LocalMart

LocalMart - Ideas for Sustainable Businesses

Localizing our commerce involves much more than simply creating a local currency or patronizing local merchants rather than distant ones, for the products that local merchants sell may not be produced locally.  LocalMart has a "from the ground up" philosophy which encourages the formation of numerous and varied local businesses that can produce sustainable products and services on even the smallest scale, but which in aggregate, result in significant gains in sustainability and local self sufficiency.  Many of the following business ideas are designed so that even the busiest people with full time jobs, and/or their children, relatives or friends, can produce some useful, sustainable product or service and offer it through LocalMart.  Rather than be just consumers, LocalMart members are encouraged to become providers and contribute toward localization by helping to "close the loop."

Many of the following ideas have been developed through Better World Workshop, a separate, not for profit organization operated by LocalMart.  The following is the mission statement of Better World Workshop:  "To conceive of, develop and disseminate ideas for sustainable products and services which can be produced and offered on a local level by individuals and small businesses, with the purpose of furthering the sustainability and self sufficiency of communities."  (For more information, go to Better World Workshop ). 

Recent Additions

  1. Manufacture locally, and sell, running shoes with endorsement names of environmental or social justice heroes (e.g. the Nelson Mandela shoe or the Rosa Parks shoe.).
  2. Make, package and sell, on a daily basis, healthful school lunches for students.
  3. Tool rental service or tool sharing on a neighborhood basis
  4. Micro lending network - Using MartMoney, make small loans to aspiring LocalMart Providers who wish to offer a LocalMart product or service that requires startup capital.  Funds for the network can be contributed by the founder of the micro lending network or solicited from other LocalMart members or others who become members.
  5. Set up an wireless internet "Hot Spot' where students or others can bring a computer or use computers and printers which are provided, with available internet connection. Expand program to include computer instruction.
  6. Set up and rent out space in a cold storage facility for those who might wish to store substantial amounts of frozen food.
  7. Set up and rent out mini warehouse space at a reasonable price.
  8. Private welfare system - Use MartMoney to purchase LocalMart goods and services which can be donated to worthy recipients.  Alternatively, use MartMoney for direct grants.  Funds can be contributed by the founder of the welfare system or solicited from other LocalMart members. 

Food and Agriculture

  1. Start a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm.
  2. Start a community garden.
  3. Sell vegetables, fruits, herbs or other produce from your own garden.
  4. Using a food processor, make and sell vegetable and fruit juices, soups, salsa, hummus and many other healthful foods.
  5. Make and sell whole grain breakfast cereals.
  6. Make and sell yogurt
  7. Manuracture and sell healthful soft drinks made with natural fruit syrups and natural, low calorie sweeteners.
  8. Engage a group such as Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts to collect excess produce from backyard gardens or community gardens and redistribute it for charity or for income for their organization. 
  9. Raise chickens and sell eggs, or consult to others, or provide equipment and/or supplies to others who wish to do this.
  10. Raise goats and use goat milk to make cheese and yogurt.  Rent them out for clearing brush and weeds. 
  11. Use locally grown organic ingredients to make packaged food items such as salad dressings, soups, mayonnaise, condiments, dried fruits and vegetables and many other items.
  12. Collect bruised, substandard appearance or otherwise "spoiled" organic produce that would otherwise be disposed of, from retail stores, distributors or farms, and process it into salad dressings, soups, mayonnaise, condiments, dried fruits and vegetables and many other items.
  13. Collect unsold bread from bakeries or retail stores and make bread crumbs for salads, or bread sticks.
  14. Consult in the establishment of edible landscapes.
  15. Consult in the establishment of vegetable gardens, herb gardens (both summer and winter).
  16. Produce and sell organic pet food or treats.
  17. Produce and sell bird food.
  18. Produce and sell humming bird nectar.
  19. Become a beekeeper for production and sale of honey.
  20. Start a bakery, even on a small scale in your home or garage. 
  21. Produce and sell olive oil, or distribute olive oil made by others locally.
  22. Produce and sell wine, or distribute wine made by others locally.
  23. Start a worm composting business and sell worms to gardeners and farmers.
  24. Teach others how to set up their own worm composting operation and offer equipment and supplies for sale. 
  25. Grow and sell sprouts.
  26. Sell supplies and equipment for growing sprouts and demonstrate how sprouts can be grown on a small scale in a kitchen windowsill or on an apartment deck. 
  27. Grow and sell wheat grass.
  28. Sell supplies and equipment for growing wheat grass and demonstrate how wheat grass can be grown on a small scale in a kitchen windowsill or on an apartment deck. 

Reducing, Reusing, Repairing, Recycling

  1. Service for reducing junk mail, credit card solicitations and/or telemarketing calls
  2. Become an eBay Trading Assistant who, for a commission or fee, will list the items of others on eBay and handle the transaction details.  Offer to sell or dispose of items by other similar means as well. 
  3. Service to collect unneeded items from others and divert them to highest and best use - i.e. Reuse, Repair, Recycle
  4. Service to repair small appliances, electronics, other equipment that might otherwise be disposed of   
  5. Bicycle repair service, bicycle rental service or bicycle sharing network
  6. Fairly priced and honest vehicle repair and maintenance service 
  7. Tool rental service or tool sharing on a neighborhood basis
  8. Toy exchange or sharing, or reselling of used, refurbished toys.
  9. Service to recycle construction materials 
  10. Service to sell used construction materials and supplies   

Clothing

  1. Manufacture locally, and sell, running shoes with endorsement names of environmental or social justice heroes (e.g. the Nelson Mandela shoe or the Rosa Parks shoe).
  2. Manufacture and sell designer jeans designed by local designers.
  3. Design and manufacture locally produced sustainable clothing.
  4. Make or sell hemp clothing.
  5. Make or sell bamboo clothing.

Energy and Water Conservation

  1. Perform energy audits on residential, commercial or industrial buildings to determine how and where energy is being used and wasted and how improvements can be made.
  2. Build and operate a biodiesel fueling station
  3. Cut and sell firewood.
  4. Consult in the establishment of drought tolerant landscapes, and planting of drought tolerant landscapes.
  5. Install or advise on the installation of solar electric, solar thermal or wind powered equipment.
  6. Install or advise on the installation of water conservation measures.
  7. Install or advise on the installation of, graywater systems for residential or commercial properties. 

Conservation and Habitat Restoration

  1. Construct or provide plans for owl boxes and offer advice on siting and offer installation service.
  2. Construct or provide plans for bird houses and offer advice on siting and offer installation service.
  3. Construct or provide plans for bird feeders or humming bird feeders and offer advice on siting and offer installation service.
  4. Construct or provide plans for bat houses and offer advice on siting and offer installation service.
  5. Plant, or advise on the planting of, milkweed or other plants to attract Monarch butterflies and other butterflies in order to help to restore declining populations.  
  6. Restore a creek.

Misc. Products

  1. Produce and sell household cleaning agents using common, non toxic ingredients.
  2. Produce and sell pet toys. 
  3. Produce locally manufactured furniture.
  4. Cabinet maker

Services - Computer and Software

  1. Service to teach basic computing skills and set up customers and personal computers with gmail, Google home page with gadgets, Google documents and other internet based applications as an alternative to costly alternatives.
  2. Computer maintenance and repair
  3. Service to enable "Windowless" computing.  Install (free) Linux operating system on personal computers to replace Microsoft Windows, and install other free software to replace costly purchased software.

Services - Financial

  1. Micro lending network - Using MartMoney, make small loans to aspiring LocalMart Providers who wish to offer a LocalMart product or service that requires startup capital.  Funds for the network can be contributed by the founder of the micro lending network or solicited from other LocalMart members.
  2. Investment advisory service for socially responsible investing.  

Services - Misc.

  1. Consult in the establishment of neighborhood disaster planning groups.
  2. Service to make personalized calendars, greeting cards, scrapbooks, photo albums, invitations or business cards
  3. Conduct instruction in yoga, Pilates or other exercise or fitness techniques.
  4. Start an animal rescue shelter.
  5. Take pets to nursing homes for companionship and to boost spirits.  
  6. Rent a pet. 
  7. Fishing instructiion
  8. Foraging instruction
  9. Tour of a recycling operation
  10. Dumpster diving tour
  11. Organize a group to restore a creek.
  12. Organize a group to pick up trash at a beach or park.

Big Picture Ideas

  1. Private welfare system - Use MartMoney to purchase LocalMart goods and services which can be donated to worthy recipients.  Alternatively, use MartMoney for direct grants.  Funds can be contributed by the founder of the welfare system or solicited from other LocalMart members. 
  2. Healthcare system - Assemble a group of health care providers who become LocalMart members and offer a health care system for other LocalMart members.

Check this list frequently - We plan to add many more ideas.
Suggest an idea to add to the list - info@localmart.net

Make a contribution to Better World Workshop - info@localmart.net

Contact Us: info@localmart.net

 

View a LocalMart Affiliate Site  
Members only site but many of the features and links are viewable for non members
 
View the LocalMart Store
Members only site but many of the features and links are viewable for non members
 
Better World Workshop
An incubator for conceiving of and developing ideas for sustainable products and services that individuals or small businesses can provide on a local level 
Micro Lending Network
Microloans for the establishment of sustainable products and services that can be offered on the local level