50 ways to make money 41-50: How to make money by going green

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It's possible to earn extra money whilst reducing your impact on the environment

Going green doesn't have to be expensive. You can make money when you take advantage of these environmentally friendly schemes – helping you to combat climate change and boost your bank balance.

41. Green shopping initiatives

Many big name shops give you loyalty card points if you carry out a green activity, such as recycling.

Tesco Clubcard

Tesco offers one green Clubcard point for every bag you reuse in stores and a point for every 10 items you buy online with the bagless delivery option. 

Plus you'll also earn 100 points for recycling used printer cartridges.

Nectar card

Sainsbury's will give you one Nectar card point for every bag you reuse in stores. 

You can also earn points by donating to Oxfam. Create a Tag Your Bag account at the Nectar website to earn an initial 100 points, and you'll receive a bag of personalised stickers to tag your items. You'll then get two points for every £1 your items raise in Oxfam.

Boots Advantage card

Boots offers Advantage card points when you recycle a mobile phone, digital camera, MP3 player or sat nav and up to 100 points for selected inkjet cartridges.

M&S and Oxfam Clothes Exchange

Marks & Spencer offers a £5 gift voucher to spend in store when you spend £35 if you donate unwanted M&S clothes to your local Oxfam. It's great if you're a regular M&S shopper, and it helps to reduce the estimated one million tonnes of clothes that go to landfill each year. The scheme also covers soft furnishings, including bed linen, towels, cushions, curtains and throws.

Go further: Loyalty cards - find out which cards offer the best rewards

Green money cashback schemes

Consider a 'green' cashback scheme - but shop around first

42. 'Scrappage' schemes

Trade-in or 'scrappage' schemes offered by private companies are becoming more common. Have a quick look on the internet when you need to get rid of any large item.

You should always shop around first to make sure you're getting the most competitive deal, though, even after factoring in the incentive. 

Go further: Boiler reviews - find out which boilers we recommend

43. Apply for an energy grant

This idea won't directly 'earn' you money – but if you're considering installing energy efficient measures in your home, don't miss out on extra funding that may be available to you.

Solar panels

Feed-in tariffs pay households for the energy they generate

There are several energy grant schemes available, depending on your circumstances, that could help you to achieve long term financial savings on your heating and energy costs through projects such as cavity wall insulation, loft insulation and heating controls.

Go further: Energy grants - find out whether you're eligible for financial backing 

44. Generate your own energy

If you have installed or are thinking about installing renewable technology, such as solar panels, you may also be able to make money by selling some of the green electricity you generate. 

The scheme means households with renewable technologies receive money for every unit of energy they produce themselves. 

You will need to weigh up the potential to save and make money through your microgeneration system against the initial outlay for equipment and installation, which can run to thousands of pounds.

You should also think about the suitability of the technology for your property and location. 

Go further: Solar panels - find out whether solar panels would be suitable for your home

Green money-making: grow your own

Green money-making: grow your own

45. Grow your own, sell your own

Growing your own fruit and veg helps you to reduce carbon emissions by cutting food miles, also cuts your food bills and can be a good money-making opportunity if you've got excessive produce to sell.

The biggest challenge, after successfully growing your produce is finding a  place to sell it. You could set up a stall in your front garden, local fête or local allotment association sale, or a school event. You could even contact local farmers to see if they'll sell your produce in their farm shop.

Go further: How to grow your own vegetables - read our comprehensive guide

46. Recycle your mobile phone

Choose between numerous mobile phone recycling schemes, including specialist websites such as Mazuma Mobile, Envirofone, Simply Drop and Fonebank. You can compare recycling sites to find out will pay the most at MobileValuer. 

Go further: Mobile phone reviews - our guides will help you pick the perfect replacement

Recycling DVDs and books

You can recycle DVDs, CDs and computer games

47. Recycle old CDs, DVDs and computer games for cash

It's almost impossible to estimate the number of old CDs, DVDs, computer games and other home entertainment items there are in the UK, but around 2,500 tonnes of CDs alone are thrown away each year. 

Whether you're upgrading technology or want to revamp your collection, make money recycling old CDs, DVDs and computer games instead of throwing them away.

Try a website such as MusicMagpie. Get a value for your item – which needs to be in good working condition – by typing in its barcode number. Prices offered range from 25p to £1.38 for a CD.

48. Make money recycling old books

Don't leave unwanted or unread books on the shelf – pass them on to a new home and make some extra money. Websites including Amazon and GreenMetropolis let you sell second-hand books via their virtual bookstores.

With Amazon you list an item for sale, setting your own price. When it sells, Amazon receives an 75p completion fee, plus closing fee of 15% of the sale price. Pre-set delivery charges are also collected from the buyer, which you will receive as postage credit, minus a variable fee to Amazon.

With GreenMetropolis, you earn at least £3 for each old paperback, hardback or audio book you sell. Factor in postage costs for each item, though for larger books you can add postage costs on to the item's price.

Go further: eBook reader reviews - we rate the best devices for reading ebooks

Make money recycling old items at a car boot sale

Car boot sales: sell items the old-fashioned way

49. Have a car boot sale

Alternatively, you could sell your unwanted odds and ends the old-fashioned way – at a car boot sale. It's a great way to make some extra money while reducing the amount of rubbish you throw away. 

Buyers will expect to pick products up at knock-down prices, but car boot sales are a good opportunity to bulk-sell items unlikely to sell individually online. You can find your nearest car boot sale by visiting the online car boot sale directory Car Boot Junction. Your profit will depend on the products you're selling, but remember to factor in the cost of pitching your vehicle, which is usually between £5 and £20.

Sell unwanted items on Ebay

You can sell all sorts of items by online auction

50. Sell the rest by auction...

Don't throw away unwanted items – you'll be throwing away the potential of earning some extra money along with it. Selling stuff through online auctions rather than throwing things away can make you money, save on potential transport removal costs and reduce the amount of waste you're sending to landfill each year.

The auction site eBay is the biggest and most recognised site of its kind, but other sites you can sell through include Play and Gumtree.

Go further: Selling items on eBay - our guide will help you maximise your eBay profits

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