Outdoor activities with a healthy dose of curiosity, brought to you by Laure Latham
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When choosing Earth Day activities for teens or tweens, Earth Day hand prints are not going to cut it with the too-cool-for-school crowd. Teens and tweens embrace Earth Day and they’re very passionate about the environment, but they don’t do scented playdough anymore. Whatever they do, they want results and they need to believe in a cause. These 8 Earth Day activities for teens show the thoughtful, cool or quirky side of young adults that they will become. In fact, teens and tweens might be inspired to create their own activity based on these suggestions and if they did, that would be the best thing ever. Nobody fights better than for their own project. Let teens and tweens get involved for our planet!
Ride your bike to school for Earth Day. Don’t have a bike? Borrow one from a family friend. See if your city offers bike-lending programs. Trade an hour of garden work or tech help with your neighbor to use their bicycle for a day.
If all fails, you still walk to school and that’s cool too. Use Google Maps to find the best walking route and ask local school kids to join you so that you’re not by yourself. Make a fun event out of it. If you never walk to school, you might discover some neat places along the way.
Hollywood stars and Teen Awards personalities are great role models and you would be surprised at how many celebrities get involved for Earth Day. From planting trees to campaigning for the environment, many of them will do something for Planet Earth and will share what they’re doing on social media. Whether you’re following celebs on Instagram, Pinterest, SnapChat, twitter or elsewhere, use the following hashtags to find out and get inspired:
Let’s assume that teens have drawers full of tee shorts because that’s probably true. What can you do with an old tee shirt? An old pair of jeans? Of course, old clothes can be donated to charity shops and thrift stores instead of ending up in a landfill. However with minimal effort, they can also be turned into cool new items for your wardrobe.
You can check these 15 DIY upcycling projects or watch how to turn a tee into a tote bag.
For boys, check out these upcycling ideas for boy scouts.
This is an easy Earth Day activity for teens that doesn’t require special equipment, only a moral commitment. A few years ago, I pledged not to buy bottled water again. I bought re-usable water bottles and have been (very mostly) good to my pledge up til now. If you don’t already know about it, plastic is one of the worst threats to the environment and one that we have the ability to control.
You too can take a pledge against plastic and pledge to say NO to plastic bottles, plastic bags and plastic straws. You can
The sun is shining and your friends are home. Forget your screens, forget your phones. Unplug! Get together for an afternoon outside and breathe some fresh air. You can go for a walk, ride your bikes, go skateboarding or if you live by the water, go surfing or kayaking. There are tons of free activities outside and lucky for Earth Day, most don’t involve the use of a screen. Have fun!
Earth Day activities also include big rallyes, workshops, concerts and events that are free to attend for everybody. Grab your friends and pick an Earth Day event near you. Can’t find anything? You can create your own Earth Day event, such as a nature clean-up, on the Earth Day website.
Do you receive school assignments printed on one-sided paper? Do your class mates write their homework or notes only on one side of paper? Have you seen other teens doodling on a small corner of a piece of paper before crumbling it? If people are missing out on using school resources better, you can do something about it. You can start a petition on change.org and share it at school. If you are unsure how to go about sharing, enlist the help of your teachers. Teachers love projects, particularly if they’re good for the environment.
Do you have a science teacher who’s really cool? maybe another teacher? The Earth Day website has a full page of Earth Day educational lessons with K – 12 students. You’re bound to find something you will enjoy. There’s even an interactive Climate Change downloadable itextbook with a lot more resources.
Last but not least…
Earth Day is on April 22. Save the date.