But – Money?

Hey guys!

I am really getting into this zero waste lifestyle and everything that goes along with it, ie: minimalism, organization, and healthy/green lifestyles, etc. I am getting so into it that everyday I go to work at my “nine to five” job and all I can think about is all the issues with trash and plastic waste. I’m that person who stays awake at night worrying about third world countries and all of their trash, and what that’s doing to our world. But then I also worry about all the trash on the side of the freeway I see every day, and how is that going to make it into the ocean and how do I stop it? (Fun story: I did call the police station and ask if I could clean it up, they thought I was nuts and hung up.)

In any case, I want to make this my career. I want to be able to pay bills and help clean up this planet. I want to be able to make money while helping people reduce their waste and clean out their lives. So far, I have no idea what I’m doing. I had my first zero waste class which was one my favorite things so far about zero waste – but I lost money in doing so. I had a lot of positive feedback from family and friends about my zero waste starter kits though, so I’m thinking about creating an online store where I can sell those – but that’s not gonna pay my rent. (see picture below)


Yes, they’re cute and yes they’ll help save a cup or a straw here and there, but they’re not going to solve the world waste issue. I know you have to start small, but I’m too small right now. I want to know how to get a job helping clean up this planet.

At first I thought I’d start this blog, because people make money from blogs – right? Then I found out people can make money from instagram, people do that – right? Then I remembered I’m not @yogagirl and even if I was, that didn’t happen over night.

My current idea is to start consulting for people. Maybe charge a flat rate fee or a percentage of a client’s groceries and go with them to the market and teach them how to do all of their shopping, zero waste style. Then teach them how to make that food. How to store that food. How to go about their daily lives with that food. Sort of along the lines of a life coach, except I won’t care about your cat. I’ll care about your trash and how you’re impacting the world on a sustainable level. No offense to your cat, I’m sure you have a very nice cat. The current problem with this idea is I would need to start a client base, and once I have one client, I’d immediately lose that client – unless they want to be taught twice? That’s not financially sound or reliable.

I know that sustainability is a huge market and there are jobs out there, the problem with my interests is I want to change how people live and not make sure a building is LEED certified. Although green businesses make me super happy, I don’t think that’s where the majority of our waste is coming from. I want to slowly change a neighborhood,then a community, and then the whole city. I want to infect a curiosity in everyone as to where their trash goes, and how every purchase of anything is a vote on what you want the big corporations to produce. If we all demanded bulk foods, super markets would only have bulk foods. Corporations can only sell to a buyers market, they’ll change if we change.

If anyone has any ideas on where to start, please let me know. I want to change the everyday person, and I don’t want to work for a corporation – unless that corporation had a lot of small offices all over the country that were connected to local government. If you’re reading this in Nashville and want to learn more or be my guinea pig to test out my “consultant” theory of making money – let me know. I really want to be able to do something I love and choose to work everyday doing something that makes a difference.

Talk soon,


2 thoughts on “But – Money?

  1. Hey Audrey! I happen to live in Nashville and just read about 85% of this blog. I have a newborn and spend quite a bit of time sitting here nursing a baby, so I’m just going to spout off some ideas and give you my 2 cents via Siri. 😎

    I don’t think you can make enough money from consulting one person at a time, especially based on percentages. If you do try to go with consulting in some form, you need to charge a flat or hourly rate. You could potentially charge a flat rate based on premade packages you design for clients to choose from like photographers do. Or charge an hourly rate and get a few friends to test it on so you have an idea of what exactly you would do with the clients, and how much would be appropriate to charge.

    But the downside of trying to offer a “life coaching” type of service is that you don’t get paid unless they want to change, aka hire you to consult them. It would be much better to figure out a way to make money from your knowledge and passion regardless of whether or not people actually want to hire you.

    I would suggest creating a company name and logo for yourself, a simple but professional looking website or single landing page that has your contact info and tag line, and also a company Instagram. Make your tag line catchy and simple.

    Then come up with something enticing to offer people as an incentive to sign up for your emails, and create a prescheduled email campaign that offers whatever this incentive is over a series of about five emails. Maybe it is something like a series of short videos or recordings where you teach them the five most basic things they can change to live a greener life. Somethin like that.

    The goal is not to get money from them immediately. It’s to establish yourself as a professional who knows what they’re talking about, and to get a bunch of email addresses from people who are actually interested in what you’re doing.

    Then you could try doing things like offering a webinar to those interested people via email where they pay a small fee for your information on a certain topic. This means you could be making a small amount of money from a bunch of people at the same time (as opposed to having to spend an hour with each client individually explaining the same things over and over).

    Maybe eventually you could offer actual products for sale on your website that are helpful/necessary to the green life.

    Or you could sell PDF books/instructional manuals/whatever for just a few dollars from your website where you teach how to do something.

    Also blogging on your website is great because it brings you up in google searches and is like advertising.

    Another idea I just had for an email series is to interview some interesting or famous people who live green and in each email you let people read the interviews. If you could get some famous people or Nashville stars it would be really really great and probably make a lot more people interested in living Green.

    Anyway, my main point is that you establish yourself in a professional looking way before you even know exactly what it is you’re going to make money from. I would also suggest capitalizing on Nashville’s booming economy by including the word Nashville in your business name or subname, i.e. “Green Life | Nashville” etc.

    Youd probably do better to not peg yourself as something as specific as a consultant unless you know for sure that’s what you want to do. Keeping it more vague will allow you to use the same business name as your ideas and goals evolve.

    On the other hand, if you really want to do consulting, I would suggest aiming for commercial and or corporate consulting. Maybe you need to take some sort of financial consulting classes to really know your stuff and feel confident in telling businesses what they should and shouldn’t do, or maybe there is someone you could intern with for 3 months to see how they do business consulting. Then put your own spin on it for helping the businesses go green.

    It could really be a unique service that doesn’t seem to have a presence yet (that I know of) in Nashville.

    Or maybe you could put together a service where you partner with realtors or developers who want to make houses seem more eco friendly and appealing to the millennials and would be willing to pay you for a kit or something to put in the buyers new home, or to advertise beforehand. Or maybe you could consult developers on green construction, or coordinate 4H people to come in and salvage as many materials as possible from demolitions.

    Lots of ideas! I usually don’t have this much quiet time but I just happened to be interested and thought I’d offer my input as a fellow nashvillian. Good luck!


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