Parents: Teaching and Mentoring Ecological Responsibility in Teenagers
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© Reece Manley
Apr 22, 2009

The Green Movement is almost reaching the level of a lifestyle. Regardless of the level of commitment, simple steps can help adolescents embrace a love of green thinking

Going green simply means to live a life having fewer negative impacts on the Earth's ecology, and supporting alternatives which reduce pollution and waste on the planet. Teenagers can easily accommodate some simple strategies and ideas to further the green goal.

Teen Specific Green Actions
The daily life of most teenagers involve massive consumerism. From plastic sandwich bags, canned cola and bottled water, teens are a major source of the waste finding its way to American landfills. Small changes can make big impacts:

  • Take recyclable or cloth bags to school with chips and snacks.
  • Drink from water fountains or carry an aluminum water bottle.
  • Use Plant a Tree on Facebook and join other Green groups on social network sites.

Any of these small changes, if made with the idea of taking care of the planet, teach good custodial ecology as well as directly reducing the teens' impact on the planet.

Green Family-Wide Ideas
Parents should make some simple Green programs available to the whole family. In addition to helping the environment, it forms family bonds over the interest in common projects.

A family garden is a great idea for saving on grocery costs and teaching teenagers responsibility to teens for living things. Tending the garden can easily be added to the chore list the teenager has in order to obtain an allowance.

The whole family needs to be aware of the amount of time spent behind the wheel. Teens should be aware not only of the cost of the fuel, but the cost of the pollution on the environment.

Bridgestone America helps teens learn more about the effects of their driving on the environment through their Safety Scholars contest. Not only can teens learn on this site, they can earn handsome scholarship amounts.

Volunteering as a family to adopt a community space is also a good idea to build family bonds and ecological values. Parents can check with their city's department of volunteering and find out what opportunities exist locally.

By involving youth in green activities both on personal context and a family wide concern, parents teach strong values respecting the Planet. Simple changes in consumer lifestyle mean big differences in the impact people have on the Earth.

Parents should remember their roles as mentors of their teenagers and seek to make small, family based experiences a part of everyday life. In addition, parents can help teens see that going green with their choices not only helps save the planet but also helps save their wallets.

The copyright of the article Helping Your Teen Go Green in Parenting Teens is owned by Reece Manley. Permission to republish Helping Your Teen Go Green in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.

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