Cool Green Ideas for Teens

March 15, 2009 by  
Filed under Students & Teens Go Green

Most teens have been taught in school and by their parents about the dangers to our planet of irresponsible living. Green living might be more second nature to them than to any generation preceding them. They are entering new arenas of independence and responsibility and if we’ve taught them well we can trust them to make wise choices.

There are many opportunities for today’s teens to make green choices in their everyday living. Even though it seems as though consumerism has had the biggest impact on our teen, as most are plugged in and wired up with every latest gadget out there, this also has made them world savvy, and positioned to make a difference. All we need to do as parents is support them as the next generation to step up and protect the environment for the generations to come.

Share some of these ideas with your teen and encourage them to make a difference:


When purchasing school supplies with your teen, find eco-friendly products such as post consumer recycled content paper or stainless steel scissors. You can buy them a solar backpack that gives them the ability to charge their portable devices such as cell phones with energy from the sun. For school lunches, consider purchasing a Laptop Lunchbox system, which provides reusable items for packing a lunch while minimizing disposable waste.

If your teen is a natural leader, encourage them to be the one that starts a recycling program at school or a volunteer day to clean up school grounds. They can also plan with their classmates to do something special at school for Earth Day, such as sponsoring a school-wide showing of An Inconvenient Truth, the popular documentary about global climate crisis.

When it’s time to start researching colleges, pay special attention to those with green philosophies. If they are so inclined, encourage your teens to pursue a career path that is eco-friendly. Conservation biology, environmental science, ecology, environmental engineering, and organic agriculture are all fast-growing, influential fields.


Most teens will be happy to know that iPods are good for the environment. It is a great, portable way for them to listen to their favorite tunes without having to burn or purchase CDs. Encourage them to research eco-friendly bands and support them. Also, make it a house rule to turn off all electronics and lights when finished with them.

Tell your teens about environmental documentaries or movies such as King Corn or The 11th Hour. Encourage them to go see them with their friends, and maybe even write a review to submit to the school newspaper.

Personal Items

Believe it or not, it can be cool to wear vintage clothing. Take your teens to second hand or thrift stores to see if they can find something they like. If only new will do, purchase clothing for them made from organic fibers such as organic hemp, wool, cotton, or bamboo. T-shirts with environmental slogans are fun too. Shampoos, lotions, make-up, and toiletries all come in natural and organic varieties that your teen might like.

Any of these ideas are great ways for teens to add green habits to their busy lifestyle. They can feel good making a difference, and carry these habits with them into adulthood.