Gig economy workers can take action to make their businesses and lives more green. Here are eight ways to make each day as a gig worker greener.
For those driving ride shares, going green doesn’t have to mean buying a new electric or hybrid vehicle. Instead, gig economy drivers can improve their environmental impact with small changes. Preventive maintenance, such as monitoring and maintaining tire pressure and cleaning and replacing air filters, is the most cost-effective method to increase fuel efficiency and drive green. While driving, avoid quick accelerations and use a constant speed to consume less fuel.
Use energy more efficiently
Gig economy workers can be more environmentally friendly by using these tips to save energy and money, said Marley Vebares of Energy Upgrade California.
- Unplug fully charged devices. Leaving charged smartphones and laptops plugged in wastes energy and can damage the battery. Use an electronic power strip for electronic equipment and turn off the strip when it’s not in use. This will help reduce phantom loads can save up to $100 year.
- Switch to energy efficient lighting. By replacing their five most frequently used light fixtures or bulbs with models that have earned the ENERGY STAR® rating, people can save energy and up to $75 each year.
- Turn down the heat. By reducing their home temperatures by even one degree, people can save about 2% of their energy usage and on their heating bills. For example, changing the thermostat’s setting from 70°F to 65°F would save about 10% in energy use and expense.
Invest in companies that think green
One way to support the environment is to back companies that do the same. With Stash, users can invest in fractional shares of stocks and funds of companies. Some of the companies Stash offers access to include NextEra Energy, a leading renewable utility company. An initial investment can be as little as $5, and Steady users get that amount as a bonus when they sign up.
Go 100% mobile for banking
By eliminating paper from their banking, gig economy workers can help save natural resources. By doing that with a mobile-only bank such as Varo, they can also save on fees and earn up to 2.8% APY with a Varo savings account.
Get green hosting
Running a website can have a huge carbon footprint. Every website server consumes enormous amounts of energy and is often powered by fossil fuels. The communications industry could use 20% of all electricity and emit up to 5.5% of the world’s carbon emissions by 2025. This would be more than any country except the US, China, and India.
Gig economy workers with a website can help abate these impacts by switching to a green web hosting company, according to sustainablebusinesstoolkit.com. Green web hosting companies buy renewable energy to power or replace the energy used by their servers. This can reduce or even negate a website’s carbon footprint.
Save to study the environment
Gig economy workers can support the environment by saving money from their gigs and creating a college fund for a future environmental scientist. College Backer helps users set up a college savings account that grows tax-free in a 529 plan. It takes about five minutes, and then anyone can contribute to the account. Plus, Steady users get $10 when they open an account.
FlyGRN offers a flight search engine that offsets an individual flight’s CO2 emissions for free. The site compares flight prices and uses the fees from flight booking partners to offset the carbon emissions of a flight. The website will also make travel suggestions to save on carbon emissions. For example, it will recommend other modes of transportation that may be more environmentally friendly for a traveler’s trip.
Offset your carbon footprint
Gig economy workers and freelancers can also buy carbon offsets to offset the greenhouse gas emissions associated with their travel, said Josh Prigge, a sustainability professional, and owner of Sustridge. Then, they could also promote themselves as a carbon neutral service provider.