Teens like to be cool and being cool means being green or environmentally friendly, right? Well, not always.Teens like to be cool and being cool means being green or environmentally friendly, right? Well, not always. As much as teens like to jump on the “bandwagon of the week” and be trendy, being “green” is not always at the top of their list.
Teens, for the most part, are not yet paying utility bills so we parents often find ourselves following them from room to room turning off lights and unplugging chargers. On the up side, teens really are concerned about the environment, they just don’t know how to help save it. Well there is a new three-year research project designed to increase awareness for this impressionable demographic. Researchers will encourage spreading the word on social networking sites, study the evolution of teenage psychology, and evaluate changes in attitudes among the teens.
If you don’t want to wait three years to implement the study’s findings in your own home, here are some ideas to help motivate your teen:
First, challenge the members of your home to help save the environment and save money on your utility bills. Tell your teens you will increase their allowance if you noticably see a difference in their behavior.
-Turn off lights everytime you leave the room.
-Recycle – EVERYTHING!
-Don’t turn on the shower until you are ready to get wet.
-Take shorter showers.
-Put fresh plants that help remove indoor air pollutants in their rooms.
-Share rides, walk, catch the bus or other public transportation or ride bikes more often, especially to school.
-Parents, we can save fuel, money and encourage better physical fitness if we stop agreeing to be the family’s taxi service.
-Limit time watching television or playing on the internet.
-Make a compost pile for your family to dispose of certain waste products.
-Cut back on cell phone calls and texting.
-Don’t let the water continuously run in the sink while brushing your teeth.
-Use public computers if feasible for school projects and research.
-Keep compact fluorescent bulbs on hand. When your traditional bulb burns out, replace it with a CFL that lasts up to ten times longer than an incandescent bulb.
-Play more board games.
-Unplug electronics when not in use. This is easy to do if you use a power strip for the television, stereo and DVD player.
-Eat fresh snacks after school. Give up using the oven to make pizza rolls for one person and choose a piece of fruit instead.
-Go outside and play sports that run on the body’s fuel, not electricity.
-Share your ideas with your friends and on social media sites.
-Recycle your clothing. When you tire of old clothes, trade with your friends. Local consignment shops are a great place to shop, as well as selling some of your unwanted apparel items.
-Start a movement in your school or community to have recycling bins added to public places where refuse cans are already provided – giving your neighbors the opportunity to recycle in public.
Imagine if our teens would implement just a few of these ideas!