Environmentally Friendly Passive Income Ideas
Environmentally Friendly Ideas that Generate Passive Income
Passive income is great. Being kind to the environment is also great. Having a stream of passive income that has very little environmental impact and maybe even beneficial in some way is what we are looking for in this article.
Passive income is a bit like having a garden. It takes work, money, learning and failing to start. Once you get it going, you can enjoy fresh garden veggies by autumn. It also makes it easier to do for next year.
Sure it will always take some work. Gardens need to at least be watered almost everyday. So passive income is never completely passive. But having multiple income streams can help you weather almost any storm. Just like in a garden, if one crop fails (which is always likely to happen at some point) you have other crops to fall back on. This gives us freedom, and peace of mind. So here are some ideas to get some environmentally friendly passive income.
There is no shortage of ideas for environmentally friendly passive income within the media sector. I mean, it’s not zero impact. We always need electricity to run our devices. Books are made from some kind of paper, which then need to be shipped. But, it is less impactful than producing plastic products that are shipped vast distances, and sit in landfills at the end of their life.
Media can be educational and can benefit the environment or make the world a bit better in some way. This very article was written to inspire more environmentally friendly business.
There is no shortage of income producing blogs, and there are several different ways to monetize a blog. There are many success stories of people who have replaced their working income with a blog, but it does take work, and a bit of know-how. Certain skills would be required like basic writing, web design, and SEO. These skills can be learned though, and costs to start a blog are quite low.
Blogs do require patience and perseverance as you build up an audience. It could take a year to build even a small income. There are different ways to earn income from a blog, and some ways might speed your road to passive income.
A quick way to get an income from your blog is by offering a product or service that can be tied in with your blog content. If you have a blog about marketing, maybe offer marketing consultations? If you have a food blog, sell a cookbook or an e-book. This method would require more work, and granted, services are not exactly passive. But maybe it’s a service you enjoy doing, or maybe there is a way to simplify it as a process so it is easily repeatable. Could there be a way to automate or outsource some of it?
Affiliate marketing and google ads are another way to monetize your blog, and a mostly passive way. They do take time and work to build a significant income. Affiliate marketing works by selling someone else’s product on your platform for a commission. These products would fit with the content of your blog.
Podcasting is a rapidly growing form of media. These can allow users to connect with your content while doing many different activities.
Podcasts have low startup costs. Basic recording equipment and a place to record are the major ones. Because Podcasts are popular, it may seem like there is no room for more podcasts. But one can build an audience by niching down into a specific topic and releasing new, and consistent content. Revenue can be generated on a podcast through sponsored ads, Patreon donations, or even merch. Many podcasts charge a subscription fee, although these podcasts may be more established and have quality content.
Similar to podcasts, audiobooks allow users to listen to your content on the go. The difference may be that audiobooks are a bit more productized and don’t require the same regular consistent content. Audiobooks can be made from print books as well. One just needs basic recording equipment, or can even outsource the voice recording to a professional.
E-books, Courses and Digital Downloads
Digital products are great. Once they are built, refined, and released, they are there available on the internet for anyone interested. It is important to keep marketing your products so people can know about you, but many people who already have a good internet presence have been successful with e-products.
Digital products are important because they can teach skills. I am a big believer in high quality education. Education progresses society forward. Whether it is for a career, side-job or just a hobby, knowing a skill can help people bring value to society, and make themselves more valuable. One could teach cooking, gardening, copywriting, or design through courses and e-books. Ramit Sethi at I Will Teach You To Be Rich is a well known course-creator and author who has sold limited entry courses for thousands. He has been enormously successful in building a media empire.
Digital downloads are also a great potentially revenue boosting opportunity. They can be a complement to your other content or could be sold on a stand alone basis. If you sell a book on cooking, maybe release a meal planning printable pdf as a bonus. Etsy has a large market of printable products like budget planners, habit trackers, and organizers.
Many of these media ideas can be used together and can piggyback on each other. If you run a blog with plenty of articles and content, why not turn those articles into an e-book, audiobook, podcast, or Youtube channel. Especially if an article has gained a lot of traction, turn it into something bigger. E-books can be used as a freebie or a lead magnet to give users the opportunity to subscribe to your content. This can help you sell higher ticket items like courses.
The options are limitless here. While making these products requires a lot of continuous effort to make, market and sell, the income that follows is passive, and can start rolling in while you sleep. Start small but keep your ambitions big. The media space is quite competitive, but humanity could always use more skillful people, better ideas and great stories.
Keeping a roof over someone’s head is a good deed, but it can also pay off too. Many people have replaced their working income with monthly rent cheques. There are many options for the kinds of housing too. Buying real estate with environmental or social considerations might lead someone to buy affordable housing, and keep the property well maintained. If you know your way around a house, you could do the maintenance, but property managers can be hired too.
One can also further invest in their property by renovating to be more energy efficient (like windows, doors, insulation) or adding solar panels making it more green, and cutting down on energy bills. Even fixing up older houses so they are livable is a great deed that gives people the option to live closer to city centers (less transportation) and prevents outward growth in more car-dependent soul-sucking (personal bias) suburbs.
Real Estate is hard to get into. Investment properties usually require a down-payment of 20% the purchase price. After that, it does require some work with finding and managing tenants, and keeping the property well maintained. Having some know-how though can help you find bargain real-estate and having the option to renovate can give you more choices.
One way that investors build a significant income is to buy cheap property, fix it up, then have it appraised to reflect the new value. After the house is occupied they then can refinance their mortgage, taking out up to 80% of their equity and using that to buy an additional property. That can then be repeated. It can also be more feasible to hire a property manager to make your investments more passive.
Can’t afford rental property? You don’t say! Well, you can start owning equity in real estate for the price of lunch. Real Estate Investment Trusts are companies that own, operate or finance income producing real estate. These companies can be publicly listed on the stock exchange. They are great because they give everyone a chance to own real estate.
REITS are a good option for all investors to hold in their portfolios. They pay “dividends” or rather, distributions as they are called with REITs. Distributions are just a share of the rent income produced that are paid to shareholders. REITs are great because they pay out each month. This is good for the monthly cash flow that everyone desires. People will always need a home or a place to do business so REITS are an excellent way to diversify your investment portfolio, and your passive streams of income. As of now, I am not sure if there are any REITs geared towards environmentally friendly property. This is probably a topic that needs further exploration.
As awesome as monthly dividends/distributions are (most stocks pay dividends quarterly or yearly) it is best to not have your whole portfolio reliant on real estate. Your portfolio will be hurting should the real estate sector take a hit. It does take some time and money to build a significant source of income. It is, however, a true passive way of making money. Make sure to take the time to know the REIT you are investing in (take a look at the types of property they own, look at the financials too). Due diligence is important. If that is too much, one can buy shares in a REIT Exchange Traded Fund like the Vanguard Canadian Capped REIT index (VRE). This is just a basket of Canada’s most prominent REIT stocks.
Energy demands will continue to rise by 50% by 2050. And yet, we need to reach net-zero carbon emissions by the same year. Based on this, it is clear that we need a different solution for our energy that is not coal, oil or gas.
This is a global problem that requires a global solution. Growth in renewables will be new hydro, solar, and wind projects, but it will also take place in developing nations that lack modern grid infrastructure. Growth projections show that solar and wind global generation capacity will rise from 3% to 16% by 2030. The renewable industry will also need more capital to improve technology. Technology improvements could be a key driver for growth and profit. This could mean increasing the energy output, or lowering the costs of building and maintaining new projects.
The easiest way to invest in renewables is by buying shares of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) that hold a basket of stocks of clean energy companies. Be careful with this one though. Make sure to check the holdings. Many big energy companies invest in renewables, but have most of their assets in fossil fuels. An example could be the iShares Global Clean Energy ETF (ICLN). This ETF would expose your portfolio to renewable projects around the world. But again, there may be fossil fuel energy producing companies in the list of holdings. It also appears to pay a modest dividend for passive income. One could invest in individual stocks as well like Brookfield Renewables (BEP). This is just a company that manages renewable energy producing assets.
Make sure to do due diligence before investing in any stocks or ETFs. Diversify your portfolio as well and not have it made up of renewables. There are many other great companies to own that keep environmental impacts in mind within their operations. Like many investments, this may be a long term play, so don’t expect huge growth within the year. Buy, hold, and collect those passive income dividends.
So there are some environmentally friendly, society positive ways of generating a passive income. Most of these ways do take time to build up. But once you start generating some passive income, it is quite exciting. At a minimum, it is a way to supplement your working income. But, it can one day replace your income and beyond. I hope to expand upon this list in the future. These ideas are exciting to me, and I hope to come up with more, lesser known ideas.