Your teen might be one of the many who has sleepless nights worrying about environmental issues. Lots of teens are in tune with various world issues, and one that stands out above all others is the state of the environment.
It doesn’t really matter where you are coming from with regard to global warming. It’s important that you should offer your teen support no matter what it is that they are passionate about. In this short article, we are going to discuss reducing your teen’s anxiety and helping them to feel that they are making a valuable contribution towards improving the environment.
One of the biggest issues for many teens today is the amount of waste we generate. We have a tendency to use lots of single-use items, things like paper towels, plastic bottles, and food wrappers. You can help your teen to reduce his or her carbon footprint by changing over to items that can be reused or that come from sustainable sources. Take Hydro-flasks, for example.
The Hydro-flask craze is currently trending like crazy. It was started in 2009 by a couple in Bend, Oregon, who were fed-up with drinking lukewarm water. They took action by borrowing the double-wall vacuum insulation technology that Thermos developed in 1904 and used it to make trendy bottles for people who enjoy an active, joyful, life on the move.
It’s a trend that many teens have quickly fallen into line with as it saves constantly refilling used plastic bottles to carry your water around in. Not only does it potentially save the build-up pf plastic in our oceans, but it means you can enjoy cool water wherever you go.
There are plenty of other things you can do to join the reusable brigade. You can, for example, start using reusable bags from the supermarket. Why not use reusable containers to store leftovers in the fridge. And what about composting peelings etc. leftover from preparing vegetables?
All of these things will indicate to your teen that you really do care about his or her interest. It will reduce your teen’s anxiety and help them to feel that they and the rest of the family are making a valuable contribution; a contribution which not only benefits your family but others around you too.
Offer your teen support in starting a club
While getting into the habit of reusing and recycling in the home will help, if your teen really wants to develop his or her eco-warrior credentials, why not step up and show him or her ways that they can take action and raise awareness in the community?
One excellent thing to do in order to spread the message is to start a local club that focuses on issues such as climate change, pollution, and waste. Not only will it help to make your teen feel he or she is being more proactive, but it will also see them surrounded by like-minded people who share his or her goals.
When people with similar focuses get-together, there will be lots of dialogue and suggestions, and they are likely to come up with various ways they can help to improve the environment.
There is another benefit, too, for you as a parent. By getting your teen actively involved with green issues, it’s a way of taking any negativity and turning it into positive action, which will not only help them to feel involved but will also help to reduce the chances of them getting involved in risky behaviors.
Track down local activist groups
Getting your team to start up a club is one way of expressing his or her eco-warrior intentions, but you can also take a look around your local community and see if there are any other environmental action groups making a contribution.
By backing your teen joining such a group, he or she will discover new ways of tackling environmental problems that need resolving. There are many such groups around who focus on things like trying to influence local governments and getting businesses to adopt more eco-friendly practices. It’s a great way of getting your teen involved with politics and understanding how this can make a difference to the local community.
This can be really helpful to your teen. It’s not always easy to come up with effective solutions on your own. But when you are part of an activist group, they can focus on many ways of trying to improve things. Even if the group doesn’t have a lot of material success, at least your teen will be happy in the knowledge that he or she is doing something positive to try and bring about change.
Looking to the future
Doing things on a part-time basis is all well and good. Every little bit helps as they say. But it may also be worth considering chatting to your teen about exploring a career path that means they could get involved professionally one day.
Your teen may not yet have completed his or her education. But getting involved in things like environmental studies that are taking place in colleges all over the US could well set your teen on the right path. You can talk about the various branches of industry and commerce that all have a bearing on sustainability – biology, energy, marketing, and of course, politics.
Making your teen aware of such career opportunities could really motivate him or her, and it will help to show them that you take their passions seriously and are trying to see that they are realized. It’s a great way to inspire your teen and to reinforce any inspiration you can introduce them to some inspirational quotes for teens.
Creating a sense of purpose in your teen
Supporting your teen in his or her environmental aspirations will help them to feel more credible about their eco-warrior potential. It will give him or her the confidence in the knowledge that he or she can make a real difference.
All parents desire to see that their teens have a real sense of purpose, especially when it’s one that is so beneficial to humankind.
Even if you’re not a “greenie” yourself, helping your teen to contribute to environmental issues, can you reduce their stress and make them happier and more productive people.
Andy Earle is a researcher who studies parent-teen communication and adolescent risk behaviors. He is the co-founder of talkingtoteens.com, ghostwriter at WriteItGreat.com, and host of the Talking to Teens podcast, a free weekly talk show for parents of teenagers.