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NEA Big Read: Sustainability Tips for Teens 

March 19, 2021 at 9:24 AM by Alejandria Galarza


Looking for ways to live that environmentally-conscious life, but not sure where to start? Check out Teen Librarian Alejandria’s 5 Sustainability Tips for Teens. 


  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ is a helpful tool to help you understand which ‘R’ to prioritize in the waste hierarchy. While the goal to strive for is ‘reducing’ the waste we make, we can also find ways to ‘reuse’ the waste we make, or ‘recycle’ what can’t be reduced or reused. 

Remember to check and see what can be recycled in your community. You can find more information on what can and can’t be recycled in Kenosha here

For more information, check out Trash Revolution: Breaking the Waste Cycle by Erica Fyvie and Bill Slavin.


  • Curate a sustainable closet

Did you know you can ditch fast fashion and still have style?

Does your favorite shirt have a hole in it? Learn how to mend it, rather than throwing it away. Are you over some of the pieces in your closet? Consider donating them to a local thrift store or clothing drive.

The art of visible mending is a great way to show off your unique style while upcycling clothing that has seen better days. The library has lots of books on mending, but you can start with Mend!: A Refashioning Manual and Manifesto by Kate Sekules.


  • Eat more plant-based meals

Challenge your family to try to eat more plant-based meals. Maybe try Meatless Mondays. Looking for food that was grown locally is always a bonus!

You can find all kinds of cookbooks at the library to help you in your culinary journey. Start with The Meatless Monday Family Cookbook by Jenn Sebestyen.


  • Use your local library

The library seems like an obvious sustainability choice because we’re all about sharing resources. But we’re more than just books-- have you checked out the Library of Things recently? Or the library’s extensive board game collection, all available for checkout? It’s a great way to try it before you buy it (or just to try it). 

Teen Librarian Alejandria’s favorite Library of Things item is the Wacom Intuos drawing tablet. It’s perfect for those who want to try some digital drawing tools at home. 


  • Share what you learn with others

​​​​​If you feel passionate about sustainability or green living, share that passion with others, including your family and friends! Join environmental clubs at school or make your own if they don’t already exist. 

Check out One Earth by Anuradha Rao to get inspired by the work others are doing to protect the planet.