Emily is a 13-year-old from Corona, CA. She enjoys reading, writing, and swimming and her favorite subject is history because it inspires her to learn about other cultures.
Overflowing landfills, global warming, oil spills and more; our earth is constantly fighting an uphill battle to retain the breath – taking beauty it beholds. Teens carry the often unseen potential to create a huge difference in our world. However, without guidance in the correct direction we usually do not realize the power we have. That is simply because though we don’t want to admit it; we imitate those older than us to learn. So here are ten ways to help your teens unleash their world-changing potential.
- Outdoor Entertainment: Nowadays with all the technology available it is imperative to teach your children that there are other lively, free time options that don’t involve staring at a screen. Being outside allows teens to be boisterous and go green by not using electricity. Try buying your teens some sports equipment and teaching those alternative ways to express themselves.
- Recycling: The most universal and basic way to help the environment. Luckily, it is also one of the easiest which means your teen will probably be more willing to participate. All you have to do is set out bins for paper and bottles/cans in easy to access places around your home. A great way to encourage your kids to become involved is to give them the money from recycling cans and bottles as a reward (if your state does pay for them).
- Conserving Water: I live in southern California, a place where droughts have been an issue and water conservation is essential. Even if you live in an area without these problems it is still reputable to use water sparingly. By merely turning off the facet when you brush your teeth or taking shorter showers you are making a difference. The simplicity of this task should be appealing to your teen.
- Turning off Lights: Whenever you leave rooms turn off the light and only use lights when necessary. It’s as simple as that. Encouraging your teens is an important part of this task because we are busy and forget things.
- Conserving Materials: Often times we use more then we need when it comes to anything from paper to food. By instead using minimum requirements for certain supplies you will be reducing waste in landfills. Teens in particular tend to want more things so this is great for them.
- Reuse: Another universal way to go green with your teen. There are a lot of ways to do this. Some examples are, passing down clothing, taking reusable shopping bags to the store, and making tissue boxes into containers. The list can go on forever so there is sure to be something for you and your teen.
- Planting: Another great way to teach your teens about going green is by planting trees and/or your own vegetable garden. This shows them how easy it is to replenish the earth and if you grow your own vegetables how valuable and extraordinary plants really are.
- Saving Trees: Also known as paper, one of the most versatile materials. Unfortunately a lot of halfway used paper ends up in landfills. Start using both sides of paper and if you only need part of the page, cut the used half and use the unwritten piece for things such as shopping lists. Then recycle everything when you are done. Show your teen that you care and there’s a chance they will care more too.
- Walking/Biking: Places like school or the park are usually close enough to walk or bike if preferred. I suggest you start by having your teen(s) walk home maybe twice a week and then add more day as you see fit. Of course in some places there is more risks than others depending on if your teen will be alone while walking or biking. Factoring in crime rates is also a must so this sadly can only be done some places.
10.Humorous: For this article I asked a bunch of my friends to write down ways they want to go green and some of them put down the most random ideas I just have to include them for a laugh. Here are some examples – EAT MORE CUPCAKES!, don’t waste water by washing cars, camp in the backyard, and PLANT MORE TREES!!! As you can see I have some interesting friends.
Here are ten of the hundreds of ways to go green with your teen. I believe saving the environment is truly important because nature is so beautiful and should be replenished. Thanks to all my friends who contributed ideas and helped me make this article as accurate as possible. So to all the parents reading this I asked people with a variety of personalities so it will relate to more teens. Have a blast going green with your teen!