by Fred Roed on 11/08/09 at 6:30 am
This week, we chat to Charles Bryant from Ecopreneur who happens to be focusing on something many of Ideate’s readers are very interested in: environmentally conscious business. Through our various channels, we get one to two enquiries a week on ‘green business ideas in South Africa’ – so Charles seems to be on a winning track here. Charles, tell us about your blog Ecopreneur?
Thanks Fred. Ecopreneur aims to offer insight to the green entrepreneur (or ‘ecopreneur’) in 3 ways: Firstly, it aims to raise awareness of environmental issues, particularly global warming and water conservation. Secondly, it focuses on effective marketing that would-be ecopreneurs may find useful in their new ventures. Thirdly, it presents green business opportunities to aspiring ecopreneurs.
Very cool. We see you’ve got a business opportunity going – what is Water Rhapsody all about?
Water Rhapsody is the first Green business opportunity offered on Ecopreneur. It is a water conservation company with 15 years experience who are now expanding by creating ecopreneurs who will own their own new businesses throughout South Africa. The response has been far greater than expected and we put this down to the fact that Water Rhapsody is in the eco-trendy green market, striving to substantially reduce municipal water bills, and create employment and ecopreneurs at the same time.
SA seems a bit backward with the whole environment thing. Are there any business success stories you can tell us about?
In places like Australia, legislation provides for compulsory green systems – like shade systems to protect against the sun; but in other places like parts of the USA, they outlaw rainwater harvesting! SA is still behind, but the real ecopreneur doesn’t wait for government legislation to create opportunities. SA is full of entrepreneurs and the web plus social networking is shortening the time between start-up and success, or start-up and abandon/change direction.
Where are we headed in terms of becoming more enviro-friendly?
We need to be headed into the space where people take responsibility for their actions. Think about it – Julia Butterfly Hill a writer, poet, and activist who through her historic 738-day tree-sit in brought international attention to the plight of the ancient forests and environmental destruction, asks this question and best demonstrates the inter connectivity of everything on the planet “When you say you are going to throw something away, where is away?”
Once we take responsibility, we own the problem. Imagine how easy it would then be to get CO2 levels down to 350ppm (They are currently at 390ppm and rising).
How did you get into the green movement? Was Al Gore involved in any way?
I woke up fast when the better respected economists warned that the electricity crisis will be nothing compared to the looming water crisis in South Africa.
Finally, how can we entrepreneurs make our businesses more environmentally conscious? What resources are there for us?
By seriously evaluating their inputs and the resultant outputs on people and the planet. It’s all about the 3 P’s; People, the Planet and then Profit .
It is difficult to open a magazine today and ignore the weight of green articles. The internet via Search, Blogs, Twitter and Facebook is probably the fastest communicator of all things eco-friendly. We just need a high tech sieve to sort out the credible from the incredible!
Well, until Google invents that sieve, we’ll use blogs like Ecopreneur and Urban Sprout for now. Thanks, Charles, we wish you all the best. Ideate ecopreneurs – go and visit Charles’ blog and get green, now!
Fred Roed is the marketing guy in the Ideate crew. Fred is the CEO of web marketing company World Wide Creative and the co-founder of online learning portal Heavy Chef. Fred loves writing about people out there doing marketing right. Follow Fred on Twitter here. View more articles by Fred Roed.