Super Power

reusable shopping bagI love to shop! But did you know that shopping feeds my super power?   No joke and you have this super power too.  How do you activate your hidden super power?  By the choices you make when shopping.

Teen consumers are an important part of the U.S. economy.  You purchase things based on current trends that later filter into the mainstream. So like me, you have the power to influence manufacturers to make their products greener and to influence how other consumers (a.k.a. your friends) shop.

How?  Here are some ways I fuel my environmental super power.  I purchase items that use less or no polystyrene or plastic packaging for their product.  Did you know that since 1990 several major fast food restaurants have stopped using Styrofoam food containers all because of super powered people like me?!  I even bring my own reusable plastic container when I eat out to take home any leftovers.   I also purchase CDs and video games packaged in recycled paper jackets rather than plastic jewel cases.  POW!  Another super power blow to plastics. I make the choice to use cloth bags to carry my “treasures” home rather than using plastic sacks that end up in our oceans or landfills. BAM!  Finally, retro is in so when I need a new look I go to my local second-hand store to purchase gently used clothing and other items for my home or yard. Reusable power assemble!

Everybody gets thirsty when they are shopping.  Make the choice to select a beverage from a vending machine packaged in aluminum cans rather than in plastic.  Recycling aluminum cans saves 95% of the energy used to make aluminum cans from virgin ore.

Seriously, the choices you make in purchasing products are a never-ending series of votes for or against the environment.  Super power consumers like you can make or break a product.  Yeah, I hear you, buying free trade items or stuff in recyclable containers might cost a little bit more, but the “pay it now or pay later“ premise comes into play. So do the right thing, buy the product not the packaging.

What have you purchased lately that was packaged “greener”?  Share your thoughts.

Denise Scribner has been teaching about environmental issues for over 35 years.   For her innovative approaches to teaching to help her students become environmentally aware citizens, she won the 2012 Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators. Her high school was also one of the first 78 schools across the USA to be named a Green Ribbon School in 2012.

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