As the side hustle economy thrives, there’s never been a better time than making sustainability a part of your business practices. More consumers than ever prefer brands that are eco-conscious, with Nielsen IQ reporting that 73% of global consumers are willing to change their consumption habits to reduce environmental impact. Sustainability doesn’t stop at using reusable products or recycling correctly but extends to minimizing digital waste, streamlining the delivery process, and using renewable energy.
Here are 7 ways you can make your side hustle more sustainable:
1. Source Ethically
Whether you’re making artisanal soap or custom furniture, the materials you use make a difference. Choose to source your raw materials from suppliers committed to sustainable practices. Websites like EcoVadis provide sustainability ratings for global suppliers, helping you make informed choices.
2. Go Digital to Minimize Waste
From invoicing to marketing materials, aim to go as paperless as possible. Use digital platforms for client contracts and invoices to cut down on paper waste. According to The World Counts, half of business waste comes from paper alone, highlighting just how crucial it is to switch to digital options.
3. Offer Eco-Friendly Shipping Options
While conventional shipping methods often contribute to CO2 emissions, carbon-neutral shipping services counterbalance this by investing in renewable energy projects or carbon offset programs. Companies like Sendle or UPS’s carbon-neutral option are taking the lead in this eco-friendly initiative. Not only do these services use more energy-efficient vehicles, but they also employ smarter logistics to minimize travel distances and, consequently, emissions.
4. Use Renewable Energy
If you’re operating your side hustle from a home office, consider switching to renewable energy sources. Solar panels are a one-time investment that can power your workspace sustainably. Many local governments in North America offer rebates that cover up to 50% costs of installing solar panels. Some governments are offering 0% loans up to $30,000 to make the transition easier.
5. Create a Take-Back Program
Did you know that only 8.6% products produced in the world ever get recycled or reused? You can create a take-back program, in which customers return used products, that you can then recycle, refurbish, or repurpose. This closed-loop system drastically reduces waste by diverting items from landfills and giving them a second life. For example, if you sell electronics, you could salvage parts for reuse, or if you’re in the fashion industry, repurpose old fabrics.
6. Choose Green Web Hosting
Traditional web servers consume significant amounts of energy. That’s why opting for green web hosting services like GreenGeeks or A2 Hosting makes a lot of sense. These companies offset the energy they use by investing in renewable energy credits. In some cases, they even contribute three times the energy they consume back into the grid through wind or solar power.
7. Educate Your Customers
Whether it’s through engaging blog posts that tackle important environmental issues, or quick tips shared on social media about how your product can be used in an eco-friendly manner, you have the opportunity to be a catalyst for change. For instance, if you sell reusable water bottles, offer insights on the impact of plastic waste on ocean ecosystems.
For more tips on how to make your side hustle more sustainable, follow Carrie’s Courses