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Raising My (Almost) Teen to Be Green

Posted By Leslie Garrett On May 21, 2010 @ 12:01 pm In Family Health, Green Living, Healthy Eating | 5 Comments

Teen Going Green [1]My daughter loves anything that comes individually wrapped. She adores new clothes. She’s mad about electronics. And has never met a nail polish she doesn’t crave.

She takes 40-minute showers [2]. Hot.

She groans at the prospect of riding her bike [3] to school. Begs to go to the mall with her friends.

And she just can’t see the point in taking her lunch in a reusable container [4] when — duh! — someone invented plastic bags that zip.

Is it possible, I wonder in my more optimistic moments, to green [5] my (almost) teen?

The first decade of her life was spent, mostly, outdoors, ingesting organic [6] food and propelling herself via her own two feet.

She listened intently when I explained why she couldn’t use the body wash she received as a gift, though the notion of “hormone-disrupting chemicals” might have been baffling. She was enthusiastic at climate-change rallies. A dedicated tree-planter [7]. A hard-working canvasser for eco-minded charities.

The green generation gap

But … that was then. Those halcyon days when I was the reigning queen of green, and she my dutiful princess. Now, there seems to be a coup abrew. Led by someone wearing headphones and a Justin Bieber tee.

These days, my speaking engagements on environmental issues are proclaimed “bo-ring.” My meals, homemade from farm-fresh ingredients [8], are frequently “disgusting.”

My preferred mode of transport, my tandem bike with 7-year-old little sis perched on the seat, inspires her to pedal madly to ensure she’s geographically removed enough to deny association.

But though I may be wearing lime-colored glasses, I occasionally glimpse green in my (almost) teen.

While she insists on taking the lunch she makes herself to school in Ziplocs, she brings them home so I can wash them for reuse. Sure she trades her homemade organic hummus for Cheetos, but at least someone’s kid is eating well.

She reads ingredient labels on personal care products [9] with the curiosity and knowledge of a bio-chemistry student.

She refuses to eat fast food [10], citing mostly animal rights issues.

And though she insists she won’t wear “someone else’s clothes,” she nonetheless shops consignment with me … and often picks out one or two items that don’t look “used.”

So, though her shade might not be the same green as mine, it’s in the same family.

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URL to article: http://blog.gaiam.com/raising-my-almost-teen-to-be-green/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://blog.gaiam.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/GreenTeen.jpg

[2] showers: http://www.gaiam.com/product/the+oxynator.do?SID=WG107SPRTAPEMACS

[3] riding her bike: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/5-EcoFriendly-Kids-Activities.html

[4] reusable container: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/5-Eco-Friendly-Ways-to-Pack-a-Lunch.html

[5] green: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/id/CAT00004

[6] organic: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/Organic.html

[7] tree-planter: http://www.gaiam.com/product/go-zero-plant-a-tree-carbon-offsetting.do?SID=WG107SPRTAPEMACS

[8] farm-fresh ingredients: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/Experts-Say-Eat-Local-for-Health-Planet-and-Wallet.html

[9] personal care products: http://www.gaiam.com/category/wellness-clinic.do?SID=WG107SPRTAPEMACS

[10] fast food: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/10-Worst-Food-Additives-Where-They-Lurk.html

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