9 Eco-Friendly Side Hustle Ideas

Looking to make a little extra cash while still saving the planet? Here are nine eco-friendly side hustle ideas.

With cost-of-living pressures on the rise, crafty folks are turning to side hustles to supplement their incomes. 

If you’re an avid reader of Pip then you will have picked up more than a few skills. From sewing patterns and recipes to advice on growing food and building simple household items, there are plenty of ideas within our pages and on our website that you could turn into a valuable side hustle.

We’re always looking to do things sustainably so we’ve put together nine eco-friendly side hustle ideas for those looking to make a little extra cash while being kinder to the planet. 

And of course, you don’t necessarily need to turn these items into side hustle ventures. Many of the ideas below would make beautiful gifts for friends and family.

Sell homemade items on Etsy 

naturally dyed yarn

If your love of sewing and crafting has led you to create some of the gorgeous homemade wares from past issues of Pip, why not think about opening your own Etsy store so would-be customers can delight in your creations?

You could make our macramé hanging baskets from Issue #16, create naturally dyed yarns from Issue #7 or make our homemade reed diffusers

Or get practical with our crochet swiffersknitted cowlboomerang bagfreehand top, scrunchie, beanie or handkerchief patterns.

Grow fruit, vegies and herbs

Baby beet leaves, Beta vulgaris

Is your vegie patch going gangbusters? If you find yourself with excess produce why not look into selling the fruits of your labour (no pun intended!) at farmers’ markets, by joining a local food co-op or setting up a roadside stall? You could even simple set up a bookshelf on your front fence or nature strip with a jar requesting donations in exchange for fresh produce (although check with your local council first).

Of course, a large part of our content focuses on growing your own food, but here are some notable articles to help you get started:

Start a baked goods business

Apple Upside Down Cake Recipe

Okay, you don’t necessarily need to start a fully-fledged business. Word-of-mouth works wonders if you’re a whizz at whipping up enviable baked goods and desserts, so let friends and family know you’re happy to take orders when they’re planning their next celebration. 

If you do want to go down the route of setting up a home-based food business, check your state or territory’s rules first as there are stringent regulations in place around food safety and hygiene when preparing and selling foods out of a home kitchen.

If you’re looking for some baking inspiration be sure to check out our 6 Sweet Baking Recipes, or check out these recipes for Apple Upside Down Cake and Jumbleberry Pie.

If baking isn’t in your wheelhouse, making homemade preserves like Grandma’s 3 Fruit Marmalade or Irish Strawberry Jam, or even fermented foods could become a moneymaker.

You could take a leaf out of regular Pip writer Maude Furrugia’s book and start a breadmaking side hustle from home. For Maude and her partner Neil Erenstrom, the pandemic forced their hand on a plan they’d been hatching for some time. As parents to two kids under five, the couple were looking for more income streams that could help facilitate a lifestyle of spending more time at home. So when Covid hit the couple threw themselves into making their Dougharty microbakery dream a reality.

You can read more about Maude’s experience of starting her micro bakery side hustle here.

Create natural beauty products

Gardener’s Hand Scrub Recipe

With a growing awareness of the downsides to commercially produced beauty products – namely, the plastic pollution these products create, as well as the questionable ingredients many of these products contain – being able to whip up your own zero waste, natural beauty products is a valuable skill. 

You could make beautiful, handmade soaps that would be sure to sell well at your local markets. Check out our in-depth guide to soapmaking in Issue #19 here.

Some other ideas for plastic free beauty products you could make include homemade natural bath bombs, face scrub and body scrubmoisturisergardener’s hand scrub, calendula cream and natural lip balm

Saarinan Organics and Urthly Organics are great examples of now-thriving businesses selling natural products whose owners started out making natural products from home.

Make or mend clothing

How To Sew a Summer Singlet Dress

The fashion industry has a lot to answer for when it comes to contributing to climate change, so choosing to step off the fast fashion bandwagon – by buying second-hand or making your own clothing – is considerably kinder to the planet. 

If you’ve got the sewing skills, go a step further and create your own ethical, sustainable slow fashion items to sell at local markets or online. You could get started with our simple Summer singlet dress pattern

Sell seed collections

preserving tomatoes

Got a thriving vegie patch? Why not start saving your seeds and sell these in packets to those looking for traditional vegetable,, flower, herb or specialty seeds?

In every issue of Pip we have a Save Your Seeds section, which features guides on how to save, store and cultivate the seeds of a particular vegetable or herb. Some seeds you could get started with include beans, tomato, cucumber, pumpkin, basil, rocket, lettuce, dill, eggplant or parsnip.

Or you could create wildflower seed bombs by harvesting mature seeds from your favourite wildflowers like calendula, poppies, cornflowers and nasturtiums. Mix the seeds with compost and a small amount of clay soil.

Next, add enough water that you end up with a sludgy dough. Roll into balls and allow to dry under cover. You can pop them in pretty bags or decorate with petals and they will be ready to sell.

Propagate plants

orange tree in pot

Got a bona fide green thumb and a bit of space in your backyard? Propagating plants is not only a pleasing pastime, it can also be a valuable money spinner. 

You could start growing fruit trees from seed, or propagate popular indoor plants. You could even on-sell your own special DIY potting mix

Reach out to local nurseries or farmers’ markets about selling your propagated plants, place an ad on your local Facebook group or even set up an online store. 

Produce sustainable celebratory items

How to make your own recycled bunting

Celebrations and festive seasons often call for extra spending on gifts, decorations and desserts. Why not cash in on this in an eco-friendly way by making and selling items that are sustainable and won’t one day contribute to landfill?

Try your hand at making beautiful native Christmas wreathshomemade mixed peel or whip up Naturally Leavened Panettone

Sourdough hot cross buns will always be sought-after if you get the word out you’re in possession of a valuable sourdough starter, or why not do your bit to reduce plastic waste and sell festive homemade bunting online? 

Build simple household items


Handy with a hammer? Why not put those skills to good use and knock up some cold frames, seed raising boxes, our much-vaunted citrus squeezer, a garden tool caddy or turn upcyle pallets into potting benches or bike racks. You’ll be sure to find homes for these on Facebook Marketplace or eBay.

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