Scientists have estimated that we may have as little as 12 years left to reverse the course of climate change, making it imperative that we all do our part to save the planet. The good news is, you do not have to wait to be an adult to start doing your part. Here are six things high school students can do to help reduce climate change.
1. Get Involved
Seek out local organizations dedicated to solving climate change or join one of the national efforts, such as the U.S. Youth Climate Strike. There are many ways you can be involved, such as protesting, fundraising, donating, awareness campaigns, posting on social media, writing to your state and local representatives and recruiting your friends. If you are approaching voting age, be sure to educate yourself about the climate change related positions of the state, local and federal officials you will be voting for.
2. Choose Renewable Energy and Encourage Adults To Do the Same
Gas-powered vehicles are one of the top sources of carbon emissions in the United States. If you are old enough to drive, choose a fuel-efficient vehicle, or better yet, an electric vehicle. Encourage your friends, parents and teachers to also choose eco-friendly cars. Another major source of carbon emissions and greenhouse gases are utility plants that run on coal or natural gas. Ask your parents and school administrators to consider switching to Boston solar instead of using fossil fuels to power their homes, school buildings and offices.
3. Vote With Your Wallet
People who sell products are hungry to convince teens to become loyal customers. You can encourage them to be better corporate citizens by only purchasing products and services from companies that have committed to green practices. Most companies are more than happy to brag about their green initiatives if they have any, so doing a bit of online research before you buy should help you figure out where to spend your money. When you shop local, ask about what business owners are doing to combat climate change and encourage them to do more.
4. Waste Less Water
The production of clean, usable, running water uses a lot of energy. You can reduce the amount of energy required to provide you with water, by using less water. Take shorter showers and turn the water off while you are soaping up. Do not leave the water running while you are brushing your teeth. If you own a car, wash it less and use car washes that conserve water. Encourage the adults in your life to purchase water-efficient appliances. If your family waters the lawn, try setting up a rain barrel and using that water, instead of using the garden hose.
5. Switch to LED Bulbs
LED bulbs can last 25 times as long and use 75% less energy than other types of bulbs. It is estimated that switching to LED bulbs could save as much as the output of 44 large power plants in the United States over the next 10 years. Switching over the bulbs in the lights in your room is an inexpensive way to save energy. Encouraging your parents and school to also make the switch can have an even bigger impact.
6. Be Conscious of Unnecessary Energy Use
How often do you leave the lights or the TV on in an empty room? Is your phone charger plugged into the wall, even when you are not using it? Your parents have probably nagged you about not wasting electricity because it runs up the electric bill, but wasting electricity is also bad for the environment. You can have a positive impact by turning off electronics and lights when you are not using them. You can conserve a bit more power by unplugging electronics when not in use.
The problem of climate change may seem scary and too large and complex to combat. However, there are things you can do right now to help reverse climate change before it is too late.