30 Sep How to save the planet as a teenager
How can one person make a difference? Some people say that, because the challenges of climate change are so huge, individual action has no effect. It’s easy to think this way but if everybody made just a few small adjustments, it all adds up to a big collective effort.
We’ve already spoken to Ghislaine and discovered more about her tips for going vegan. In this blog, she’s going to share some of her thoughts on being environmentally friendly and what small actions teenagers can take if they’re serious about how to save the planet.
Passionate about the environment
Being eco-conscious has always been up and down for me because I grew up in the countryside, but it has really taken precedent in forming more of my identity in the past two years. It’s part of the reason why I’ve become vegan.
Being at university and living in a flat with 10 students made me realise how blissfully ignorant most people are about recycling. You can’t blame anybody for that – because recycling is just this thing we’re supposed to know about and no-one educates us.
I was lucky. At school, we were taught which plastics you can recycle and which you can’t, what to do with foil and the fact that you have to wash everything and take the labels off. Suddenly, I found myself in this situation where I was the only one who cared about doing it properly – and the only one who knew how.
“The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.” Robert Swan
It can be difficult. There are different rules for different councils. For example, in my building we can’t recycle because the council only takes paper and green glass.
It’s surprising what can and can’t be recycled. It’s often down to the different types of plastic and thickness of the plastic too. Try and look for the triangles with little arrows and a number. That will tell you what type of plastic it is which you can use to look at your council’s website and see if it can go into your recycling. If not, just try and reuse stuff as much as possible. Takeaway boxes are great for storage.
“We are living on this planet as if we have another one to go to.” Terri Swearingen
The cost of sustainability?
One of the things that I’ve become more conscious about is where I’m sourcing my food from. For instance, avocadoes are incredibly water thirsty so in the regions where they’re grown, they’re actually creating a lot of negative impact.
You can make a decision about, not necessarily trying to source everything from the UK, but perhaps thinking that you’ll stick to Europe and a certain mile radius. Even if you do that for a month or a week, you’ll become really aware of it.
I read somewhere that we can only fight one fight each so share your support for other campaigns but dedicate yourself to one issue. And that’s what I’ve been doing – just slowly building that eco consciousness and those eco-friendly practices over time.
Supermarkets are introducing more package-less product dispensers where you can fill your own containers. Again, that’s a change. It might happen slowly but you’ve got to start somewhere.
We don’t need a few individuals living a zero-waste life perfectly, we need lots of people doing it imperfectly.
Do you have a child that wants to be eco-friendly and learn how to save the planet?
If you’re a parent or carer who wants your teenager to take a more active interest in the world, we can help you develop strategies for healthier life choices. Please get in touch on 0330 1002821.
Choose the life you want to lead
Do you organise the recycling in your home or do you think of it as a chore? What small changes and tips would you like to share to help other young people live a more sustainable life? Let us know by following the links below:
Until next time, stay healthy, stay positive and be green.