Hobbies That Can Help the Planet and Improve Your Life


Illustration by Grace Millar (@gracemillar)

Investing your time in worthy activities leads to greater well-being. We inherently know this to be true. A few activities I try to engage in most often are spending time with friends and family, learning about unfamiliar topics and skills, and reading up on and taking courses to explore said interests. With so many incredibly affordable opportunities to invest in developing new hobbies—ones that will compound and only become more useful with time—it’s never been easier to find a way to put your free time toward a budding fascination.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how I can consume more consciously and reduce the environmental impact I have on the planet while going about my daily life. I’m working on challenging my own ingrained habits in favor of new approaches that can help me live a more sustainable lifestyle. It’s a work in progress, but it’s something I’m actively trying to improve upon each day.

Today we’re pulling together a list of hobbies we can pick up to help us all consume more consciously while helping the planet in the process. We’re also including a few links to courses you can take to further pursue learning something new.

What’s your favorite hobby that helps better the environment? Let us know in the comments!


Get outside and plant some of your favorite fruits, vegetables or herbs. It’s rewarding to watch them grow with time, and they will absorb toxins from the air, helping to reduce your carbon footprint in the process. If you’re looking to make it social, inquire about your neighborhood garden club. It’s a great way to meet some of your neighbors while contributing to the community.


Forget driving or even public transit and consider biking from A to B. Not only does biking provide an opportunity to get outside in nature, but you will also reduce your carbon footprint while refraining from adding more emissions to the atmosphere.

Budgeting (YES, budgeting)

I’m a huge fan of You Need A Budget and it completely changed the way I look at spending money. If you would have told me I would be excited when my mortgage check learned, I would have told you to get out of my house. There is a learning curve, but the program is designed to tackle the mental blocks around financial freedom and give each dollar a job. The result is a better sense of control—you’ll no longer dread looking at your checking balance and will develop a clear understanding of how your spending habits line up with your values.


Extend the life of your clothing and other fabrics in your home by learning to sew. You’ll be surprised how often this newly learned skill will come in handy, from a quick stitch to a DIY project. For a sewing machine crash course on Skillshare, click here.

Vegan Cooking

Eating less meat and other animal products will make a direct impact on your carbon footprint. Cooking is a great way to intentionally adjust the foods you consume, as well as grow your cooking skills, which will only improve the more you practice. If you’re looking for some delicious vegan recipes, check out Kathryn Taylor’s cookbook, Love Real Food. The carrot cake is to die for!

Upcycled Interior Design

Instead of tossing the old armchair you’ve grown to hate, consider upcycling it and replacing the upholstery! You’ll feel a sense of pride and accomplishment every time you receive a compliment from a guest. Plus, you’re reducing waste by making use of what you already own!


The benefits of composting are truly endless in addition to keeping garbage out of the trash can. The practice adds nutrients back into the soil, reducing our reliance on synthetic fertilizers and improving the soil’s water retention. For more information on how to start composting yourself, click here.


There are a wide variety of volunteer opportunities that work to better the planet, people, and animals. You can participate in an Adopt a Highway program to help clear roadways of litter. Or, do a quick Google search to determine the best volunteer opportunity in your city that aligns with your interests.

Urban Beekeeping

Bee populations continue to decrease all over the world, and beekeeping is one way of helping keep the bee population from diminishing. In addition, you’ll reap delicious honey! To start a bee colony of your own, explore home beekeeper options, such as this 20 Frame Beehive Kit by Honey Keeper.


Unravel old sweaters or shawls and use the wool to knit something new. Or, consider buying 100% recycled yarn from the store. To get started, take a 45-minute class for beginners on Skillshare here.


Consider supporting innovative companies with sustainable missions through innovative investing platforms such as Robinhood, Ellevest and Acorns. By contributing capital to socially responsible companies, you’re helping further advance their ethical efforts. If you’re looking for financial tools specifically designed for women, check out Ellevest. If you’re new to investing and interested in starting small, try Acorns as their program invites users to invest as little as $5 per time.

Upcycled Crafting

Get creative with miscellaneous items or unused goods from around the house. Instead of throwing out an old blanket, consider transforming it into a new pair of mittens or using the yarn to knit a scarf. I love doing this with kids, as it inspires them to think outside of the box when creating!

BY Kate Arends - August 27, 2019

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August 30, 2019 12:46 am

[…] Are you feeling uninspired, bored or a little down? Start a new hobby! Hobbies that can help the planet and improve your life. […]

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Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.

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