One way teenagers can get involved is through school. They already have a built in audience of peers to educate. Forming clubs or groups that the school can sponser will help spread the word. Hold an awareness assembly and ask other students to submit their ideas on how to help stop climate change. Put those ideas to work in their school so they can see first hand that they can make a difference.
The previous poster offers a great suggestion. School is a great way for teenagers to advocate care for the environment. Start a recycling program at your school, or organize an environmental club. Together, you can hold environmental fairs, assemblies, and fundraisers to spread the word about and contribute to your chosen causes.
Another thing you want to take advantage of as a teenager is social media. You probably already know that teenagers are highly involved in social networking sites and visual media. Team up with some friends or use your school’s TV Production department (if you have one) to create a documentary about the environment. Or, start a Facebook page about the environment (preferably in conjunction to a green event or club you’re sponsoring). Remember that using modern media is a very convenient way to spread the word.
Reach out to your community leaders. Write letters encouraging the development of environmental programs. This may be difficult, but if you’re persistent, they might actually listen to you. There are probably like-minded people in your community, so if you connect with them, you can definitely make a difference.
Just keep trying, and don’t let your age stop you.
An important aspect of being involved is to continue reading; read information that supports climate change and criticism of the theory. Don’t ever stop learning. Being able to intelligently discuss an issue such as climate change is a simple yet huge way to be involved. When you get into discussions, offer to send/email sources. Don’t state information without being able to back it up.
I’d like to throw out a more indirect way, and that is to let teenagers find what they care about. Travel to foreign countries as part of a school or college study abroad program can open the eyes of teenagers to the realities of other parts of the world that reading about just can’t compare to.
Or simply pay attention to their interests, they will naturally steer toward it, and likely climate change has something to do with it. Perhaps they love the woods, the mountains, the oceans, recreational activities…or discover the anthropological value of indigenous tribes and their environment, recognize the desperation of endangered species, the interesting industries of alternative energies, the list goes on.
Exposing them to documentaries, articles, movies, even music having to do with climate change will introduce a world that needs protection from global warming. They can join that in such a number of ways these days, if climate change is a value to them, they can get involved in any way they like.
Look into volunteering or an internship with an environmental organization or nonprofit. You will get great work experience, help the environment, and help the organization do more work.
Campaigning for the cause through a volunteer or non-profit organization is a great way to gain meaningful experience and demonstrate your commitment to the environment. Not only will it give you credentials that can benefit you at a later time (think college and job searching), but more importantly, you can raise public awareness on the issue of climate change, and in doing so, make a significant contribution to your community and/or state. Check out the link below for an idea. Good luck!
I agree with mle – I think keeping well-informed about climate change is a crucial foundational step. After that, anything from volunteering with a local recycling bank, park, or environmental organization (check sites like volunteermatch or greenpeace volunteer to search for environmentally-based volunteer options in your area) to the above mentioned campaigning for a cause are all excellent options. Climate change is so all encompassing than almost any existing interest the teenager may have can be utilized as a base – art, fashion, literature, politics, ecology, conservation, law – all are active parts of environmental activism.
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