1. Join your favorite eco-organization, such as the Sierra Club, The Natural Resource Defense Council, or the Humane Society to support their efforts and stay informed about their latest campaigns.
  2. Give back to the planet by donating time or money to a charity that helps to protect the environment. Sponsor a local eco-club or check out the Charity Navigator or Idealist to find a green campaign that interests you.
  3. Get involved in the green issues that affect your family, your community and your planet. Organize a park clean-up or a recycling event or write a letter to your local paper that highlights the importance of a particular environmental issue.
  4. Want to land a green job? Talk to experts in your field and think about how you can use your passions, talents, interests and experiences to save the planet.
  5. Eat less meat. It takes lots of energy, water, chemicals and grain to make a burger. Even if you don’t want to go completely veggie, try eating a few meat-free meals each week.
  6. Talk to your school about starting a “giveaway” table where kids can share their untouched, leftover food, (such as whole fruit, packaged snacks and unopened drinks) rather than toss it.
  7. Need to raise some funds for your school or club? Keep it green by selling eco-friendly products, hosting a green event, or collecting pledges for green tasks like planting trees.
  8. At the end of the school year, sell or donate your extra school supplies, equipment and books to reduce the clutter in your home and maybe add a little green to your wallet.
  9. Join forces with other eco-teens to form a Green Team for your school that evaluates eco-programs and looks for ways to improve them. Your Green Team can initiate a school recycling program, teach eco-classes or lobby the school board to replace existing light bulbs with energy-saving CFLs.
  10. Does your school use a bucket-load of chemical cleaners to clean and disinfect classrooms? If so, ask them to make a switch to eco-friendly cleaners that are better for the environment and nontoxic for the students, teachers and staff at the school.
  11. Instead of tossing your old books, sports equipment and art supplies, host a swap meet where students can drop off stuff they don’t want or need and pick up stuff they do. Leftover materials can be donated to a needy organization such as a library, a homeless shelter, hospital or a children’s museum.
  12. Talk to your teachers about starting a class tree planting project. The trees can help reduce the school’s energy costs and provide a more appealing place for students to hang out.
12 eco-tips for teens
A dozen eco-savvy ways to go green this summer.