One suggestion is getting involved in activities that help the environment in place of other activities, like going to the mall or sports. They could take out time to volunteer help clean up their neighborhoods, or volunteer at places like ASPCA. They can also make their current activities more green, like making green art by using eco-friendly materials, print less, use both sides of paper, and recycle. Teens for the Environment is an organization that provides ideas and resources for teenagers who want to be more environmentally conscious. Their website can be found here.
Definitely using public transportation, biking, or walking instead of driving would be a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. I’d also suggest little things like using less water by turning off the water when brushing your teeth and taking shorter showers. Making sure to turn off your lights and unplug your appliances when you aren’t using them are also ways to greatly reduce how much electricity you’re using–even when appliances aren’t being used, if they are still plugged in, they are using energy.
I agree with rigibson and jet’s answers: become less reliant on driving and reduce excessive use of electronic devices. It’s understandable that many teenagers want to drive around a bit and explore their new freedom, but the end result is a lot of pointless driving. Water resources are commonly overlooked – teenagers can take long showers and absentmindedly leave the sink on during brushing. Generally, however, the ascent of electronic devices has contributed to major electricity demands by teenagers.
I believe teens these day are growing up in an environment that is driven by possessions. The more you own the more well off you are and the more positive attention you will receive. We need to help our children understand that less will always be more. We do not need to own every ipod that comes out on the market. We need to encourage young people to give back rather than continue to consume at a rapid rate.
Teens can make a lot of changes that adults can make to be more environmentally conscious in their day-to-day routines. I agree with those that pinpointed transportation as a big area, but teens can also stop drinking bottled water, take shorter showers, recycle, etc.
We could tell them to get out more. So many teens spend their days indoors on their computers. This means lights are on, comptuers are plugged in, and the refrigerator is constantly being opened and closed amont other things. If they just spent their times outdoors in the sun, they wouldn’t need to use electricity indoors.
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