What does it mean to be green? First of all, you cannot physically turn green from eating too many green vegetables, like you can when you eat too many carrots. Really, being green is about being brave enough to protect the earth you live on and the environment you enjoy. As a young person, you have a lot of power to change the polluted minds of the people around you who may think being green isn’t worth the effort—and the first person you have to start with is yourself!
Sometimes girls are told what we can and cannot do, which probably gets on your nerves. It’s amazingly simple to start protecting the earth. In fact, it’s probably easier to be green than you think. It doesn’t matter how much money you have or where you live, everyone can do their part and set a good example for others.
The most important part of being green is learning to be resourceful, and by following a few simple tips [taken from the United States Environmental Protection Agency - http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/education/teens/tips.htm], you can make your own rules on how to help save the environment.
• Next time you need to buy clothes for school, buy used or vintage clothes. You’ll be amazed when you find some awesome deals, not to mention really cool and unique outfits. Some of the most creative people in the world get their styles from thrift stores. Both Beyonce and Drew Barrymore buy vintage stuff, and they are definitely trend setters. Plus, if your parents buy your clothes, they will probably appreciate how much money your new, eco-friendly fashion sense will save them.
• Unplug your electronics when you’re not using them. Things like TVs, DVD players, stereos, and cell phone chargers suck energy when they’re left plugged in. I wouldn’t recommend unplugging your clock, though. You can’t blame the environment if you’re late to school.
• Use a lunch box or insulated cooler for lunch instead of a paper or plastic sack. If you eat in the cafeteria, take only what you plan to use and eat, such as food, paper napkins, condiment packets, straws, and other disposable items.
• Get a stainless steel bottle for cold drinks. Many people prefer Kleen Kanteen because the company is environmentally conscious, their products are easy to clean, and the containers come in lots of bright colors. You can use these nifty bottles at home or when you’re hanging out with friends. It will reduce the amount of dishes you have to wash, and when you’re thirsty, you won’t have to buy those expensive bottled waters.
• Are you creative? Make a personalized reusable shopping bag, or buy a sturdy tote you can fold and carry around in your backpack instead of taking disposable plastic bags from the store. Encourage your family to use them as well because using plastic bags is so last century.
• Do you like to collect things? Well, there’s a perfect solution for saving all your knickknacks and keepsakes that you can find right in your kitchen – jars! Jars come in all different shapes and sizes. All you need to do is clean them out and decorate them with paint, stickers, decoupage, or glitter so you can show off your new pen holder or jewelry box (er, jar) to your friends. Maybe they’ll even want one as a gift!
• Make sure your family recycles. If they don’t already, ask them to. Sometimes it just requires you to take the lead. If you lead the way, the people you care about will follow your example to better protect the earth. So when you’re ready to take action, find out how your city properly separates the recyclables from the trash and put this system into place in your own household. Every city has a different way of doing things, though, so call your waste management center to find out how it works where you live.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a quiet or outgoing person; being an environmental activist is something anyone can do. It just takes a positive attitude and the knowledge that your actions will help to make the world as you get older.
Here is a list of A+ resources that will get you more excited and geared-up about becoming and staying green!
Follow Drip’s journey and learn:
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