What small things can kids do to help save the planet?
We all know Greta Thunberg suffered eco-anxiety. She took action by protesting. It was a small action (at the beginning) but it made her feel better to do something.
There is good research that shows people to need to feel empowered. Without that they lose hope and meaning in their existence.
Parents do well to provide choices to their children. Young children are pretty simple in this regard. You can give them a choice of the purple or green sox rather than a choice about whether to wear sox. They generally don't even notice.
However, parenting teens is more challenging. Especially if they are concerned about their future. What are some things teens can do to make a difference to help save the planet ?
1. Buy a used car
Don't buy a new car. An average new car is driven for 11 years. That's 11 years of depreciation, 11 years of energy wasted to make the car, and then 11 years of energy to dispose of the car.
2. Buy a used house
Don't buy a new house. Houses are made out of trees that took 50-100 years to grow. It takes a lot of energy to make them and then it takes more energy to build them. And they are not even as sturdy as an old tree that has been growing for centuries.
3. Eat less meat
The amount of land needed to grow grain or corn to feed cattle is much larger than if you just ate the cattle directly (or even chicken). The cows have to be fed by other cows and so on back through time until you get down to plants. It takes up more space, more transportation, and more energy. And all that extra energy is going into your body which makes you feel really good about yourself but also makes you feel really bad about yourself because you know all that extra energy is going into your body which is ultimately just going into the ground when you die anyway (at least I think this is true).
4. Walk or bike instead of taking an Uber or Lyft or taxi
If you take an Uber or Lyft twice per week for one year it will add 3 metric tons (6,613 lbs) of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. If everyone did this every day it would be like adding another country the size of Australia into the world's greenhouse gas production.
5. If possible, live closer to where you work and play
Live closer to work so you can walk or bike if possible (and safe) instead of taking public transportation or an Uber/Lyft/taxi.