How to Save the Environment (for Teens)
1. How to Save the Environment (for Teens)
2. Cleaning up the existing damage to our environment and preventing further destruction is a huge job. It can seem like there isno way one person, especially a young
person, can make a difference. But you can make a
difference, starting with changing some simple everyday
habits and working with others to spread the word about
the importance of protecting the environment. This is the
world of not just your present but your future, so you’re
never too young to take action and make a positive
3. Method 1 Changing Daily Routines
4. 1. Take shorter showers
5. Yes, everyone wants to look (and smell) his/her best for that special someone or secret crush, but how many rinses and repeatsdo you really need? A dripping faucet
can waste 3,000 gallons a year, about the same amount
you can save by halving your daily shower time. That's
no drop in the bucket! It can seem like water is cheap
and abundant, but access to clean water is an issue for
billions of people around the world. Increasing demand
for water also affects rivers and lakes (and what lives
there) by reducing levels, changing water flow with
dams and reservoirs, and introducing chemicals and
6. 2.Turn the lights off
7. You might not pay the electric bill, but you know that the lamp (or TV, stereo, or laptop) costs money to operate. That moneypays for the power plants that produce that
electricity and usually release pollutants into the
environment in the process. Ask your family to set the
furnace temperature lower and the air conditioner
higher. Sweaters, open windows and fans will work just
fine most days. Unplug appliances that are not being
regularly used. Many electronic devices still draw power
even when turned off, sometime known as “vampire”
energy drain. Many states now allow residents to choose
their energy supplier. Talk to your family about choosing
a supplier that produces electricity with less pollution,
via solar, wind, and other options.
8. 3. Ride your bike or walk instead of driving (or being driven)
9. Yes, every teen looks forward to a driver’s license and a first car, but automobiles are one of the primary causes of airpollution. When pedal power won’t cut it, take the
bus or carpool. It might not seem as cool as driving
yourself, but it is much more fuel efficient.
10. 4.Eat less meat
11. The animals that gave their all to become your hamburger or chicken quesadilla require significantly more space, energy, andfive times more water than the
stars of a meatless dish. You don’t necessarily have to
become vegetarian just for this reason, but eating less
meat will probably do your body good while it helps the
12. Method 2 Using Less, Reusing More
13. 1.Buy eco-friendly products
14. Seek out products that do not test on animals and do not contain chemicals that require big CAUTION or WARNING notices on thelabel. There are increasing
numbers of products called “natural” or “organic”
available, but it never hurts to look at the labels. Choose
products without excess packaging. It was annoying
enough when you had to wait for your Dad to dig out
your new action figure from that plastic blister
packaging; think about the excessive waste such overpackaging creates. Buy local products when available.
Maybe your area has a little candle-making factory or
engraver where you can pick up a nice Mother’s Day gift.
Not only will you be helping your local economy, you
will be saving the energy usage and pollution required
to ship goods long distances.
15. 2.Carry a tote bag and reusable water bottle
16. They don’t take up much space but can prevent a lot of waste. Ever notice how plastic bags seem to always end up stuck in treesor on grassy hillsides, or seen news
reports about the giant swirls of plastic junk floating in
the middle of the oceans? Every plastic bottle not made
and plastic bag not used helps a little bit.
17. 3.Donate old clothes, toys, electronics, etc.
18. Just because you don’t want them anymore doesn’t mean someone else wouldn’t be happy to have them. People always seem to assumethat all teens need to have the
newest everything and discard perfectly good things that
are no longer “cool” enough. Prove them wrong. Buy
used and vintage items as well. Freak out your parents
by buying a shirt from their high school days and
declaring it “so retro.”
19. 4.Get creative before throwing things out
20. Can you use some parts from your broken-down old bike for your science fair project? Or use your (or, okay, maybe yourparents’) old CDs to make a collage or
mobile for art class?
21. 5. Recycle everything you can
22. If your municipality has a recycling program, make sure your family uses it. Does your school make recycling convenient? Ifnot, isn’t that something that student
councils are for? Help turn recycling into a habit for
23. Method 3. Making Yourself Heard
24. 1.Raise awareness
25. Talk to family and friends about simple changes they can make, and why they should do so to help protect the environment. Youdon’t have to lecture or preach (but if
that’s what works with your family, go for it); show them
that you have thought a lot about the subject, are
passionate about making a difference, and really could
use their support. Take advantage of all the new social
media technologies that your parents can't keep up with.
It's easier now than ever before to connect with people
all over the world. Find out how environmental
destruction impacts all of us everywhere, and discuss
ways to stop it. You might want to mention the notion of
“sustainable happiness,” which focuses in part on how
interconnected we all truly are. You parents will know
how serious you are if they realize you’ve done research!
26. 2.Join an environmental group
27. There are numerous national organizations dedicated to protecting endangered species, cutting greenhouse gas emissions,preserving clean water supplies, and so on.
But there are also probably local environmental groups
doing things like planting native trees or setting up hardto-recycle pickups in your own neighborhood. Is there an
environmental club at your school? If not, round up
some buddies who know the importance of the issue and
start one. You can do some good and make your college
applications look a little better at the same time.
28. 3.Contact your elected officials
29. No, you probably can’t vote for them yet, but most of them want to remain in office long after you’ve turned 18. And they wantyour parents’ votes right now anyway.
Depending on their respective offices, ask them to
support legislation to reduce carbon emissions or protect
endangered species, or to back local measures like
curbside recycling or plastic shopping bag fees. Get in
the habit of demanding action from your representatives
when you are young and it will be easier to do so when
30. 4. Don’t be afraid to lead. Regardless of what some adults may think, teens can have great ideas too. When you have one, putyour
youthful energy to good use. Your idea might be as
straightforward as a neighborhood clean-up day, but go
for it. Pass out flyers. Ask local businesses to donate
supplies or refreshments. Round up your buddy’s garage
band and turn it into a block party at the end of the day.
Teens like you have helped pass legislation banning
electronic waste from landfills, and created organizations
that help schools run environmentally-friendly proms.
Surely they had people tell them they were too young to
make a difference. But the earth’s future is your future.
So don’t be so quick to accept “can’t” or take “no” as an