Recycling Ideas that Work for Teens

So you recycle, right? (We hope so!)

But are you making the largest impact you can?

We’re huge fans of the Green Youth Movement, a group founded by a teen who agrees that youth like us can make a difference for the future of our environment. They have some awesome ideas for making sure we’re making the most positive impact through reducing, reusing and recycling. The following are some of the tips I’ll be following myself this year:

Buy products with less packaging. This one is tough, because I usually think more about the product than the packaging. But the more materials are used in packaging, the more energy has been used to produce it. Even if the packaging is recyclable, it’s better to use less (remember that “reduce” part?).

Use less AC and heat. I like to be comfy, but it’s critical that we reduce our energy consumption to help our planet. Throw on a hoodie instead of cranking up the heat, or drink a glass of ice water to cool down rather than using more air conditioning.

Choose “washable” over “disposable”. Forego paper plates for reusable ones, replace paper towels with cloth napkins, and use a travel mug for coffee and tea rather than disposable cups. These small everyday actions will reduce the amount of materials we add to landfills.

Recycle electronics, too. Paper and plastics aren’t the only items we can recycle. Find an electronics recycling day in your hometown, or see if you can donate your unused phones and other electronics to a local charity organization.

Plant a tree. This action is both fun and rewarding: trees help clean our air and they’re beautiful, too. You can do this action on your own, with friends or through an organization like Trees Atlanta.

For more tips, check out GYM’s recommendations here.

How do you reduce, reuse and recycle?

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