One of the most pressing reasons that so many parents seek to live a greener lifestyle is because they are mindful of the fact that the earth is an inheritance left to the children. What we do or do not do today, can and will be their problem to face tomorrow. This is why raising green kids is so important. Even at a young age they can be made aware of the issues facing their generation. Tween and teens are closer to their inheritance than younger children and they are also more aware of their impact so it is important that they too show a concern for the environment and step up to protect it as their parents have.
This may be a tall order in today’s fast paced world where teens are wired up, plugged in, and in sync with all the latest and greatest that the marketplace has to offer. At every step the media around them is trying to turn them into yet another mindless consumer. The values of mainstream society around them conflict with the green values you hope to cultivate in their minds and hearts. But tweens and teens are more worldly and savvy than ever, so it follows that they are primed to make a real difference and as parents, we can help them. A good place to start is at school…
Here is a list of ways that they can get their green on!
1. Take a solar backpack to school and charge cell phones or other portable devices with the power of the sun.
2. Pack a waste free school lunch each day with a stainless steel Tiffin and carrying bag.
3. Instead of burning CDs use an iPod or a cell phone and charge it with a solar powered charger. Listen to your tunes via iPod, with a sound dock, on your computer, or with an iPod attachment for car stereos.
4. Use planet friendly school supplies such as post consumer recycled paper, eco pens/pencils, and Naked Binders.
5. Go digital! More and more schools are encouraging students to use iPads and laptops and going digital can drastically eliminate paper waste.
6. Help clean up your school by starting a recycling program and a weekly day for volunteer trash pick up to keep the school grounds and surrounding neighborhood areas beautiful. Plan something special for Earth Day and get your classmates involved.
7. Ask the school administrators to host a viewing of eco documentaries like Food Inc, The Cove, or No Impact Man. If the response is lukewarm ask fellow students to sign a petition showing interest.
8. Shop at second had stores and pick up some cool vintage clothing. Second hand clothing is far cheaper and you can create outfits unique to you and your style. Looking like everyone else is way overrated. BUT if you want to look like your peers, thrift stores often carry brand name clothing at a fraction of the original price.
9. When second hand won’t do and you need to buy new…buy organic fibers like organic cotton, hemp, and wool.
10. Use organic and natural shampoos, toiletries, and make-up. Juice Beauty and Style Essentials are two good ones to try.
What other ways can you think of for tweens and teens to make the school experience a little greener?