Each stage of the production, as well as the use of the product itself, affects the environment. That is why this type of assessment is important, because that way we can make a better and more sustainable decision on how to produce or buy a product with a smaller environmental footprint. Watch the video below, which explains the use of water in the products we use every day.
Most of today’s products have a relatively short lifespan, after which waste accumulates. Due to problems with lack of resources, as well as due to pollution and other environmental problems of today, the future of sustainable development will depend on the way products and services are designed. Eco design has answers on how to use materials and other resources in a smart way, enabling longer life, reusability, upcycling and the like. In short, this way of designing products will reduce the pressure on resources, and in the best case scenario, it will be based on imitation of natural processes and on clean energy sources.
Production of packaging based on natural biodegradable materials
Plastics pose one of the biggest environmental issue today (Details on the production of plastic products and waste can be found in the text Plastics – between benefits and harms). Therefore, the world expects solutions in the form of materials that are based on natural inputs and that can be decomposed without creating an even bigger problem (eg micro and nano plastics). You can see examples of mycelium packaging here: https://www.grown.bio/mycelium-packaging/
Innovations in the field of recycling of used materials
Many types of materials (especially plastic) are difficult or almost impossible to recycle. In addition, as products are often designed to contain multiple types of materials, it is very difficult to separate components efficiently. For these reasons, it is necessary to develop new technologies and processes that will enable quality recycling, i.e. converting used materials into inputs of the same or better quality.
Home appliance rental services
In the circular economy, the so-called sharing economy has a special role. This economy is based on the promotion of consumption through the use of the product functionality (e.g. a washing machine has a laundry function), which discourages personal ownership of things. This slows down the mass extraction of resources through mass production. At the same time the products are of better quality, which enables long-term use by customers, on the one hand, as well as the possibility for manufacturers to collect rental income for a longer period, on the other hand. One great example is shown in the video below.