*Contributed post*

It's no secret the UK economy has dipped in recent months. As a result, many people have lost their jobs, and a lot of people are on the look-out for new ways to make money to cover their bills. However, because there's a surge in applicants competing for the same positions, it's essential to get creative and think about outside the box methods to earn a living and raise money. 

While exploring your financial options to make ends meet, such as applying for money from the direct lender, Buddy Loans, familiarizing yourself with government schemes and applying for jobs online. To assist you, below are a few inspiring zero-waste side-hustles to earn you money, that will also reduce waste and protect the environment in the process!

Trash To Treasure

So maybe not exactly trash, but you most certainly have things around the home that no longer serve you a purpose, and they're probably just getting in the way. 

According to Thinkmoney, there could be £1,800 worth of stuff lurking in the loft, storage cupboards, and the shed. The research was based on people owning items that were considered bestsellers and popular. The value was estimated based on what those items would sell for.

One person's trash is indeed another person's treasure. And you could very well have an abundance of items around the home to sell and earn money.

Plus we can't forget the added benefit selling things in your home will have on your mental health. Uncluttered, open spaces are far better for the mind.

We accumulate a variety of things over time, from vintage clothing to electrical items, and it's natural to feel guilty about throwing those things away when we no longer need them. Or store them in a cupboard, for what can amount to years, even decades. And so, instead, why not put these things to use, and sell them to someone else who can give them another life. 

Equally some items such as clothes that have a rip in could be fixed with a needle and thread you have in a drawer around the home. A small amount of effort in fixing broken things prevents more items from going to the landfill. It helps you to make better use of what you have and also prevents you from spending money on new items.

If you enjoy repurposing and upcycling old things, you could ask a local recycling centre if you're able to visit and see if anyone is getting rid of any cool, vintage items that you could sell. 

Other alternatives include browsing The Freecycle Network; here you can search in your local area for things that people are giving away for free. From house clearances to people just generally decluttering that don't have the time to sell things themselves. Freecycle is a particularly helpful resource for attaining an abundance of things you can sell, such as old furniture, sacks of clothes, garden equipment and so forth.

Make Use Of Outdoor Space

If you're fortunate to have a garden or a balcony, you could make use of the natural resources available to you, and grow plants, vegetables or herbs to sell on.

Seeds are inexpensive and can be purchased in-store or online. But always check whether you may have some packets in your shed already. Plus if you have plants in your garden, they may have seeds that you can use, or you could propagate them and grow new flowers. 

To grow and nurture healthy plants, it helps to read up on what you're hoping to grow. There are plenty of resources online which reveal everything from the soil type you'll need (for example, acidic or alkaline), to the growing conditions the seeds will need (some prefer shady, moist locations, other seeds/plants need full sun). 

Despite greenhouses being a popular place to grow plants, they're not entirely necessary. Often cling film, placed over a pot, is enough to keep the soil and compost warm and moist enough for a seed to germinate and develop into a seedling. 

Before you begin growing plants or vegetables, it's essential to research your local area and online to see what is in demand. For instance, you may want to create hanging baskets for people's gardens and their home's exterior. 

Alternatively, you may want to grow and sell other popular garden plants and shrubs, such as hydrangeas, robin trees or Buxus balls. Otherwise, there might be a market in your area for selling herbs. To sell shrubs and trees such as these, popular platforms to use are eBay, Shpock and Gumtree. 

To prevent your side hustle impacting the environment, it's essential to think about your delivery methods. Ideally, less travelling and shipping distance is better to reduce your carbon footprint. 

To nourish your new seeds and plants, making your own compost is the perfect solution. Homemade compost will also prevent your homes' food waste from reaching the landfill, which contributes to a zero-waste household too.

Also, to make the money you earn go further, using some of the plants you've grown can work as a generous environmentally friendly gift for a family member or close friend. 

Zero Waste Side Hustles Summarized

The above suggestions provide two ways for you to make money out of things you own, or that you can access for free. Once you begin creating a side-hustle based on a zero-waste concept, you'll begin to find more inspirational ways to acquire things for less and to fix and sell things you have. 

Many people are becoming increasingly interested in purchasing from eco-friendly businesses. Because of this, it'll work in your favour to accentuate zero-waste as one of your selling points to new customers. 

On another note, zero-waste living can sometimes feel intimidating, impossible even. However, it's essential to know, zero-waste living doesn't require a mass of eco-friendly changes in one sitting. It takes time - and there's no judgement on how long it takes you to achieve it.