Going green as a teen: How youth can protect the environment

Seychellois teens
Seychellois teens

As a teenager you might be wondering how you can protect the environment around you. Perhaps you enjoy sunbathing on a pristine beach on a warm summer’s day…one that’s free of trash, discarded food items, etc. Well there are plenty of steps you can take to ensure a better environment for today and the future. All it takes is one individual to make a difference. And just imagine the difference you and a few of your friends and family members can make. Here are a few easy ways to protect your environment.

 

At Home

Whether you still live with your parents or are renting an apartment or college dormitory of your own, you can save energy and help the environment by making just a few simple changes in your routine. Turn off lights when leaving each room and unplug items when not in use. Turn your home’s thermostat up or down a degree or two when less power is necessary for cooling and heating. Turn computer monitors off when not in use; leaving it on with a screensaver still uses a lot of energy. Replace light bulbs with new energy-saver bulbs. Opt for rechargeable electronics instead of using batteries.

Beach Cleaning
Beach Cleaning

At School

Use less paper when possible…don’t doodle just to be doodling! Also, take care of your school supplies such as pens, lead pens, rulers, etc. Each one wasted means more plastic to be produced by the factories. Opt for refillable pens and lead pens so you can buy just the lead or ink cartridges. Encourage your friends to do the same. Volunteer with a few of your friends to have a clean-up day at the school to pick up trash, plant a some new trees or shrubs or partake in a spot of spring cleaning with all-natural cleaning products.

 

At the Beach

Be mindful of the environment around you while enjoying days at the beach. Our beaches are beautiful and should stay that way. With a little effort, teens can keep the beaches looking great without missing out on any fun. Take a bin liner bag along with you and be sure to throw away any rubbish. Pick up food you spill, bottles, cigarette butts, etc. around you and throw them in the liner. Never dump rubbish into the ocean waters. If you enjoy fishing along the beach, be sure to clean up after yourself and never leave hooks or fishing line lying around.

Ask a few of your friends about having a clean-up day at the beach. Tidy the area where you usually hang out…others might see you do this and organize a clean-up crew of their own!

Cars and the Environment

When buying your first motor, don’t be tempted to purchase an old-time gas guzzler. Though it might be “cool” to drive an older-model sports car and fix it up, it’s not good for the environment. Try to find a newer car with fuel efficiency. Opt for smaller cars if possible – these use less fuel. Also, buy a car that has all the latest safety features so your car insurance won’t be so pricey!

Recycling and Dumping

Even as a teen, you can recycle and learn how to dump trash properly. Visit your local recycling centre to find rubbish what items can and should be separated from your regular rubbish. Some will recycle cans, plastic items (milk cartons, soft-drink bottles, etc.) and cardboard. Store these items separate at home so you can participate in local recycling away from your main bin.
Don’t forget to recycle your mobile phones and other electronics instead of merely throwing them away. Even if you have a broken television set, you might find a repair person who’s willing to take it for parts. There are companies that specialize in recycling electronics such as mobile phones. Use the Internet to find out where to send your items. If you do intend to throw it away, be sure to dispose of it properly; not doing so can harm the environment.

Recycle Rubbish
Recycle Rubbish

On the flip side, try to buy recycled products when shopping online or locally. Buy recycled or refurbished paper, ink cartridges, mobile phones, computers, printers, furniture, appliances……you name it!

As you can see, protecting the environment is very easy when broken down in simple steps. You can make a difference no matter what your age. And be sure to spread the word to other teenage friends and family members. All it takes is a little effort and thoughtfulness to improve the world around you!

Tree
Tree

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