How to Teach Teens About Going Green

Last Updated on May 16, 2020 by Diane Hoffmaster

This post about how to teach teens about going green has been sponsored by Linqui and Repreve but all opinions expressed here are my own.

Teenagers are old enough to realize that their actions have consequences on others and on the planet.  The best way to teach them about sustainability is to be a good role model yourself.  However, here are a few green activities you can get your teens involved in that help them take baby steps on the road to green living.  

young woman putting something in mini recycling container with text 'sustainability and teach teens about going green'

How do you get kids excited about sustainability?

When my children were young it was fairly easy to turn every moment into a teaching moment. And they LOVED to learn! Trips to the grocery store were a great time to teach them their colors.

A day trip to the museum would teach them about history and science. Teaching them to go green just meant modeling green behavior at home and hoping they caught on. Now that I have teenagers they are getting too smart for me to ‘sneak’ lessons in while they aren’t looking.

They are plugged in to music, their phones, and their friends and have little concern for learning unless they are doing it for school. I have learned that teaching teens to go green can be challenging but I want them to understand why I make the choices I do for our family. Here are a few simple ways to teach your teens about going green this year:

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Homemade Earring Holder using an Upcycled Cheese Grater with earrings hanging on it

Make Eco-friendly crafts 

My daughter is 12 and still loves to do crafts. We stock our art closet with paper towel tubes, cereal boxes, scraps of material and all sorts of other household items that are great for crafting.

If you force your teens to unplug every once in a while you will be amazed at how eager they are to play with glue and glitter! Check out my homemade earring holder for an easy ucpcycled craft for teenage girls!

Get them into the garden 

Little children are adorable in gardens but rather inefficient. Bigger children can actually get some work done! My son helps with the compost and both kids help harvest whenever things need to come into the kitchen. They are learning that real food grows on plants and does not always come in tiny cardboard boxes from the grocery store.

text 'teach teens to go green whether they want to or not' on green background

Teach teens how to grocery shop

Remember those days of taking toddlers to the grocery store? I am not sure how I survived without more tears on MY part! Taking teens to the grocery store is much easier and does not require a trip to the bakery for a free cookie.

Help them find the organic yogurt or the apples that were actually grown here in the US. It can be a teaching moment as long as they don’t realize you are trying to teach them! We parents have to be sneaky sometimes! Check out the video below to see my kids going green this week!

Teach them how to cook

Kids who grow up in the kitchen turn into adult who spend way less time in the drive thru. This is not only healthier but creates a lot less trash. Show them how to chop an onion or flip a pancake.

Food packaging is a huge waste so teach your teens about going green by showing them that nature’s healthiest foods come with no packaging at all!

Recycling makes going green EASY

Every kid needs chores and my son’s is to do the recycling every day. Yes, he complains. Loudly and frequently! But, fingers crossed that one day he will stop and think twice about tossing a plastic bottle in the trash can and look for the recycling can instead.

green new years resolution collage

Teach Teens About Going Green Today!

A couple weeks ago I wrote about a few easy New Years resolutions to help you go green. Small changes that we make as a family are important if our children are going to learn to live a greener life when they grow up.

Like this post about how to teach teens about going green?  Here are more green living tips:

  • Easy Green Living Tips for College Students:  Here are some creative ways to make your child’s college journey a little bit lighter on the planet.
  • Ecofriendly Living Tips for Creating a Greener Home : Here are some easy and small changes you can make today to help reduce your carbon footprint.
  • Raising Green Kids in a Not So Green World: How do you raise an environmentally conscious child in today’s hectic world?  From simple sustainability lessons to teach kids about nature, here are a few tips on being green for kids. 

Many major companies are trying to reduce their carbon footprint, too. REPREVE is a recycled fiber that helps turn plastic bottles you recycle into cool stuff you can wear and use every day. Those plastic bottles that your teen is recycling go into making some really amazing new things. How Do You Teach Teens About Going Green in Your House?

 

Comments

  1. Lori Popkewitz Alper says

    I’ve always tried to teach my kids about living a greener lifestyle. I know that some of it is sticking and some isn’t. Over time hopefully they’ll understand the importance of the work we do. My favorite way to encourage them to think about what goes in their bodies is to let them experiment in the kitchen. They love to cook!

    • My teens still beg for Poptarts but they are thrilled with the organic version from Nature’s Path. Fingers crossed that when they get older they will remember at least a few of my lessons!

  2. Sometimes you just put it out there to lead by example and hope it sticks. I smile when I hear something out their mouth that they learned from me.

    I wish they would love to cook since it is so important.

    • I have heard mine say a few things that I know they learned from my ‘green lessons’ and I hope they keep them in mind as they grow up!

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