Burning fossil fuels such as coal contributes to 44% of total mercury emission in the US. This isn’t a great situation, and there are many like it globally.
According to Nat Geo, up to 91% of the world’s plastic is not recycled and ends up in the world’s oceans and forests, damaging the world in ways we are only starting to understand.
‘The solution is in the hands of ambitious entrepreneurs who are challenging the status quo and creating ways to live sustainable lives’ by Jack Goldman, from ForexToStocks.
Here are a few successful startups that could make a big difference in how we all live – and could make great profits too!
1. Buy Me Once
Remember when they used to make things that would last forever?
Like that toaster your grandma had since the 70s that never seems to die. With Buy Me Once, you will be relieved to know that the next coffee maker or other appliance you buy will be the last one you even need.
Founded in 2016 by Tara Button, Button was discouraged with the “planned obsolescence” that is built into most consumer products. These goods are guaranteed to fall apart in a few years, encouraging us to buy more, spend more, and waste more.
Button founded Buy Me Once to create quality products which seemingly last forever, saving the environment from all that garbage that old appliances become when they die.
Though the products featured on their site are more expensive than what you would normally see at the local WalMart, the cost simply reflects the craftsmanship and sustainable materials that are used, as well as the research and development that went into building a long-lasting product.
According to the FDA, up to 30-40% of the food supply in the US is wasted either from not being consumed or not being purchased – and with the Covid-19 pandemic, that number has increased dramatically.
Since 2011, DIG’s mission has been to form an interconnected network of farmers and restaurants to ensure that 100% of the food produced will all be used, preventing food from being wasted.
By establishing an effective communication channel between the growers and chefs, everybody is kept in the loop and knows what to cook, what needs to be grown.
Dig is also committed to supporting local farmers.
In 2017, they bought over 2 million pounds of produce from 65 local farms. Farmers are guaranteed a sustainable source of income as contracts would often last 8 to 15 weeks at the time, unlike usual restaurants who would make purchases on a weekly basis.
To further reduce waste, DIG recipes guarantee no part of the meat, fruit or vegetable will be wasted. The startup is one of many long-standing sustainable companies with a great ideology and execution.
Founded in 2007, SunRun is one of the leading pioneers to streamline the household adoption of solar energy through its Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) business model.
SunRun will provide a household with solar panels, covering all costs of installation, maintenance, repair, and so on. The household will only have to pay for the electricity that is used.
The startup went through a rocky beginning as its business model is not the most profitable. But through years of tough competition against other solar businesses, at the time of writing, SunRun is now a $6.7 billion business.
4. City Harvest
As recently as August, there are over 57,660 homeless people across New York City and most of them live on a meal by meal basis, making them extremely food insecure. At the same time, 68% of food being discarded in NYC was still edible.
This is where City Harvest comes in.
The company collects spare food from various businesses across NYC as a lot tends to be thrown away either because it is near the best use before date or is an unsold perishable food.
The collected food is used to stock City Harvest food pantries or in Mobile Markets to hand off fresh fruits and vegetables free of charge for anybody who is in need, especially during the Covid-19 crisis.
City Harvest works with churches, schools, and various public entities to build food kitchens and provides free food to battle hunger in NYC and save edible food from being discarded.
5. Tony’s Chocolonely
These children are being forced to work every day in dangerous conditions and are paid little to nothing, contributing to an immoral industry.
Tony’s Chocolonely has vowed to change this.
Founded in 2005, the Dutch company guarantees sustainable child-labor-free chocolate. It works closely with trading companies in Ghana and the Ivory Coast, buying cocoa beans from sustainable farms, and ensuring ethical cocoa beans are used for its products.
Unlike other companies, its child-free product status is acknowledged by Dutch authorities, and has been in place for years.
Its market share has grown exponentially, and its products are sold across Europe and the US.
Winning the War on Waste
These like-minded startups are helping consumers be more sustainable – and also give back to the community. From reusable energy to food waste, recycling, and child slavery, these companies are making a difference in how people live, thrive, and buy consumer goods.