You may have heard a lot of teens talking about “going green” lately. But what does that really mean? Images of Kermit the Frog might first pop into your mind. But “going green” refers to living life in a more environmentally conscious way – being aware of how your daily activities, whether it's recycling your school papers or walking to school instead of getting a ride – have a profound effect upon the earth and our environment. By being more mindful about our behaviors, and acting in a more eco-friendly way, we can reduce pollution, recycle everyday materials, and conserve the natural beauty of the earth.
You may be wondering what you can do to help, or how you can “go green.” Here is a list of 20 eco-cool ideas to help teens go green right now:
- Eat organic. It’s better for you and your parents will be thrilled at the suggestion.
- Recycle! Popular recyclables are plastic, aluminum, paper, and glass, but did you know that batteries, computers, cell phones, gold, and cotton are all recyclable too?
- Calculate your 2008 carbon footprint and figure out how you can reduce it this year.
- Shut off your computer at night. It saves energy and wear and tear on your hard drive.
- Carry a reusable water bottle instead of a plastic one.
- Ride your bike, walk, or carpool instead of driving.
- Choose paperless billing and pay your cell phone bill online.
- Turn off running water while you’re brushing your teeth.
- Check out the young reader’s version of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth or visit Inconvenient Youth, a network of teens who care about the health of our planet, on how you can help your school or community.
- Don’t litter and when you see litter on the ground, pick it up.
Number of plastic bags thrown away every year in the United States.
- Stop using paper towels and napkins and use reusable cloth towels instead.
- Invest in a trendy canvas tote bag made of recyclable materials. They are becoming super popular and come in all kinds of fun colors and designs.
- When printing, use both sides of the piece of paper.
- Don’t brown bag it, use a washable and reusable lunch bag.
- When driving, don’t idle, turn off your car! The Daily Green reports that Americans idle away 2.9 billion gallons of gas a year.
- Buy recycled notebooks when back-to-school supply shopping.
- Wash your laundry in cold water. Ninety percent of the energy used in washing clothes comes from heating the water, and clothes get just as clean washed in cold.
- Scrape your plate instead of rinsing it to save water.
- Take the stairs. Any energy saved by not using elevators adds up!
- Encourage your school to join the Go Green Initiative. Eighty five schools in the US have already joined this initiative which provides environmental education to kids.
Small steps make a big difference to save planet Earth. So start today. And let us know what you’re doing.
This article was reviewed by BodiMojo expert Tara Cousineau, Ph.D.