For teenagers, probably the easiest ways to go green is to recycle and conserve. Encourage teens to not waste, whether it’s water, electricity, or packaging. Try to get them to reuse cups/plates and take shorter showers to save on water, and get them off the computer once in a while (and don’t let them leave the computers on all night) to save electricity.
Teenagers love to buy the newest gadgets, especially now that Christmas is approaching. But this kind of consumerism is bad for the environment. Focus instead on gifts that will last longer than one season, have little packaging, or are hand-made.
In my opinion the very best thing teenagers can do is to adapt their eating habits and/or volunteer their time. Factory farm meat industries produce more greenhouse gases than those made from all the exhaust from cars on the road. Reduce or eliminate your red meat intake and you’ll be healthier and help the environment. If you want to learn more about just how bad eating animals is on our environment read the excellent novel by Jonathon Safran Foer entitled “Eating Animals” (It’s really well written like a story and not a boring textbook).
Look in your area for green initiatives to volunteer for. Your local library should have information on places you can volunteer or you can use the internet to search. Whether it be cleaning trash from public areas or removing non-native plants from the native ecology (I did that in San Diego it was a lot of fun). It is also great for college resumes.
For teenagers, it’s really important to set a good example as a parent. You can also stress the importance of recycling and trying to reuse items that they might normally throw away. You can tell them that doing simple things (turning off the lights, unplugging electronics, taking shorter showers) can really help the environment and the overall family budget as well.
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