Teens are the future of the green movement – encourage them! I know that I'm not typical in any way (just ask anyone that knows me), but when I go to the mall with my daughter (still her favorite destination, as with most 15 year old girls), I know I'm raising a teenager that many people will find scary. I have been telling her for as long as I can remember that her power really comes from her pocketbook and she needs to "vote with her dollars," not the string of "strongly worded" letters that she sends to our MP and to the Prime Minister of the day."..."
Teens are the future of the green movement – encourage them! I know that I'm not typical in any way (just ask anyone that knows me), but when I go to the mall with my daughter (still her favorite destination, as with most 15 year old girls), I know I'm raising a teenager that many people will find scary. I have been telling her for as long as I can remember that her power really comes from her pocketbook and she needs to "vote with her dollars," not the string of "strongly worded" letters that she sends to our MP and to the Prime Minister of the day. I have told her that it is neither improper nor impolite to actively and vocally hold the merchants that she frequents accountable for their position on the environment and what they are doing to reduce their environmental footprint.
Well, as we ventured out on a recent shopping junket (I'd rather have a root canal), she began to tell me about where we could/should shop and why. For a moment, I had to do a double-take, as my teenager had actually been listening to me. What I was hearing was exactly what I have been preaching to her for years – she actually was "voting with her dollars." As we ventured into the mall, looking for the items on our list, I saw the future of the movement in full force and effect. She was quizzing the clerks with questions about the source of the material used in the items we were buying, checking the labels to see where the goods were made, and asking about excess packaging and generally being a real "thorn" to the folks that worked in the stores we visited.
What I saw from the various clerks and managers that she interrogated was a look of fear, and often they got mad at her when she wouldn't take the "easy" answer and kept asking and probing. They really didn't know what to make of this young girl, who I'm sure in their eyes was somewhere between rude and a terrorist. The fact is, if things are going to change, if this movement is going to go beyond cocktail party talk – this is what needs to happen. What better place to start than with the economically powerful and environmentally aware teenager – they are my hope for this movement!
Teens today are reducing, reusing and recycling, and they are spending their allowances to support global ecology efforts and to buy eco-friendly products. Teenagers of this generation have grown up in an era where global warming is an accepted fact and saving the planet is a necessity, not a luxury. Because of these values, more and more teens are willing to step up and do something about helping the environment.
There are many ways you can support a teen's efforts to help the environment. You can purchase eco-friendly cleaning products, encourage family members to save energy in your home, and support green businesses. You can also help by learning about what some current environmental issues are. Knowing the latest information on global warming, what it means to live sustainably, and how to pitch in for the planet are efforts that will long be appreciated by green teens.•
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