4/21 UPDATE: The chat was delightful. The kids had so many interesting questions, I was only sorry I couldn’t get to them all. Here are a couple of pictures sent to me of some of my correspondents.
In a few minutes, I’ll be having an online chat with students participating in GoNorth, an online adventure learning curriculum from the University of Minnesota.
I’m looking forward to this and would like to offer them a few tips for things they can do to live more sustainably — and also invite them to comment, ask more questions and talk about things they’re already doing to help make the planet healthier.
These steps are all things that kids and teens can do themselves without necessarily having to get their parents on board first:
- Unplug your chargers for cellphones, iPods, etc. when you’re not using them. Even when they’re not powering anything, they waste energy.
WHY: To help curb global warming.
- Drink less bottled water. If you want to carry water around with you, get a stainless steel bottle and fill it up at home from the tap. (Stainless steel water bottles are available from Klean Kanteen and New Wave Enviro, among other companies).
WHY: To keep plastic bottles from polluting the sea and endangering wildlife. The reason to get reusable bottles made of stainless steel instead of durable plastic or aluminum is to keeping potentially harmful chemicals out of your body.
- Eat less meat and fewer animal products, such as milk and eggs.
WHY: Many reasons — to help curb global warming (yes! the livestock industry contributes more to global warming than transportation), keep waterways clean, waste less water and land and be kinder to animals.
- Use fewer — and safer — personal care products. By that I mean, hair products, deoderant, cosmetics, moisturizers and the like. Use the Skin Deep website to find out which brands are safest.
WHY: To keep yourself safe from the many untested and potentially dangerous chemicals in these products, which could affect your health.