Being a BFF to the environment isn’t always about rallying for big global changes. You can tweak simple things in your day-to-day drill to help save the environment. Get with the green routine!

Good Morning, Sunshine!

- When you wake up, don’t reach for the light switch. Let the sunlight in.

- Don’t linger in the shower. Cutting just two minutes saves gallons of water, plus the fuel it takes to heat the H2O.

- Don’t scrimp on brushing your teeth, but shut the water off while you’re doing it.

- Is your school close (and safe) enough to bike or walk there? Good exercise and kind to the planet.

The Lunch Bunch

- After your lunch is perfectly prepped, put it in an eco-friendly reusable bag.

- While you’re at it, ditch the sandwich baggies. They don’t biodegrade, so try a plastic container you can use again and again.

- Toss used cans or bottles into a recycling bin. No recycling program in your school? Make it happen!

After-school Cool

- Homework? Use scrap paper when possible before you recycle it. It’s perfect for working out math probs or printing your history rough draft on the unused side.

- When your computer is at rest, nix the screensaver, which is an energy waster.

- No. 1 rule? If you’re aren’t using it, shut it off. Do you really need three lights on and the TV as background noise?

What’s for Dinner?

- Go veggie once week. Turns out, the meat-producing process is tough on the environment.

- Switch to cloth napkins -- classy.

- Don’t run the dishwasher unless it’s full. If yours has an energy-saver mode, use it.

- You do dishes the old-fashioned way? Don’t leave the water running while you’re washin’. Fill the basin, scrub away the ick, then rinse.

Into the Night

- If you like to read before bed, use a fluorescent bulb. It lasts 10 times longer than a regular bulb and uses 65 percent less energy.

- Shut off your computer, TV and radio. Better yet, unplug all electronics. Standby mode uses up lots of unnecessary energy.

- Layer up so you can turn down the heat. Lights out!


Available at

Were You Born on the Wrong Continent?: How the European Model Can Help You Get a Life

The Disappearing Center: Engaged Citizens, Polarization, and American Democracy

The Virtues of Mendacity: On Lying in Politics

Bush on the Home Front: Domestic Policy Triumphs and Setbacks

The Political Fix: Changing the Game of American Democracy, from the Grassroots to the White House






How to Be the Best Green Teen