Money isn’t the only green thing that makes the world go ‘round. While working to make a living, it’s important to consider how these roles affect the environment. Whether working one job or many, there are a variety of ways to incorporate eco-friendly practices into a work lifestyle.
Here are some ways to help keep the environment—and pockets—protected while gigging.
Work from Home
Whether a freelancer or an employee, finding opportunities to work from the comfort of home is probably the ultimate way to reduce a carbon footprint. The remote work possibilities are endless as a self-employed worker can take on remote gigs within a wide range of industries, from customer service to design and marketing. There are also platforms such as Fiverr and Upwork that offer a variety of gig options for freelancers. Many companies now also grant employees the flexibility to work from home (don’t be afraid to ask!) — or they solely exist remotely.
So, what’s so green about that?
Working from home can reduce the use of gas commuting to and from work, and the energy and resources needed to maintain an office or work space. And to take an extra step, consider working as a consultant teaching companies how to become more sustainable.
Another option is to work for companies whose missions are deeply rooted in sustainability and actively work to reduce its carbon footprint.
Sifted, for instance, is an eco-friendly catering company grounded in Zero Food Waste and offers part-time work for delivery drivers and hosts, and full-time work for chefs, cooks, and managers. Its “ugly produce” and leftover donation programs reduce the amount of food wasted.
BabyQuip also actively works to limit the footprint for baby needs. This “AirBnB” for baby gear provides workers with a platform to earn a side income renting out the equipment babies use for a short period of time. The company helps families acquire cost-efficient gear, ultimately reducing their impact on the environment.
“We are a gig economy business with a strong Earth Day mission every single day,” said Trish McDermott, co-founder of Baby Quip. “We believe no baby gear should be purchased and then sit on a shelf going mostly unused for most of its life.”
And don’t forget about recycling. Yep, there’s a gig for that too! R.cup, a reusable, recyclable cup branded for festivals and other large groups, offers paid short-term gigs. The concept is when fans buy their first beverage, they put down a $3 cup deposit and use it throughout the event. At the end of the event, the fan can turn the cup in to a representative for a full refund, or they can keep the cup.
“The cup itself is intentionally a higher quality product compared to the often flimsy commemorative cup products, which has led to the vast majority of fans keeping the cup, thereby eliminating unnecessary waste at the venue,” said Sally Kassab, an R.cup representative.
The Wild Side
Living on the wild side? Looking into gigs where you’re totally off the grid for a couple of days is another way to conserve energy and care for the environment. Fitpacking, for example, offers gigs as a wilderness guide who takes people on backpacking adventure vacations.
“Backpacking off-grid for a week with no electricity is inherently eco-friendly with a small environmental impact,” said Steve Silberberg, owner and head guide of Fitpacking.
But no matter what kind of work, whether it’s a one-time gig or longer term, there are many steps one can take to support environmental protection.