Tuesday, July 7, 2009

5 ways to earn some green by being green

As most of you know, I'm a pretty firm believer in helping the environment while saving money, and I've written about plenty of ways to do that (buy less stuff, use all of what you have, drive less and drive smart, turn off the lights, etc). Since I am currently jobless with no prospects in sight, I thought I'd come up with a few ways to help the environment while making a little extra money.

1. Write about it. On a blog with ads, or on a site that pays for content like Associated Content or Squidoo get on your soapbox and shout to the world about your favorite environmental issues.

2. Earn some quick online money. My new favorite site Planetup lets you earn 1 penny, donate 1 penny to charity, and offset about 8 pounds of carbon through their partners for every short (less than one minute) video that you watch. Planetup also has a great link exchange program which just started so you can offset some carbon while promoting your favorite online projects. Also if you like taking surveys, Hotspex will plant a tree for every survey you take, while earning you points that can be exchanged for frequent flier miles or gift cards.

3. Sell your stuff. It's amazing what people will buy on craigslist, so before you throw something out, try listing it. If nothing else, someone will take it free to haul and you'll keep it out of a landfill. I also like to sell books to used bookstores. I know I could get more money selling them individually online, but sometimes it's not worth the extra hassle for a few paperbacks. Plus I like to support those stores, since their business model is very environmentally friendly. I recently even discovered that my local used bookstore would buy magazines, earning me a few cents for something I would definitely throw in the trash otherwise.

4. Recycle. I will be honest and say that I have never exchanged cans for cash, although my high school marching band and childhood girl scout troop both collected them as fund raisers. I have been led to believe it's fairly easy though. To make it even easier, my parents' hometown has decided to encourage recycling by giving out recycle cans with a microchip that calculates the weight of the products you're recycling and earns you CVS extracare bucks. Cool!

5. Adopt a highway. This one is mostly for groups looking for a fundraiser, but many communities will pay groups to clean a stretch of highway. It's like a service project and fundraiser in one!

Anyone have any other ways to earn green will being green?