Eco-Friendly Ways to Earn Extra Money

During a recession, most people find that they have to work harder to make ends meet since money doesn’t seem to stretch quite as far. As a result, many try to think of ways to earn a little extra on the side. Some people take on an additional part-time job while others sell off valuables. Those who are particularly motivated may even start a side business, either locally or online (or both). Of course, there are also a lot of scam artists out there trying to take advantage of people desperate to believe that they can actually earn major money for little work. But if you’re looking to avoid the pitfalls of looking for side work while finding an occupation that allows you to maintain your eco-friendly sensibilities, here are just a few options that may appeal to you.

1. Recycle. If you live in a state where recycle bins are mandatory, you may have forgotten that you can make money off the aluminum, plastic, and glass that you routinely put out for pickup. And if you don’t reside in a place that puts a premium on environmental protection, then there’s a good chance that you’re not recycling at all. However, if you need to earn a little extra cash (and soda is on your shopping list every week), why not save up your cans and bottles to take to the recycling center? You may even be able to get neighbors on board with letting you pick up their recyclable items, as well.

2. Grow a garden. Planting an organic garden can not only provide your family with fresh produce that is chemical-free; it can also be used as a way to make money on the side. During the summer and fall, you can sell fresh fruits and veggies at your local farmers market (or see if neighbors would be interested in taking some of the excess off your hands). And after the harvest season you can try canning and jamming the rest for sale in during the winter. Come up with a couple of popular canned items and you may even be able to sell them at local, family-owned markets.

3. Start an environmental non-profit. Although non-profit organizations technically don’t “make” money, they often have stipulations for salaries employees. By starting a non-profit that is geared towards an environmental pursuit, you probably won’t make a ton of money, but you could earn some extra cash by devoting your free time to conservancy, organic alternatives, environmental protection, or putting a stop to waste and pollution (for example). It’s a great way to get paid for doing something you love that has important implications for the whole world.

4. Get creative online. There are so many ways to make money online that you will be surprised by what you can do. If you have a knack for writing, you may earn a few extra bucks writing for blogs or doing local reviews. Or if computer graphics is your thing, you could try creating logos and business cards (or even websites). And if you think you have no skills, why not try selling other people’s stuff with an eBay consignment store? Literally anyone can make money over the internet.

5. Take online surveys. Case in point: online surveys. Did you ever imagine you could get paid for your opinion? The internet makes it easy with literally hundreds of companies paying average consumers to give their opinions on products, services, websites, and more. You’ll want to avoid the ones that ask you for money upfront (or want your bank account number), but otherwise there’s no reason not to take online surveys for money.