Most kids would rather be out enjoying nature than thinking about the impact they’re having on it, but it’s not hard to get them on board with protecting the forests and streams that they love to play in, especially considering they don’t have to drastically change their lifestyle in order to do so. And for kids that find themselves spending a portion of their break toiling away in summer school it’s not too difficult to come up with ways to help ensure that the green meadows and sunny skies of childhood are right there waiting for them when they get out of class. So here are just a few ways that children and teens can go green, even while suffering through summer school.
- Go paperless. Using recycled paper is great, but foregoing the products responsible for deforestation is even better. So students that are looking for ways to stay green during summer school should talk to their teachers about the possibility of using a laptop or tablet in class to take notes (and potentially even tests), as well as turning in assignments via electronic means. Nearly every task done in the classroom (or outside of class) can now be completed via computer, drastically reducing a student’s reliance on paper products.
- Ride a bike. This will not present much of a challenge for most kids, unless they’re used to being driven everywhere or they’ve recently obtained a license and a cool set of wheels (four wheels attached to a car, to be precise). However, riding a bike will deliver both a great form of exercise and fewer greenhouse gas emissions, killing two birds with one stone. And if your teen insists on driving once he’s gotten a license, consider alternative fuel, electric, and hybrid vehicles when it comes time to choose his first car.
- Pack lunch. Lunch boxes may be old-school, but they’re still better for the environment than packing lunch in a disposable sack or eating out every day. And it’s not like older kids are stuck with metal or plastic boxes festooned with cartoon characters; there are now all kinds of options for modern lunch totes that include plenty of zippered pockets and materials that will keep the contents cool. Stackable bento boxes are also a neat option.
- Conserve on campus. Although most campuses have yet to feature CFLs, low-flow toilets, or aerated faucets that would allow for energy and water conservation, there are ways that green-minded students can conserve. With the sun bright in the sky, they may inquire about turning off classroom lights and using natural lighting instead, or even holding class outdoors. And they can definitely turn the faucets off themselves while they’re sudsing up their hands.
- Engage in outreach. Your kids may not have undergone cert 4 training and assessment to teach others, but that doesn’t mean they can’t share their eco-friendly attitude with classmates and maybe even get a few of their peers on board with cutting their carbon footprint. Spreading awareness is a great way to get proactive and expand the green movement, so kids that are serious about saving the Earth can take every opportunity to get their message out there, including during summer school.