How to Be Eco-friendly as a Teenager?

Teenagers have their whole life to look forward to. But that life might be in crisis. The planet is undergoing rapid climate changes due to global warming. And every year the speed at which global warming is increasing. This means that soon the planet will become a place that becomes uninhabitable for some. Drastic climate changes mean hotter summers and colder winters. As a teenager, you can’t help but feel helpless. But worry not, because it is never too early to start being sustainable and eco-friendly!

So how to be eco-friendly as a teenager? Well, there are many ways you can be eco-friendly. And it doesn’t require you to buy big fancy equipment to be eco-friendly either! Some worry that being eco-friendly is expensive because you would have to buy organic food or replace your already existing devices. But that is not true at all! All it takes small steps one by one to start becoming eco-friendly.

Want to learn the ways you can be eco-friendly as a teenager? Or do you want to learn what eco-friendly materials you can buy to help the environment? Then you are in the right place! Let’s learn about being eco-friendly together.

Key Takeaways

  • Eco-friendly does not mean that you cannot harm the environment, it means reducing the impact you have on the environment.
  • Reducing waste is the biggest step you can take as a teenager to being eco-friendly and certain activities helps you reduce waste that you can do as a teenager.
  • Eco-friendly materials help reduce environmental impact because of the properties of the material and the natural way the products are made.

What Does It Mean to Be Eco-Friendly?

Let’s first discuss what it means to be eco-friendly. Eco-friendly means being less harmful to the environment and reducing the harm that you do to the environment. See, a lot of people have a misconception about being eco-friendly, in that it means you can do no harm to the environment. But that is not true at all! With the way humans have developed technology and standard of living, it is not possible to completely have zero impact on the environment.

This is why, as a teenager, your focus should be on reducing your impact on the environment. What I mean by that is, it’s time to start thinking sustainably. It might seem like you have to do a lot to become sustainable and eco-friendly, but that’s not true! As a teenager, if you start taking small steps toward being eco-friendly, then you can also inspire the people around you to be eco-friendly with you.

So let’s see what are these small steps you can take to become eco-friendly.

Being Eco-Friendly as A Teenager

The following will contain some ways you can be eco-friendly as a teenager. Remember this, you don’t have to do all the steps! Even if you do some of the steps, you are already contributing a lot to the environment. That is why you should think small and make bigger impacts.

The first step to being eco-friendly is always reducing waste. This is because waste contributes to all types of pollution. Most wastes are either burned off and produce toxic gases or thrown away and pollute water sources. That is why reducing waste is the most important step you have to take. Some of the following will help you understand how to reduce waste.

Clean Transport

Clean transport

All through my teenage, I used to ride my bike everywhere. Bikes are sustainable and eco-friendly because they produce no emissions and do not harm the environment. Also, public transport help reduces the number of vehicles on the street, and they are also good at reducing waste.

Switching off appliance

I am sure every adult has told you to turn off something when you are not using it. It helps waste less electricity. Switching off all the devices when you are sleeping is also a good habit to get into to waste less electricity.

Going paperless

Hundreds of millions of tons of paper go to waste every year! Think about how many trees need to be cut down to make that much paper. That is why going paperless might be a small step but it has a huge impact. And as a teenager, you can easily go paperless by asking for email receipts from shops or using your device to take notes. Just a small step helps to save a tree somewhere in the world.

Sustainable shopping

Sustainable shopping

You know how buying brand-new items can be very expensive? Why not do some sustainable shopping instead! Try going to charity or consignment shops to buy your goods. Not only are you buying something useful for yourself, but you are also helping those in need and the environment by doing so. And they are way cheaper!

Growing your garden

Have you wanted to find a hobby? Then give gardening a go! A small vegetable garden could mean that you are buying less because you are growing your food. Plus, all the food scraps from your home can be made into compost to fertilize your garden instead of throwing them away. Now that’s what I call reducing waste and being eco-friendly!

Reuse and recycle

Similar to reducing, why not reuse your products in different ways? That flower vase or old glass bottle can be used as a container for something. Not only keeps the thing in use longer, but it also helps reduce waste. Also, recycling helps by reducing waste. A recyclable good is processed so that it can be made into a different product to be used so there is less waste.

Reusable goods

Reusable goods

Avoid using one-time-use goods. This is because after one use they will just go to waste. Instead, think of using reusable goods! Reusable water bottle wastes, bringing your own utensils to eat, and bamboo straws use up less plastic. And not only that, bamboo straws are biodegradable so it doesn’t produce land pollution. You are both producing less waste if you do not use one-time plastic goods.

Taking care of your products

If you take care of your product, it will last longer. This means that the things you buy are not becoming a waste for a long time so you are replacing them less too. Keep taking care of your products so that they can last you years and years.



Volunteering is a great way to help clean the environment. Take part in school, beach, or street clean-up volunteering so that you are doing your part in taking care of the environment. The less trash that is out there in the world the better.

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Talking to local authorities and communities

Look at Greta Thunberg and how she has been advocating for taking care of the environment since she was a teenager! I am not asking you to do the same as her, but on the local level, you might be able to make a difference. Talk to local authorities about recycling projects or making eco-friendly alternatives to what’s already available. Not only that, but you can also talk to members of your community and start involving them to be a part of your eco-friendly adventure. Never force them, instead influence them through your actions. Who knows, they might be inspired to do the same!

And there are many other ways of being eco-friendly too! The small steps that you take as a teenager will definitely help improve the environment around you.

Eco-Friendly Materials

Eco friendly materials

Along with being eco-friendly, you should also know about eco-friendly materials. They are both good for the environment and they produce less waste. The wastes from these materials are also either recyclable or non-toxic in nature.


Aluminum is one of the best materials out there! Not only is it very versatile, being used in a lot of different ways, but it can also be endlessly recycled. So all the aluminum cans you have can be recycled and repurposed for different things, so be sure to always recycle your aluminum products


Bamboo is not only a panda’s favorite food but is very sustainable as well. Bamboo plants are one of the fastest growing plants out there and if the roots are left intact, then the plant will grow again. Bamboo is also sturdy, and can be used as biofuel, even clothing! So as an eco-friendly teenager, maybe it’s time to start using bamboo in your everyday life.


Cotton might be the go-to fabric for clothing, but have you ever heard of hemp? Hemp plants require less maintenance than cotton to grow and the plant itself helps reduce carbon emissions from the atmosphere. That is why hemp fibers are eco-friendlier than cotton because of how sustainable the plant itself is.

Stainless steel

You might not think stainless steel is eco-friendly, but I’ll tell you that it is more sustainable than you think. Products made from stainless steel last anywhere from 10 to 20 years! Imagine the amount of waste that you are reducing with a stainless steel alternative to that product. While it cannot be used in everything, stainless steel products are a must-have if you want to be more eco-friendly.

Along with these materials, any product made from recyclable material is also good to be eco-friendly. So next time you are shopping keep an eye out for labels saying the product is made from recyclable materials.


1. As a teenager, am I helping the environment by being eco-friendly?

Yes, you are helping the environment by being eco-friendly! The small steps you take to be more eco-friendly help the environment a lot.

2. What renewable energy is good?

Renewable energy is good because it provides energy without having any impact on the environment while producing it.

3. Is recycling good?

Recycling helps reduce waste and helps repurpose materials from goods to other types of goods.

4. Will planting a tree be good for the environment?

Millions of trees are being cut every year to make wood products and paper. A tree will take a long time to grow but it is good for the environment in the future.

Final Thoughts

See how easy it is to be eco-friendly as a teenager? It does not take much to be eco-friendly. All you need to know is the knowledge of what is eco-friendly and what types of activities and action help promote being eco-friendly. As a teenager, you are not expected to make dramatic changes in your life to be more sustainable. But the little steps you can take make a world of a difference for the environment.

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Todd Smith is a trained ecologist with five years of experience in environmental conservation and sustainability. He has a deep passion for promoting sustainable practices and has developed a thorough understanding of the natural world and its complex interconnections.

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