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"Petronis convincingly encourages young people that they can not only positively affect the environment by their own actions, but that they can also influence adults at home, at school, and in their communities to make environmentally sound decisions….This is a common-sense, positive approach to teaching young people about caring for the environment. Recommended." - Library Media Connection
There’s no doubt about it, our environment is in crisis. Everywhere you go, people are talking about it: how the earth is warming up as a result of too much carbon dioxide in the air and too few trees left to absorb it, how oil-drilling is ruining natural habitats, how trash is overflowing into our waterways, and how chemicals used in various products are making people and wildlife sick. Ugh.
You know the planet is in trouble. The question is: What can you do about it? Go out and buy a brand new $30,000 hybrid car? Persuade all of the health clubs in your town to install low-flow showerheads and toilets? Revamp your entire house to operate on solar heat? Come on — you know better than anyone that this kind of stuff is hardly a reality for most high school kids. But what’s the point of mulling over what you can’t do, when there is so much that you can do?
You don’t have to run out tomorrow and build a car that runs on vegetable oil, or ship out to South America to save the rain forests. You just have to get informed and start making small changes, one at a time. Decisions to shop, drive, and even party differently can have a huge and positive impact on the health of the earth. That’s what 47 Things is about.
In this book, you’ll find tons of real things that teens can do to make a difference. Some things are as easy as eating less meat, planning a green date, or learning to shop vintage. Others are more involved, like hosting a green film festival for friends, creating an environmental task force at school, or going on an eco-adventure to gain a deeper love and appreciation for this beautiful spinning rock we call home.
Why teens? you might ask. The answer is simple. You’re strong, creative, and motivated. You’re doers and dreamers. And you’re also the ones who will inherit the planet. If change is going to happen, it has to start with you.
GET A CLEAN SHAVE
Shaving is a big deal. For guys, the first shave is a whole rite of passage, signifying the transformation from boy to man. And the way guys grow out their facial hair, from goatee to sideburns, is a big part of expressing their personality. For girls, shaving means the difference between wearing that new skirt or throwing on those old jeans again. And when bikini time comes around, it’s like half of a girl’s beauty regimen! But shaving also takes its toll on the environment. That doesn’t mean you should become a hairy-legged hippie chick or a bristly mountain man. Just take your hair removal to a greener level.
How to Do It
A lot of people use disposable razors when they shave — you know the kind that you use for a week or two and then have to throw away because they are all nasty and dull? Most disposable razors are not recyclable. You might think that the number of razors per year that you go through is insignificant, but it is estimated that about 2 billion disposable razors are thrown away every year in the US. The best and easiest alternative to all of this waste is to buy a long-lasting permanent razor with refillable blades. And depending on how much your razor and blades cost, this move may also save you some money over time.
• Sharpen refillable blades with a razor sharpener, which can significantly reduce the number of blades you use.
• Use soap and water instead of shaving cream; soap comes with less packaging, and shaving cream containers are not always easy to recycle.
• Consider buying 100 percent recycled and recyclable razors.
A Sweet Way to Remove It It’s hard to decide what the most ecological form of hair removal is because so little research has been done on the environmental effects of things like waxing and depilatories. Both do employ the use of potentially toxic substances (especially depilatories), but there’s still no conclusive evidence that suggests those substances are hurting our environment. Still, for a natural alternative, give body sugaring a try. It’s like waxing, except you can use a natural mixture of sugar, water, and lemon. Look online for a complete recipe.