A home is such a valuable resource. It can become a hub of sustainable technology or it could break down barriers between people and create communities. These seven companies do good for the planet and put money back in your pocket.
1. Lower your Utility Bill and Use Clean Energy
This company is giving our Well Wallet readers $20 off your next power bill just for signing up to support clean energy. Have you ever wanted to power your house with renewable energy without the cost of solar panels? Arcadia Power has your back. This company uses renewable energy credits to pay your power bill on your behalf.
You link your power bill to their platform, pay them for your power usage, and they will then pay the utility provider using renewable energy credits. So how much does this service cost? Here’s where it gets interesting. Arcadia offers a free package that converts 50% of your utility bill to renewable (aka clean) energy and a premium package that converts 100% of your utility power to clean energy for 1.5c/kWh, which will range from $5-$20 per month depending on home size. If you want more information before signing up, check out our in-depth review we did of their services.
You can also set up price alerts, where Arcadia finds you better deals from utility providers in your area. This is especially helpful when providers try to sneak in a higher fee. With Arcadia, you can reduce your monthly utility bill and reduce your carbon footprint. Make your home greener and get a smaller utility bill, Arcadia is a great company to look into.
2. Get Paid to Save Energy
It’s one thing to save money on your monthly utility bill by using less energy, but how many companies pay you to save energy? OHM Connect pays you to reduce your power output during peak times. You can choose the time that works for you. You’ll get paid based on how much energy you’ve saved during that time, earning you some passive income while you help the planet.
How can a company afford to do that? Energy operators pay OHM to reduce users’ energy consumption, which is cheaper and more sustainable than paying power plants to increase production. To get started, signup on their website, connect your phone or electric car, and let OHM earn you cash. To earn even more, get an OHM smart device installed on your wall. Get paid to make your home greener. Check them out.
3. Make your House a Home
No house can be called a home without the loving, caring people inside of it. Why not create that feeling and earn some money at the same time? Silvernest is a roommate matching service designed for boomers and empty nesters. Your parents (you’ve moved out by now, right?) can search for roommates and get matched based on in-depth preferences. Silvernest also offers background checks, prepared leases, and a bunch of other services to support good matching.
This is more than just a way for your parents to earn passive income. It keeps retirees in their homes for a longer period of time and creates a community, all while reducing cost. Silvernest helps empty nesters and retirees find the community they need to call their houses homes.
4. Break Down Barriers Between People
A lot of you probably know about AirBnB. They let you rent your home out to people who need places to stay in your area. You can rent out your place for a day, a weekend, or longer. You control the price, your availability, and your guest policy. This is a great way to use one of your assets (your home) to earn passive income.
But how many of you know the story behind AirBnB’s origins? It’s not just about earning cash on the side: AirBnB’s origin is about creating connection. AirBnB was designed to overcome “stranger-danger” and create genuine connections in a world-wide community. It’s easy to feel alone behind a cell phone, so it’s even more incredible that there’s an app that relieves that isolation and promotes global people-to-people connection. Sure, you can put some extra money in your pocket, but AirBnB’s real value comes from turning stranger’s houses into communal homes. They have the People part of People & Planet down pat.
5. Make Money Recycling your Old Electronics
My mom keeps a drawer of old electronics in her office closet and she still hasn’t gotten rid of them. She needs Decluttr. Decluttr buys your old electronics like cell phones, plus DVDs, CDs, games and books, then refurbishes them for resale on their online website. When you make a sale and ship your products to their warehouse, you receive your payment the very next day.
This isn’t just a great way to make some extra cash. It’s a great way to recycle old electronics, too. My mom may not have much luck selling her old iPhone 3 on eBay (seriously, remember those?), but Declutter would love to use those spare parts to refurbish a newer product that could be meaningful to someone else.
6. Get Recognized for Recycling
I don’t know about you, but most of us don’t get the recognition we deserve for throwing our aluminum cans into the blue trash can instead of the gray one. Recycle Bank awards you points for sustainable practices that you can redeem for discounts, deals, or donations. Do you separate paper, plastic, and trash in your home? There are some points toward your next discount at Dunkin Donuts. Do you properly dispose of batteries? You’re better than me, AND you get points toward a donation to support environmental education in schools. Turn your home into a money-saving machine and give back to the planet at the same time.
7. Get your own Private Bill Negotiator (for free)
Sometimes when I see how high my utility bill gets, I want to argue my rates down myself. Then I remember how non-confrontational I am and hide under my desk instead. Experts at Billshark will negotiate your monthly rates down for you. You only pay the Sharks if they negotiate a better deal for you. They get a cut of the savings as payment. If you want your own negotiator for your cable bills, your cell phone bills, or your internet bills, this company will work on your behalf and save you money.
Another reason to like them: their founders worked in the telecommunications industry. That means they know all of the pricing strategy tricks used by big companies. They’re now using their knowledge to help the little guy (us) negotiate better rates. That means they are really good at what they do when it comes to negotiating your bill. Plus, they give back to the community with One-Bill-One-Hour. For every bill they negotiate, they give a child a free hour of financial literacy.
Give Back to People & Planet while Making Money
All of these companies put money back in your pocket, whether they reduce your monthly payments or earn you money. But what really makes these companies so innovative is that they do social good, too. Whether they reduce barriers between people or help you recycle, these companies strive to make the world a better place and help make your house into a home.
Check out our article on How to Turn Your Side Gig into a Tax Cut for more advice on saving money!
Photo by Alvin Engler