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Green My Parents: Young Americans Making Real Environmental Change

Want to see the most promising side of the environmental movement? Look to the youth of America, especially groups like Green My Parents.

For the past couple of years, I've been proudly watching—though, I'll ashamedly admit, not writing nearly enough about—the blossoming of young activists in the environmental realm. I'm not talking about the "youth climate movement" of college students and recent graduates, which I have written about with a glow. I'm talking about high school (and in some cases younger) students who are using their positions of influence to actually catalyze real change. Usually that means nagging their parents.

Nowhere is this tactic more obvious than in the brilliant Green My Parents campaign. Started by 100 young Americans (don't look for one specific name; these kids share the credit!), the program sets out to, in their words, "help young people teach their peers and parents how to work together to help the economy, earn money at home, and save the planet through simple, everyday actions."

Last night, anyone tuning into NBC's special "green week" coverage in major markets like Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, San Francisco, and more, were treated to this nice piece about the project.


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I've got to say that their messaging approach is wise well beyond their years. Note the focus on saving money, which is still the best possible way to get most mainstream Americans to give a hoot about energy efficiency or reducing waste.

Green My Parents isn't the only place you'll find kids tackling positive environmental change as their extracurricular activity. There's Inconvenient Youth, Kids versus Global Warming, Teens Going Green, and the Green Youth Movement, to name but of a few of the most prominent.

These are the greenest of shoots—young, optimistic, full of energy and with vocabularies blessedly free of the word "can't." These types of voices help me sleep at night. If only our generation, and those in charge, would actually take their advice and start turning this ship away from the perilous falls of planetary catastrophe; I trust that these young folks will guide it to ultimate safety when they're in charge.

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