Tips for Teens – Every Day is Earth Day

Earth DayLike most people, I like this planet. It gives me fresh air to breathe, water to drink, and many other resources to live on, all of which we often take for granted. Although Elon Musk is still trying to figure out exactly how we’re going to colonize other planets, we only have one that we can call home for now. I want this planet to live a long and fulfilling life, but several human influences have changed its future potential dramatically. Below, you’ll find some tips to minimize your impact on the planet and make it greener every day!

Think reusable and compostable: Stainless Steel Safety Razor vs Bamboo Safety Razor

An easy way to keep the planet green is to stop using single-use plastic items and use reusable items instead (I’ll use razors as an example). You might begin shopping for a reusable razor and you’re faced with a lot of different options all of which seem eco-friendly since the blade is the only thing you replace. However, how eco-friendly is the razor itself? If it’s made out of plastic or rubber, than it’s not too eco-friendly. If it’s made from aluminum or stainless steel, then you’re on the right track. However, if it’s made from something biodegradable, say bamboo, then BINGO! You’re being a friend to the planet! When the time comes to replace the razor, just toss it into the compost and use it in the garden. No more landfills!

Repurpose, not recycle: Snapple into Water Bottle

Most people know that buying plastic, single-use water bottles is a huge waste of money. The water goes through the same purification process as tap water but it is sold to you at a much higher price markup. Not to mention “only about 25% of the plastic produced in the U.S. is recycled 1“; the rest ends up in landfills and in the oceans. So, what’s the solution to portable water? NOT plastic reusable water bottles! In some ways, reusable plastic water bottles could be worse for the planet. They typically use more plastic to reinforce the bottle, making it basically impossible for it to break down in a landfill or the ocean. Some may also contain BPA which is harmful for your health. The real solution is an aluminum or glass bottle. If you want to go the extra mile, you can even reuse a glass Snapple bottle from your lunch as a water bottle. This way, you enjoy your drink and you have a bottle without using more resources.

Less is more: Packaging

Last month, I talked about nut trays that I used to purchase from Costco. Guess what they were packaged in? Plastic. The second reason why I switched to buying nuts in bulk was to avoid the plastic. If you can find more ways to cut down on your plastic usage, I encourage you to go that route!

Think Recycled!

Recycled paper, recycled pencils made from newspaper, recycled shopping bags made from denim jeans. These are just some examples of recycled items you can use instead of using more resources by purchasing new items. I encourage you to search online for recycled products (like the recycled pencils made from newspaper) since most of these items aren’t available in big box stores.

These are just a few ways to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle; I didn’t even start talk about buying less stuff. There are definitely more ways you can help the environment but these are just some of the things I do. Head on over to Google and search for other ways to help out for more creative suggestions.

Luis Dominguez
Student Social Media Intern
1st Nor Cal Credit Union