Tag Archives: green home business

7 Eco Friendly Home Business Ideas for 2013

I think it’s important for stay at home moms to earn money when possible. Doing this has gotten my family through some tough times in much better financial condition than we would have been in if we had relied on my husband’s income alone, especially when he was laid off a few years back. He found work again after a few months, but it would have been pretty awful if I hadn’t had an income to contribute.

7 Eco Friendly Home Business IdeasIf it’s an eco friendly model you’re after for your home business, you have to plan carefully. It’s not enough to start a business and have a few things be green about it – you need to think about what you’re doing overall. Otherwise the not-so-eco-friendly parts of your business can outweigh the more eco minded portions. Here are some ideas you can consider for 2013 and beyond:

1. Blogging

At first glance, it’s pretty easy to make a blog eco friendly. You can even choose a hosting company that uses renewable energy or otherwise makes an effort to be environmentally friendly. Beyond that, it’s the computer you use, and not much other equipment most times.

But if you get to where you can earn money from your blog, the next aspect comes into play: keeping your product recommendations green. There are plenty of companies you can choose from. I usually sign up through affiliate programs and choose companies that focus on eco friendly products, or carefully chosen products on Amazon, that being the biggest selection. Especially if you’re blogging about being eco friendly, it’s best to lead by example.

Will you get it perfect? Probably not, but you can put in your best effort.

2. Affiliate Marketing

You don’t have to run a blog to be an affiliate marketer. You can set up a website and just list eco friendly products for sale. You will want to make sure that your site stands out from others – using the same description as everyone else won’t make your website stand out from others.

3. Eco Friendly Network Marketing Companies

Now this one can get really tricky. You wouldn’t necessarily think so, but sometimes it’s really hard to be certain that a company that claims to be environmentally friendly really is, especially when it’s hard to find out what ingredients are in their products.

Here are a few companies to consider. Review them for yourself and see which meet your needs best. There are of course many more than these.


4. Sell Repurposed Products

If you’re good at repurposing old stuff, you can sell it. Etsy and eBay are easy choices, but you can also open your own online store using PayPal or another payment processor. If things take off for you, you will need to find resources for items to repurpose.

5. Sell Crafts

Use eco friendly supplies, and make products you can sell. Once again, Etsy and eBay are pretty good choices. You can make just about anything, depending on your skills – clothes, toys, reusable bags, and so much more.

6. Sell Local Produce

Here’s for you gardeners. It will take some time to find out what rules you’ll need to follow in your area to legally sell produce, but if you have a really successful garden you may be able to sell your excess. Farmer’s markets can be a great choice.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be fresh. If you make jelly or preserve your produce, you can sell that too. Make sure you know the food safety laws for your area. You’ll probably have inspections to deal with and may have to rent a special kitchen to work.

7. Be a Green Consultant

You can help others go green. A green consultant can help businesses or individuals find ways to be more eco friendly. You might check buildings to see if they’re energy efficient and recommend products. You might even help them plan events. This may take some training, as you probably can’t just walk in and recognize problems otherwise.

Before you start any business, check with your city to ensure that you can do so legally. Home businesses are often legal if there’s no impact to the residential area, but rules vary, especially by the type of business you open. Sometimes all you need is a license, sometimes nothing at all, sometimes much more. Your life will be much simpler if you know what’s relevant to you.

Can You Really Go Green By Working at Home?

Lots of people want to work at home. For most it has nothing to do with going green and everything to do with dreams. The dreams of a more leisurely lifestyle. The dreams of more time for their family. The dreams of an income they can barely imagine.

But working at home isn’t all about that. It can also be about being more eco friendly.

I’ve worked at home since late 2001. It’s mostly been fun, but also stressful, and I’m still far from the wild dream so many have of hitting it rich. But then I haven’t always had a home business either.

If you’re looking at working at home and wondering if there’s a shortcut to getting started without getting scammed, I’ll tell you the answer right now:


Whether or not there’s a shortcut depends on what you do right now. You see, it’s possible that your current job could become at least a partial work at home job if it’s the right sort of job.

That’s right, you could telecommute from your current position if that’s possible within your company.

This is obviously not possible for everyone. If you have to deal with people face to face, it’s not going to happen. If your job otherwise requires your physical presence every day, it’s not going to happen. But if that’s not the case, it might be possible. Or not. Much depends on the company you work for.

Go in and talk to your boss. Find out if telecommuting even one day a week is an option. With luck, you’ll get a positive answer.

If it’s a no, but you think you could telecommute to your current job, start working on changing the policy. Find out why the answer was no and figure out how to counter those arguments. Sometimes it can be done.

What If You Can’t Telecommute from Your Current Job?

Many people just don’t have that telecommute option for one reason or another. It’s a drag, but it’s real life.

If you’re serious about working from home, it’s time to start looking.

When you’re considering the eco side of working from home, be sure that you consider that as you job hunt. There’s not much eco to working for companies that generally don’t respect the environment.

You’re also going to have to learn about work at home scams. The dratted things are all over the place. Be extremely skeptical of any and all job offers, especially the ones which sound too good to be true. I run another website, Home with the Kids, which has a lot of tips on avoiding work at home scams you might want to read.

Most work at home jobs pay on production rather than hourly. This makes sense, as it means that they don’t have to worry about if you’re being productive during the hours you said you’d work. If you’re not productive, you’re just not getting paid!

What About a Home Business?

It’s amazing how many home business opportunities there are out there. You could join an eco friendly network marketing opportunity. You could do affiliate marketing. You could start your own website. You could do some other kind of business.

There are so many ways you could start a home business if that’s what interests you. The internet has opened things up tremendously.

The challenge is that there is never a guarantee that your home business will allow you to make a living. Running a business is hard work. If you want to succeed, you’re going to have to give it everything you’ve got and keep pushing through even when it seems like nothing is going right. Expect it to be hard and you won’t be disappointed.

Don’t trust any of the people who tell you it’s going to be easy to earn six figures in a year (or worse, a month!) working from home. People who earn that kind of money are very much the exception to the rule. Just as with any other kind of business, most home businesses fail. If you want to do a home business you had better be prepared for that.

Set Up Your Work Space

If you can telecommute or otherwise find a way to work from home, you’re going to need a good space to work from home. A dedicated home office is best, especially if you need quiet for your work, and some jobs do have that as an absolute requirement.

You can work from any place you can set your computer up if your work allows it.

You will want to be as free from distractions as possible wherever you set up. You don’t want to get started working and find that you’re unproductive because the TV is on or the kids are playing or anything like that.

Make sure that any supplies you buy as as eco friendly as possible. You shouldn’t be buying new gear unless it’s absolutely necessary. That includes your computer, which of course will be tempting to upgrade, but do you really need a newer machine or is the one you have quite capable of doing all you need it to do?

This May Take Time

For most people, getting to work at home isn’t something that happens overnight. It may take months to find the right opportunity or to get your current job to start a telecommuting program. Be patient.

If you’re starting something new, don’t be surprised if it takes time to earn an adequate income. Even when it’s a job rather than a home business it takes time to figure things out well enough that you earn what you’d like. Work hard at it just the same and find something that works for you.

Is the Watkins Home Business Opportunity Green?

Joining a direct sales or network marketing opportunity is just about traditional for stay at home moms who want to earn some money. It’s been going on a long time, more than 100 years.

Watkins is one of the oldest direct sales companies out there. They’ve had good times and bad times, as any business will, but they’re still around.

And pretty nicely green so far as I can tell.

They focus on using natural, environmentally friendly and renewable ingredients in their products. They have an organic spice line. They even started selling natural cleaners in 1917.

The company tries for a small environmental footprint. They have a recycling program and use biodegradable packaging where possible.

For those looking for a green direct sales opportunity, this may be a good choice. You’ll be able to sell personal care products, gourmet products, home remedies and more.

Be an Eco-Consultant with Green Irene

I heard recently from a consultant with Green Irene about their home business opportunities. It sounds like a possible match for those who want to start a green home business, so I thought I’d share it here.

The concept is pretty simple. Lots of people want to go green, but not everyone really knows how. Green Irene Eco-Consultants help people learn how. You would go to people’s houses and help them learn about the changes they can make to save energy, conserve water, have cleaner indoor air, teach about possible tax credits, locally available green power sources and more.

Not a bad use of the knowledge you’ve been gaining to help your own family.

Of course, this takes a pretty outgoing personality. For the right person this is probably a lot of fun. There’s nothing like getting paid for doing something you love, and if it helps people be kinder to the environment, so much the better.

Wandering the shopping part of the site, I loved some of the ideas, such as the magnetic HVAC vent cover. My husband was just grumbling the other day that closing the vents really doesn’t do enough to cut off the air flow to the rooms that really don’t need it.

There’s quite a bit that Green Irene consultants can offer. They offer training for consultants also, so that you can be ready to really show your stuff.

It’s not the cheapest of opportunities to join. $150 for the initial training and business set up. $300 for your demo kit. $25 a quarter membership. Plus whatever costs you incur for advertising and such, but that goes through third parties, however you choose to handle it.

Remember that this is a home business, not a job, and expenses are to be expected. These really don’t sound all that unreasonable to me. Certainly cheaper than some other options. But it’s enough you will really want to think and be dedicated to making your business succeed. You get 80% commission on consulting services and 20% on product sales, which isn’t too bad. Having multiple ways to earn money is never a bad thing, no matter the opportunity.

Watch a 5 minute presentation on Green Irene Eco-Consulting

Can You Find a Green Home Business?

Many stay at home moms want to do more than “just” care for their families. They want to help support it financially as well as emotionally and physically. It’s pretty necessary in a lot of cases.

We’re lucky. There are a lot of options out there.

Working at home itself is pretty green in a lot of ways. You aren’t commuting. You will probably use equipment you already own. You probably won’t eat out very often.

But it’s really nice if you can have a home business that is of itself a green selection. There are a few out there. Shaklee is one that comes to mind for me. They offer personal care and nutrition products, and don’t allow animal testing.

Watkins is another company that offers natural products. They have personal care, cleaning and cooking supplies.

And of course there are many other direct sales opportunities out there. Not all are green, but there’s a good number out there.

Of course, direct sales is not for everyone. But you have a lot of other options.

I enjoy blogging and affiliate marketing, of course. Finding green products with affiliate programs can be a challenge, but it’s worthwhile. It’s a slow build much of the time, not the instant riches so many people promise for home business.

There are a good number of green companies listed on ShareASale. They have a category for it, which most affiliate networks don’t have. Other networks do have green companies, but you have to search a bit harder to find them much of the time. Commission Junction and LinkShare are two of the other big companies.

Clickbank can be an interesting choice too. All they offer are electronically delivered products, such as ebooks or software. You can join them easily as an affiliate or a merchant. You can even do both.

This can be fun. Ebooks on some topics sell very well. Or you can write your own and try to attract affiliates to sell for you, alongside your own efforts. Both can be quite challenging, but some people do very well with it. Think about topics you know well, and you might just have an idea for an ebook. I have notes for about 5 I would like to write, and minimal concepts for a few more.

Now I just need the time!

Any home business is going to be challenging. Most people aren’t going to get rich, no matter what they hype. There’s quite a bit to learn, even when you know what you want to do.

In future posts I will talk about that. Mostly about the online options, as I know those best. And I would love to hear from other people who are running green home businesses. Just send a quick note or even a full guest post for my consideration through the contact form.