Tree hugger, nature freak, eco geek and the ever popular hippy are names you may have heard for people who want to conserve the earth’s resources. During the 1980s and 1990s when the economy was booming in America, being a hippy went out of style. But like many things, being a hippy is cool again. Conserving the earth’s resources is good for the environment and promotes better health in humans.
Relate to your inner hippy and find ways around your house to conserve energy and maybe even help your parents save some money. No bell bottom jeans or pocket protectors required. But a t-shirt with the recycle triangle might be a great super hero costume to wear while you conserve energy at your house.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Turn off the lights when you leave the room (if no one else is in the room – this is not an excuse to bug your sister by turning off her bedroom light while she is doing homework)
- Close the door behind you when you come into or leave the house (keep the temperature in the house constant to save electricity)
- Ask your parents to buy a water filter for the kitchen sink and stop buying bottled water (it takes energy to make all those bottles and they will sit in landfills for thousands of years before they decompose)
- Sit four containers beside your trash can and start recycling glass, paper, plastic and aluminum. Most towns have a recycle center where you can turn in the items. You may also find a salvage yard that will pay you for the aluminum.
- Turn the water off while you are brushing your teeth until you need to rinse
- Ask your parents to buy a battery charger and rechargeable batteries for all your game systems. This will cut down on the battery acid that gets dumped in the landfills that cause water damage. It will also save Mom and Dad a lot of money over the years.
- If your parents drink coffee or tea, start saving the used grinds and tea leaves as natural fertilizer for your mom’s flower garden. She will be very pleased with roses more red than any she has grown before.
It usually takes less energy to make something from recycled items than it does to make it from new materials. For example, using recycled aluminum to make aluminum cans uses 95% less energy than making the cans from raw material. This helps the earth in two ways – it cuts down on the waste in landfills and it consumes less energy to restock the soda shelves at the grocery store.
If you are a true hippy or tree hugger, go to www.eia.doe.gov/kids/energy for more ideas on conserving energy.
If your family has some cool ways of conserving natural resources, leave a comment or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.