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10 Things Teens Can Do to Save the World

Easy Ways for Teens to Go Green


Protecting the environment isn't just a job for adults. It's cheap and easy for teens to go green by making a couple of quick changes to your everyday lives.

1. Turn Off the Lights

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When you leave a room that no one else is in, flip off the light switch. And whenever you can, open your curtains to let in natural light instead of using artificial lights. Saving electricity helps reduce global warming.

2. Carry a Tote Bag

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Before you go out on shopping excursions, throw a tote bag into your purse. Then, with every purchase, hand it to the cashier instead of making them use a new bag. Looking for a good tote? I love these cute American Eagle bags.

3. Go for a Bike Ride

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Biking is free, fun and a great way to exercise - and unlike driving, it does zero damage to the environment. Every time you grab your car keys, consider biking instead. If you don't have a bike, think about walking short distances instead of driving them - you can make walking more fun by listening to music or some funny free podcasts.

4. Get a Reusable Bottle

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Plastic water bottles are rarely recycled, and the water inside of them isn't much different from tap water. Instead, get a reusable bottle and refill it from the tap. These aluminum bottles from Gaiam are super-durable and super-chic.

5. Shut Down & Unplug

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When you're done using your computer every night, shut it down and unplug it from the wall before going to sleep. And get into the habit of unplugging all your electronic stuff when you're not using it. Appliances can suck electricity from the wall even when the power isn't on.

6. Buy Vintage

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Vintage clothing is, well, vintage, which means no new damage is done to the environment from manufacturing it. Plus, buying vintage is cheaper than buying new, and you can score really unique designer stuff from local consignment shops. New to buying used? Get some vintage shopping tips.

7. Eat Less Meat

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Meat takes up to 5 times more water to produce than vegetarian alternatives and releases a lot of icky chemicals into our water supply. You don't have to swear off meat completely, but consider getting a veggie burger or grilled cheese (hold the bacon!) every once in a while.

8. Turn Off the Faucet

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Running the faucet while you're brushing your teeth uses two gallons of water every minute. What a waste! Turn it off in between toothbrush rinses. The earth will thank you.

9. Better the World

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Download a Better the World sidebar for your web browser. It's totally free, and you can raise cash for your favorite environmental cause (like polar bear conservation) just by surfing the web.

10. Tell Your Friends!

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If you catch your friend tossing an aluminum can in the trash or leaving the lights on, say something. If you can change someone's attitude about going green, you'll be doing twice the impact you can do by yourself.
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