With the global economy still limping along at a snail’s pace, it’s not uncommon to find people looking for ways to earn a little extra cash. Some will take on second jobs, others will sell stocks or pawn their valuables, and an errant few will attempt to increase their earnings by betting on horse races or buying lottery tickets. The point is, you may be looking for a means of bringing home just a little more bacon. But if you’re like much of modern mankind you’ve begun to think about the impact your actions have on the environment. With that thought in mind, here are a few ways to earn a little extra cash while simultaneously working to reduce your carbon footprint.
- Recycle. Duh, right? Okay, so a lot of people who are green-minded already recycle, and you may even haul your aluminum, glass, and plastic to the recycling center to turn it into cash. But you could be doing more, especially if you need the bump in your budget. For example, you could ask neighbors if they would like you to haul their recyclable items to the center on your weekly trip. They might go along with it just to reduce their own damage debt. But if they want the money, offer to split it with them (their trash, your trouble). You could even petition the city for the right to put a recycle drop-off bin in your driveway so that neighbors can drop bags for you to take to the center regularly.
- Telecommute. If most of your work is done on computers, online, and over the phone anyway, why not ask your company if telecommuting is a possibility? While it won’t help you to earn more money, per se, it will cut down the cost of your commute (meaning additional funds in your wallet) while also helping you to reduce the carbon emissions that are created by your car each day.
- Grow and sell organic veggies. A garden is good for the planet as well as your physical and mental health. But it could also be a business. If you have a green thumb and a passion for toxin-free food, you can sell your wares at the farmers market, offer them to neighbors for less than store prices, or even talk to local grocers and restaurants about setting up a supply chain.
- Create recycled crafts. Do you like to use old, discarded items to create something new and beautiful? Whether you’re using vinyl records to make jewelry, you’re keen on creating silverware wind chimes, you rework vintage garments, or you like to refurbish old furniture, you can turn your “found art” into money by hitting up local craft fairs or opening a virtual store on Etsy.
- Buy and sell used items. If you frequent San Francisco, Chicago, or Nashville garage sales for fun on the weekends, why not turn your hobby into a side job? If you have a fair eye for finding a steal you can purchase items on the cheap, spruce them up a bit, and turn around and sell them at a profit. The best part of this enterprise is that it is eminently green because you are giving items a second life, which keeps them out of the landfill and encourages consumers to say no to new manufacturing (and the pollution and waste that comes with it).