Let’s be honest: nothing beats the joy and satisfaction of following your passion and getting paid for it. 

If you’re passionate about helping build a greener planet, you can certainly earn money while doing what you love. 

One example of this is green consumerism—the concept of shoppers preferring to buy products and services that are good for the planet—which has been gaining momentum the past few years. 

(Just to make it clear, we are in no way advocating making money by capitalizing on the ‘eco-friendly merchandise’ bandwagon. What we’re saying is if you have to make money, you might as well do so with the environment in mind.)

The Business of Green

With the ever-growing awareness of today’s environmental issues, it’s no secret that most people are leaning towards using sustainable alternatives to everyday products: 

  • Almost half of the consumers in the United Kingdom (UK) are interested in purchasing products that are good for the planet. 
  • More than 40% of UK consumers keep ecological impacts in mind when buying goods.  
  • Each year, shoppers spend almost £2000 on eco-friendly groceries. 

Thanks to the rising trend of green shopping, big companies, and even small ones, are moving towards using and even offering eco-friendly products and sustainable services. 

Since there is a demand for greener options and earth-friendly alternatives, offering sustainable goods and services may be a potentially lucrative niche worth exploring.

If you want to combine your passion for business and save the planet, check out these 10 profitable ideas you can try to make your savings grow while going green: 

1. Sell Your Unused Clothing 

Clothing rack with loads of clothes on it

More than 350,000 tonnes of used apparel end up going to landfills in the UK every year. That’s a whopping £140 million worth of clothing—including some that are perfectly wearable—just going to waste. 

If you’re looking to clear up space in your wardrobe, don’t toss out your unused clothing just yet. Instead of contributing to the production of textile waste, you can make a profit off your previously owned clothing by selling them at a consignment shop in your locality.

If you prefer a broader reach, you could also put up your secondhand clothes for sale online through apps such as Poshmark, Depop, or Vinted. Vintage items are all the rage lately, and retro pieces are trending. 

What’s also great about selling your clothing online is that you can set your prices for your items. Just make sure to be a responsible seller by using sustainable delivery packaging!

2. Put Up an Upcycling Business

Apart from selling secondhand clothes, you could also try making money out of upcycled clothing pieces and accessories. 

Through upcycling, you can turn old clothing items into fashionable pieces you can sell at a greater value. 

Here are some upcycling ideas you can try: 

  • Repurpose jeans that don’t fit you anymore into a trendy denim skirt or a chic crop top.
  • Create a stylish off-the-shoulder shirt from a simple old button-down shirt that would have otherwise found its way in landfills
  • Give worn statement shirts a second life by turning them into colorful pillowcases.

Once you’ve created your upcycled fashion collection, you can then put them up for sale in online clothing shops such as Etsy, Amazon Handmade, Depop, or Not on the High Street

Upcycling is a great step you can take towards making fashion more circular and less wasteful!

3. Grow Your Garden 

plants growing in a plant pot

If you have a green thumb, then growing your backyard garden might help you earn some cash.

Aside from being more nutritious, locally sourced organic produce is better for the environment since it has a smaller environmental impact. Growing fruits and vegetables locally also produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions (from transportation and refrigeration) compared to imported produce! 

Try growing some vegetables in your garden using organic fertilisers. Once it’s time for harvest, secure a booth at your local farmers’ market and start selling organic produce that you’ve grown with love. 

You can also try cultivating indoor and outdoor ornamental plants and selling them as cut plants or seedlings. 

4. Offer a Bicycle Courier Service 

blue bike

In the UK, transportation, especially logistics, is responsible for the increasing levels of carbon emissions. 

Thankfully, some delivery companies are undertaking efforts to reduce the carbon footprint of making deliveries by using electric vehicles

If you have a bike, another way you can contribute to making the logistics industry greener is by offering a bike delivery service! You could start by spreading the word about your cycle courier service to family and friends. You can also try bike delivery ‘gigs’ for UberEats, CitySprint, or Gopher.  

By offering a bicycle delivery service, you can pedal your way to a greener environment while earning cash from your sustainable side hustle. (Plus you get a killer pair of hamstrings too!)

5. Create Handmade Crafts from Recycled Materials 

Are you good at making arts and crafts? If you answered yes, creating and selling handmade gifts from recycled materials might be worth a try.

Help cut down on waste that ends up in landfills by turning discarded materials such as plastic food bags into recycled bags or purses

You can also make use of old newspapers by turning them into colourful coasters

The possibilities are endless as long as you’re creative! Once you’ve finished making recycled handmade crafts, you can try selling them on sites like Etsy, Folksy, or Amazon Handmade

6. Make the Most Out of Your Old Furniture

old wooden chair and table

Each year, 22 million pieces of furniture are discarded and end up in landfills in the UK. 

If you have old furniture lying around your house, don’t leave them in the curbside. Instead, make a decent amount of money from upcycling old shelves and selling them. 

Upcycle used (and even broken) furniture pieces by doing a few repairs and giving them a fresh new look. 

For example, if you have old drawers that are still in good shape, you can repurpose them into a minibar. Breathe new life into boring desks by making them into nightstands!

Once you’ve revamped your old furniture, you can sell them at a local consignment store. You could also post the items you’re selling online via Pearlly, Etsy, and eBay

7. Apply for Energy Efficiency Tax Breaks

Aside from earning cash through selling goods and services, you can also increase your savings through energy tax incentives!

Suppose your home in the UK has installed insulation, heating controls, heating pumps, solar panels, and other energy efficiency measures. In that case, you are qualified for a 5% reduced value-added tax (VAT) rate

A full VAT charge can be quite expensive. Therefore, it would be best to make the most of your investments by making your home more energy-efficient. 

Tax exemptions alone may not make you more money, but it will help you cut down on the amount that you spend on taxes, which is still a win. After all, a penny saved is a penny earned. 

8. Work for an Eco-Conscious Company 

people working together

Another way of making money while helping the environment is to work for a company whose goals align with your passion. 

Businesses in the UK are starting to become aware of the essence of environmental sustainability. For sure, there would be a lot of companies that are devoted to making greener choices. 

You could start by checking out job opportunities in non-profit environmental organisations such as Greenpeace, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), or the Sierra Club

You can also look up potential careers at for-profit companies that are committed to saving the planet like Green Tomato Cars, Seventh Generation, or Bulb

Most importantly, look for a green corporation whose company culture will inspire you to do more for the planet!

9. Begin Your Own Sustainable Living Start-up 

Leading a zero-waste lifestyle is currently on the rise as more and more consumers become more aware of environmental problems.

One in three persons is leaning towards buying eco-friendly options. Undoubtedly, this presents an opportunity to supply the ever-increasing demand for sustainable alternatives to everyday products. 

So if entrepreneurship is your cup of tea, now is the best time to get started on your sustainable living start-up. 

It could be as simple as selling shampoo and conditioner bars, wooden containers, bamboo toothbrushes, steel straws, reusable metal canteens, and other plastic-free alternatives

You could also sell eco-friendly tote bags upcycled from old clothes or reusable period pads.

While selling zero-waste products to your customers, you may also offer tips and advice on how to live sustainably. 

10. Invest Your Money in Eco-Enterprises 

Not ready to take the leap toward being an entrepreneur just yet? If you have extra funds to spare, you can make money on the side by investing in green enterprises. 

The past few years have seen an increase in eco-investing opportunities, with eco-minded consumers and investors throwing their financial support behind sustainable startups and enterprises. 

Allot time researching companies that are devoted to clean energy or eco-friendly business practices. Look up enterprises with green bonds to help you gain some returns while supporting environmental causes. 

As with any other venture, financial literacy and patience are the keys to a fruitful investment. 

Now that you have acquainted yourself with these planet-friendly money-making efforts, get ready to blaze a trail in the world of eco-business. 

Most of these profitable ideas are not too complicated, with some being as simple as selling your preloved items or creating craft from recycled materials. 

Find out which of these ideas is an excellent fit for you and start from there. Nothing beats the joy of being able to save the planet while adding some earnings to your wallet!

Other Articles That May Interest You:

Starting ‘Em Young: 7 Tips to Raise Sustainably Aware Kids

Eight ‘Green’ Reads for Every Type of Eco Warrior

10 Eco-Friendly Ideas for a Waste-Free Wedding

To Sustainability and Beyond: 9 Earth-Friendly Podcasts Worth Listening To

How to Win (Green) Friends and Influence (Not-So-Green-Minded) People

About The Author

May can usually be found reading an eco magazine absorbed in the latest gripping articles on all things eco! May is passionate about the environment. May believes in looking and feeling good whilst living an eco friendly lifestyle. In her spare time she loves cooking, playing her guitar and going for country walks. May lives in the UK and enjoys spending time with friends, family and her two adorable cats.

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