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  Adopt Something.
  An animal, a stream, a whale.  There's almost no limit to the number of environmental causes to which you, your friends, or your class can turn.
 

Bike Instead Of Ride.

  Riding your bike instead of riding in a car saves energy and reduces pollution, of course.  But it is also fun!  That makes it a double benefit.
  Change A Light Bulb.
  By replacing a standard bulb with a compact fluorescent one you will get more light for less money and save a lot of energy.
  Donate Your Toys To A Worthy Cause.
  When you get tired of or grow out of your games and toys and other things, don't throw them away.  Even if they are broken, they may be fixed and used by other kids less fortunate than you.  You'll also be keeping these things out of the trash.
  Eat Organic Produce.
  Organic produce contains far fewer chemicals than other produce.  That's probably better for your health, and it is definitely better for the environment.  All those chemicals get washed off of farmers' fields into rivers and streams, where they pollute our water.  In addition, many of the chemicals are made from petroleum and other nonrenewable resources.  So, don't eat chemicals--eat real food!
  Feed The Birds.
  Birds need water to drink and foot to eat.  Feeding birds not only brings a bit of nature to your backyard, it also helps rid the yard of  many kinds of bugs.  you can hang a birdfeeder from a tree or place it outside your window, or build a birdbath in your yard from which the birds can drink water.
  Grow A Garden.
  A garden provides flowers, vegetables, and environmental benefits.  It can help to reduce soil erosion and may help to reduce some kinds of air pollution.  Try to grow your garden using as few pesticides and chemical fertilizers as possible.
  Have A "Green" Picnic.
  Plan an outing that doesn't create a lot of waste or pollution.  For example, if you're having a barbecue, avoid using lighter fluid--it contains naphthalene, an air pollutant which is suspected of causing cancer.  Instead, use an electric starter or, better yet, a device that lets you start coals using newspapers instead of fluid.  Use real plates and utensils instead of paper or plastic, and reusable tin or heavy plastic cups instead of disposable paper or plastic ones.  Wash the cups and use them over and over.  And set out separate trash bags for paper, glass, and aluminum.  Just because you're outdoors doesn't mean you can't recycle.
  Identify Energy Wasters.
  There probably are several companies in your community that are wasting precious resources.  Does a used-car showroom leave its bright lights shining all night long?  Do parents waiting to pick up their kids from school leave their cars idling at the curb for a long time?  Wherever you see people being wasteful, say something!  Write a letter, give a call, or walk right up to them on the street and ask them not to waste our Earth's precious resources.
  Join An Environmental Group.
  Ther are hundreds of good organizations around the country. Try to find one that focuses on something your are particularly interested in.  Go to a meeting, event, or other activity.  You'll probably meet some other kids with similar interests as yours.
  Keep The Car At Home.
  You've learned by now that automobiles are one of the single biggest sources of pollution.  Most driving trips are under five miles, and you'd be surprised how many are under one mile.  Try walking, biking, skateboarding, roller-skating, or taking the bus.
  Learn About Your Community.
  As you travel around your community, watch the local news, or read local papers, looking for things that might be causing environmental problems.  Locate sources of pollution.  And make suggestions to people in charge about what you think could be done to improve the situation.
  Make Scratch Pads.
  Here's a good way to recycle paper.  When you use a piece of paper on only one side, don't throw it away when you are done with it.  Instead, put it in a pile with all of the blank sides surfacing up.  When you get a big pile, you can turn the paper into scratch pads.  First, get someone to cut the pile of paper in half.  Then, staple small batches of paper together into "pads."
  Notify The Authorities.
  Do you know a polluter?  Is a company in your community doing things that are bad for the environment?  Don't think twice about reporting them to the local, state, or federal government.  You will be doing yourself and your community a big favor.  You might even get a reward!
  Organize Your Friends.
  You've probably heard that "two heads are better than one."  Well, ten heads can be even better!  You and your friends can probably accomplish a lot if you set your minds to it.  Think about the ways you and your friends (or family, classmates, scout troop, or whatever) can help out as a group.  Then contact a local environmental group and volunteer your services.  Think how much fun everyone can have helping to save the planet!
  Plant A Tree.
  How would you like to plant your very own tree and watch it grow?  There are organizations in most communities that have set up tree-planting campaigns.  But you don't even need one of these.  Visit a local nursery to find out what kinds of trees will grow best in your area.  The nursery people might also help you find a good place to plant a tree.  You can watch the tree's progress every year, and have the pleasure of know that you put it there for everyone to enjoy!
  Quit Throwing Away Batteries.
  Americans go through more than two billion batteries a year to power such things as radios, calculators, watches, flashlights, and computers.  Unfortunately, batteries contain many hazardous materials, which leak into landfills when batteries are thrown away.  Many of these dangerous chemicals get into our water supply.  There are two ways you can avoid throwing away batteries.  One is by using batteries that can be recharged over and over.  You should also find out if there are companies in your area that recycle batteries.  If you must throw batteries away, do so at a hazardous-waste collection site, if there is one in your area.  Still another idea is to send the batteries back to the manufacturers, signifying that you consider used batteries a potential danger.  This may encourage companies to begin recycling.  In the end, ask yourself whether you really need to use products that require batteries.
  Reuse A Bag.
  Some people believe that bags made of trees--paper bags--are less harmful to the earth than bags made of chemicals--plastic bags.  The fact is, making both types of bags creates a lot of pollution, and both paper and plastic bags use a lot of resources.  So neither is much better than the other.  The best solution is not to use any bag at all, or to bring your own bag.  Some people carry a canvas or mesh bag they can use over and over.  If you must use a paper or plastic bag, don't throw it away.  Try to use the bag over and over--as many times as you can.
  Stop A Leak.
  Organize a Stop-the-Leak Day on which everyone in your family tightens, insulates, replaces, caulks, and does whatever else is necessary to make your home as "tight" as possible. Your local water, gas, or electric utility company may be able to provide help, or even instructions and supplies.
  Turn Off The Lights.
  This is such a simple thing to do, but sometimes it's so hard to remember!  Ask your parents if you can put little stickers near the light switches you leave on the most often, reminding everyone to turn them off when they leave the room.  Consider starting a Lights-Off Fund, to which each person must donate a nickel or dime every time he or she forgets to turn off the lights.  As those nickels or dimes add up, you might donate them to an environmental organization.
  Use Recycled Paper.
  There's just no reason why you shouldn't buy recycled paper whenever it is available.  In most cases, it is just as good as "virgin" paper--even better, in fact, because it helps save trees!  You can buy toilet paper, paper towels, napkins, writing paper, books, newspapers, and many other things made of recycled paper.  If you or your parents can't find recycled paper products in your local grocery store, ask the manager to stock them.
  Visit A Recycling Center.
  If there's a center nearby, stop and take a look around.  Look at all the different things being recycled--lots of different colors of glass, paper, cardboard, cans, maybe even tires and household appliances.  Ask the people who run the recycling center what happens to all this stuff after it leaves the center.  Think about how wasteful it would be if all that garbage wasn't being recycled, but being thrown away instead.
  Work For The Environment.
  If you decide to get a summer job, see if there's a job available in which you can help the environment.  Most environmental organizations need lots of help, and some of these jobs can pay you.  Check with the local parks department to see if there are any jobs in the parks taking care of plants or flowers.  Check with the local zoo to see if you can work with animals.  It might be hard work, but it might be a lot of fun.  Either way, you can go home each day with the satisfaction of knowing you are helping make the world a better place.
  eXercise Your Rights.
  As a human being living on planet Earth, you have the right to clean air and water, a safe environment, and the unspoiled beauties this world has to offer.  You should speak firmly and loudly against those people and companies who threaten to take those rights away from you by polluting or by making decisions that encourage polluting or other wasteful behavior.  That's the only way that you can be sure that the world will still be just as beautiful when you are older.  If you don't dream of a better world--and do something about it--no one will do it for you.
  Yell At A Litterer.
  Well, maybe you don't have to yell, but if you do see someone littering, you definitely should say something.  Be polite, but state your case.  Explain that littering not only is ugly and costs us money (because we have to pay people to pick up the litter and dispose of it), it is also bad for the environment.
  Zero In On Specifics.
  While we've covered a wide range of environmental problems and solutions on this site, you can be most effective by choosing  one or two specific problems to focus on.  Don't try to do everything at once.  Pick a problem--acid rain, for example, or animal cruelty--and learn as much about it as you can.  Find the individuals and organizations in your area working on the problem and see how you can get involved.  That will make you a powerful Green Consumer!
   

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