Reducing Your Ecological Footprint as a Teenager


Lizzie Graff, Reporter

Reducing your ecological footprint can be extremely difficult, especially when you are a teenager still living with your parents. In this article, you will see several practical and achievable steps to help the environment when you don’t have complete control over your living circumstances.

Mr. Mcqueen, the environmental systems teacher at John Adams HIgh School, helps to develop a way in which you can reduce your negative effects on the environment throughout your daily routine. 

When waking up and getting ready for school, you can reduce the amount of water you use in the shower and to brush your teeth or wash your face. You can also use ethical cosmetics. When it comes to the products you use in the shower, here is a link attached to several products to replace your normal products here. It is also best to use less essential beauty products in the morning, so here is an attached list of sustainable cosmetic products here.

Next, when you eat your first meal in the morning, there are more ways to help reduce your ecological footprint. . Reduce your meat intake with every opportunity you are given. Not only is meat bad for you in excess, it is also terrible for the environment. Meat production and intake releases several harmful gases into the environment including methane, CO2, and nitrous oxide. These gases contribute to climate change and global warming. Also, you can buy the food you use for breakfast locally. A great example of a local grocery store with delicious food is the Purple Porch Co-op or the South Bend Farmer’s Market. Buying locally reduces the transportation that would be caused by buying from afar. Therefore, it reduces harmful emissions into the environment.

When you decide to leave for school, do your best to either bike or walk. If you live too far, or if this is too large of a change for you, you can carpool with other students on their way there. While you’re in school, your impact on the environment can still be improved. Using your electronic devices less can actually help the environment because electricity actually generates the emissions of greenhouse gases and other air pollutants. When eating lunch, bringing food from home will help to reduce waste. Make sure you bring reusable containers. Not only does this help the environment, it can help with your overall health as well as extend your options for meals. 

In order to continue your green lifestyle post-school, you can join clubs that involve the environment. Adams, for example, has a club called Eagles Go Green that collects the recycling in the school every Wednesday. When it comes to socializing after school, opt for a walk to the park or a bike ride, as opposed to a drive around the city. Make dinner together as opposed to getting fast food with a lot of plastic waste. 

Ultimately, you can help reduce your negative impacts on the environment through your everyday life. From changing how you shower in the morning to making adjustments to your lunch at school to finding new ways to hang out with friends, these are minor changes you can make that will make a big difference to the environment.