15 Really Meaningful Jobs That (Actually) Help The Environment

In Living smallby Kate Holmes

These days, it’s not really enough to just recycle.  With the climate rapidly changing, it takes a whole village to protect the environment.

While being environmentally conscious is important in your everyday life, there is always more to do.

One of the best ways to help protect the environment is to start with your paycheck.  There are plenty of jobs that not only are eco-friendly but also actually work to help the environment.

These are great options for people who are truly committed to the cause.

Here are some of the best meaningful jobs that will leave the environment in better shape.

1) Zoologist Help Preserve Endangered Species

We all had that sense of wonder and excitement as kids wandering through the zoo.  Getting a chance to be up close with animals you would otherwise never see is an amazing experience.  But, did you know that zoos do much more than just let you see some cool animals?

That’s right!

Zoos are part of a larger conservation project to help protect endangered species as well as the environment they need to survive.

As a Zoologist, you will help be responsible for this change as well as the protection of animals.

One of the more severe signs that the environment is in trouble is the decrease of wildlife across the world.  From droughts, extreme weather changes and even poachers, animals like tigers, are disappearing quickly.  While the thought of losing special species is devastating, it is much more than that!

All animals have their own special purpose.  Losing certain links in the animal chain can upset the environmental balance.  Looking for a way to protect these animals while studying animal patterns to help make a change?  Become a Zoologist!

What Does A Zoologist Do?

Zoologists are sometimes referred to as Wildlife Biologists.  The main job of a Zoologist is to study certain animals and wildlife to find out their patterns.

More specifically, how even the smallest changes to an animal can have drastic impacts on the environment.

This is done by carefully tracking an animals behavior, eating habits as well as relationships to other animals.  Along with the typical animal interactions, Zoologists also study the behavioral patterns towards humans.  While the hope is to study these animals in their natural habitat, some habitats no longer exist to do extreme climate changes.

This is why zoos are so important to this world.

This is where you can find thousands of species of animals all existing in the same environment.  While it may not be the exact environment that these animals are used to, it’s still as close as some will get.

The hope is that Zoologists can map behavior changes in order to predict how the animal may change in the future.  Through this, we learn just how important animals are to the environmental balance in the world.

Zoologists are literally protecting the world by preserving precious wildlife!

Check out this great article with 39 animals you might not have noticed got instinct!

How To Become A Zoologist?

Becoming a Zoologist will require some special schooling.  You will first need to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in Zoology.  After four years of schooling, you will then be required to put in enough hours to gain experience.

This is done through zoologist intern programs.

During your internship is where you will learn what specialty you would like to follow.  Technically, Zoology is a science degree since it deals directly with biology.  Some people choose to spend their time in a lab while others prefer a hands-on approach.

After you have enough field experience and have chosen your specialty, you will return to school to get your Graduate Degree.  Zoologists who run their own programs are those who have acquired their graduate degree.  Some even go on to get a Doctrine in Science.

While this isn’t required, it’s just one more way to be as knowledgeable you can be in wildlife patterns!

2) Conservation Scientist Find Solutions

Conservation Scientists deal directly with nature.  Another huge sign that the environment is changing is the change to greenery and nature in general.

Trees that are thousand’s of years old are dying and ice caps are melting.  Even small changes to nature are a sign that sometimes is wrong.

A Conservation Scientist’s job is to study these changes, no matter how big or small.  This way we can see the direct impact human life has had on the world around them.

However, they do much more than study!  Conservation Scientists also act like an “environmental consultant”.

They consult with farmers and wildlife rangers on how to properly treat their land to help reduce their carbon footprint.

Since Conservation Scientists have the first-hand experience when it comes to the drastic changes in the land, they are the best ones to give advice.

The hope is that over time, we can change the way we farm and take care of our land so that we are reducing our environmental impact.  Not only will they advise people, but they also track the progress to ensure that their advice was accurate.

How To Become A Conservation Scientist?

The first thing you will need to become a Conservation Scientist is a Bachelor’s Degree in a similar field.  You will want to stick with science fields that deal directly with nature like forestry and horticulture.  However, most times, people just stick with the basic Environmental Science Degree.

This type of degree will give you a general scope of what to expect as a Conservation Scientist.  After you have completed your degree, you will have to get in some field time.  Working with groups that travel the world to study the changes in nature will be the best way to go!

If you want to elevate your knowledge and responsibilities, you can seek out a Master’s Degree in Environmental Science.

These are the scientists that not only track patterns but work to change them.  It is also important to remember that Conservation Scientists have several different fields.  While some are considered Nature Conservation Scientists, others prefer a specialized field like agriculture.

3) Urban Farmer Create Local Food

If you’re looking to do some good with the environment but are not interested in years of education, urban farming might be perfect for you.  Urban farms are popping up all over the world.  But, not where you would expect them to.

Unlike traditional farmers, urban farms are placed in the middle of busy metropolis cities.

Urban farms were once seen as a trendy thing that was only once found in hop neighborhoods.  But, it wasn’t until long that people realized that urban farms are much more than just a trendy place to get some fruit and veggies.  Urban farms have actually helped to change the way some cities work when it comes to fresh produce.

If you have ever seen an urban farm, chances are you were blown away by the seemingly simple theory.  They almost look like they are out of this world.

This is because before urban farms became popular, seeing a large section of farmland on rooftops or in the middle of city squares was a foreign thought, especially in America.

The main goal of urban farms is to deliver healthy and fresh produce directly to the city without having to outsource.  This gives people who otherwise would not have it, an option for chemical-free fruit and veggies.

However, there is one more major reason why this works to help the environment.

Without needing to outsource food, there is no longer a need for automotive and other shipping methods to deliver the food.  This has greatly helped to reduce not only the amount of fuel used but the number of carbon emissions in the air.  Also, urban farms help to increase the air quality which can lead to a healthier overall city.

How To Become An Urban Farmer

One thing to remember about urban farmers is that it is almost completely a self-starting business.  You will have to work directly with your city to plan, build and grow.  However, urban farming is on the rise so chances are that your city is hungry for it!

While a degree isn’t required, it doesn’t hurt to have some business experience.  Unlike environmental scientists, you will be in charge of growing and running your urban farm.

But, this doesn’t mean you have to do it alone.  Many cities have urban farms that act as a traditional co-op.

This means that it is up to everyone in the community to take care of the farm.  This is not only a great way to bring the community together but also helps to bring awareness to environmental issues.  Cities where urban farming is popular find that not only does their health improve, but their sense of pride in their community has as well.  Protecting the environment is only half the battle.  We also have to make sure we are protecting each other as well!

4) Upcycling & Repurposing Jobs

Not every job that benefits the environment requires a college degree.  There are plenty of careers that showcase your passion for green issues while still flexing your creative muscles.

Being able to turn trash into treasure gives you the chance to use your imagination to carve your career.

What Exactly Is Upcycling?

Upcycling is the art of taking something that was longed for the dumpster and turning it into a one-of-a-kind piece.  It is the art of literally taking the trash and turning it into treasure.  There is no secret that the world as a whole has a problem with trash collection.

over-populated cities and limited options for recycling make for the perfect storm for waste.  Each day we find more and more trash finding it’s way into the ocean.

This trash has not only affected the fish and sealife but, has also destabilized the natural home’s underwater.

The is evident when you see the natural coral life dying out.  While there have been measures put in place, like renewable and biodegradable materials, it hasn’t come far enough yet.  This is why practices like upcycling and green shopping are so important to the environment’s well being.

How To Work With Upcycling?

There are many ways to upcycle and repurpose materials.  However, one of the main things to keep in mind is that less is more.  You don’t want to take on a project that will leave you with more waste than you started with.

So, before picking up your first piece to transform, try to have a clear vision in mind of what you want to achieve.

There are several different ways to find the materials needed to upcycle.  Best of all, these come in different options for no to low-cost products.  One of the best resources you have to start your repurposing journey is your friends and family.  Everybody has the closet full of dated furniture and clothes that can easily be transformed.

Best of all, it’s free!

It is also a good idea to keep an eye on local listings for yard and estate sales.  Even though you would have to pay for these materials, don’t forget that bargaining is part of the game!  When it comes to the materials used to transform a piece, remember to buy in bulk.

Larger containers of wood glue, paint, and other common transforming materials can reduce the amount of waste.

Can You Profit From Upcycling?

While upcycling can be fun and creative, can you actually make a living off of it?  When it comes to having a career, you are in charge of your journey.  Some like to use upcycling as a way to pad a budget while others are all in.  Upscale consignment and vintage shops are full of upcycled and repurposed items for sale.

Many times these items are sold to the store on a contract basis which means that you get paid whether or not the item gets sold.  This is one of the best ways to make a career out of upcycling.  However, one of the most important things to remember is that there needs to be a demand for your supply.

Here are some of the most profitable upcycling projects:

  • 5) Produce Farm Tables

Rustic farm style themes are extremely popular, especially in America.  One product that is in high demand is dining rooms tables made from repurposed barn wood.

The best part about this project is that it is almost all profit.  All you will need to do is treat and clean the wood and install hardware to transform it.

Pieces like these go for thousands of dollars on the vintage market.

  • 6) Make Lawn Decoration

Almost anything can be transformed into a lawn decoration.  Items like vintage bicycles and cans can easily be transformed into one-of-a-kind garden pieces.

The best part about creating special garden ornaments is that there is no shortage of creativity.

Also, there is a huge market for these types of decorations.

  • 7) Upcycled Clothing Is Hot

If you are handy with a thread and needle, perhaps you should consider a career in upcycled clothing.  Taking old clothing and fabrics and transforming them into special pieces is all the rage right now.

There are even hundreds of YouTube channels dedicated to the art of designing clothing using primarily second-hand pieces.

How To Sell You Pieces?

Once you know what type of upcycling you want to try, you need to have a plan to turn it into a career.  One of the best things to do is use social media as the catapult for your business.

User-based platforms give you a direct link to customers. 

This is a great way to not only sell your items but also to market yourself to a wider group of people.

Another option is to join the craft fair community.  For a small fee, you can set up a booth at these types of craft and furniture fairs.  The best way to utilize this platform is to look at it as a way to network yourself instead of a way to make money.  While you will be selling pieces, the connections you make will be priceless and help to elevate your exposure.

Consignment shops are another way to go.  Make friends with your local vintage and second-hand stores and try to get your pieces on display.  With the right type of marketing and exposure, you can elevate your sales from a hobby to a full-blown career.

8 Other Jobs That Help The Environment

There are countless ways to put your work time to work for nature.

Here are some other jobs and positions to look into:

  • Engineering
    Be a part of the next green revolution(s)
  • Sustainable Architects
    Help our cities create solutions that include more green areas
  • Green Building Professionals
    Create more energy efficient solutions for future homes.
  • Aquatic Biologists
    Help us preserve drinking water and life in our ponds and streams.
  • Biofuel Production
    We need more environmentally friendly solutions when it comes to fuel.
  • Journalism
    We also need more journalists with a focus on green issues.
  • Landscape Architects
    When choosing how and where to place trees we need good people who have the best interest of our nature in mind.
  • Solar Energy
    Sunlight is probably going to be there long after we are gone as a species. Help the sector figure out how to utilize it better

Wrapping It Up!

It is no secret that we need to start making changes now in order to ensure a healthy future for our world.  When it comes to protecting the environment, the power is in the people.  One thing that has become more popular over the past decade are the jobs that work to help the environment.

This has not only helped to improve things but has also taught us so much about how our behaviors have impacted the environment.

The unsung heroes are the ones who have dedicated their lives to work for the environment and not against it.

The best part about these careers is that they really do cover a wide range of talents.  Not everyone is interested in a job in bio-engineering.  Some prefer to work creatively with their hands.  When it comes to protecting the environment, not all jobs are created equal.

But, all jobs do their part.

So, next time you are thinking of making a professional change, consider a career that works for the environment, not against it.

Good luck.