Youth Actions for Greater Sustainability

by Brianna Yeung 

The climate is changing everyday and there’s only so few things that citizens can do about it. This goes for teens as well. 

Teens spread awareness by communicating. They use posts from social media or talk about the horrible impacts we are having on our environment. They try to use influence to get people to make a tiny change in their lives to aid in saving the environment. Examples include using fewer plastic straws, and walking more instead of using a car when it comes to nearby places. 

Another approach is to not use too much paper, or to print less. Teachers often still ask for assignments to be handed in physically – to literally have them in their hands- but when that happens, remember to print double sided to conserve paper.  If you have the option to hand it in online, take it! It saves lots of paper and ink. 

Submitting homework online helps save paper. Image: Annie Spratt via Unsplash

Everyone uses electricity and it can be easily wasted day by day. Whether it be shutting off the TV or shutting off the lights when it’s not needed, it can all save electricity and your parents money. Saving water is also important. People use water for many things. Like cooking, watering our gardens, and taking a shower. In an effort to save water, try to take shorter showers and turn off the water when you’re brushing your teeth. Or when you’re washing dishes, fill a pot with hot water and use soap. This way you won’t need the tap water on constantly. 

Because many people use many supplies that require plastic such as pens and mechanical pencils, everyone should do our best to take care of it. Instead of leaving them on the floor or taking them apart to the point it’s no longer useful, people should be using them to the full extent. The more teenagers waste and play around with them, the more plastic that will be wasted. 

In school environments, people can forget to pick up their trash. Some also simply leave it  due to laziness! If you see this happen, you can remind someone to pick it up. The other option could be to go with your friends and pick up the garbage that you see in your school area. 

Screen Shot 2020-04-15 at 4.38.33 PM

Just like everyone else, teenagers love shopping. But it’s forgotten that stores provide plastic bags for customers to carry their purchases. When going out, be sure to bring a reusable bag so that less plastic bags can be used. Teenagers can also remind their parents to bring reusable bags when they make errands. 

Another thing teens like to do is to shop for clothes. Instead of purchasing brand new clothes, teens can sell clothing items that they don’t need to other people. The other option would be going to Value Village and donating items that you don’t need or want. 

Even when teenagers can’t do many things, they can still help by taking charge of the tiny actions they make each day. Even the small changes can have a big impact.

Brianna Yeung is a high school student in Ottawa who enjoys writing, playing the cello, and math. This is her first submission to PERC.

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