Green Teen Week

Now that school’s out for summer, green teens can focus more on their eco-friendly deeds. With that in mind, this week’s tips are geared toward youngsters.

Tip #1: Gadgets Galore

Most teens love having the latest gizmos, so if it’s absolutely necessary to buy a new iPod, camera, or cell phone, consider environmentally preferable options and products that contain fewer toxic elements, are energy-efficient, or use recycled materials to encourage manufacturers to design green. As for the stuff you’re replacing, be sure to donate or recycle it. Used computers that still work can be given to families or schools that couldn’t otherwise afford them, which would also prevent more e-waste from heading to the landfill.

Tip #2: Walk the Wild Side

Teen years are often a time of bold experimentation – but you can change your appearance without changing how you treat the environment. If you like to match your hair color to the season, consider dyes that use natural, organic ingredients, such as Ecocolors (but remember that any permanent hair dye contains trace amounts of toxins).

As for tattoos, the inks haven’t been FDA-approved, but some artists use vegan pigments free of harmful chemicals. Health concerns considered, you’re better off with body piercings – but buy your new hoops and studs from organic, eco-friendly jewelers such as OneTribe.

Tip #3: Listen Up!

Summer concerts and music festivals attract thousands of teens, but those large crowds leave a big footprint. Still want to rock on but without the eco-damage? Check out some of the big-time summer festivals – Lollapalooza, High Sierra, Bumbershoot – that incorporate green initiatives. Many artists, Maroon 5 and Jack Johnson among them, offset their tours’ carbon emissions and plan for backstage recycling and compostable food ware. Here are some verdant ideas for your eco-playlist.

Tip #4: Set a Trend
Teenagers are always looking to sport the latest designer duds, but fashion trends are often short-lived. Instead of throwing away old clothes or burying them in the back of your closet, check out some of these clothes-swap sites and get involved.

Just got to buy something new? Opt for greener garb – GreenLoop is a site that pulls together hundreds of environment-conscious brands that use sustainable materials and are committed to low-impact production.

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