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AOW- Environmental Awareness April 3, 2012

Filed under: Article of the Week — prushton101 @ 4:30 pm

How much do you recycle? Do you just recycle what is easy and convenient, or do you think about what you recycle and how to do more? Many adults think that older generations are more aware about the environment. I do not agree completely. Today’s generation is  in a habit of being environmentally friendly and more active at recycling day by day, but just their overall view of caring for the world is different.


The younger generation has grown up in  a world where recycling is the normal thing to do.  They recycle their paper and plastic as naturally as brushing their teeth. My parents taught me to recycle things like bottles and paper at home, so now I have a habit of recycling. I am in PALS, so we actually get the teachers recycling and take it out on certain days. These habits are automatic with my generation, but that does not mean that they are not important. An entire generation all actively recycling has made an impact.  Sometimes my generation has taken the habit home so that their whole family recycles.


The younger generation cares about the environment but they have not had the experiences of the older generation so they view the environment differently.  They have not spent as much time in the outdoors and they have not lived thought the experience of figuring out that the planet needs protecting.  Because they have not had these experiences, and because they are very busy, they do not have a habit of looking for new solutions.  To them, recycling is clearly what you do, so they do not always think what else can we do?  This may be what the researcher at Adelphi University, Beth Christensen, was talking about when she said data showed that the younger generation is not as civic minded.  This generation sees protection of the earth as a clear choice that does not need debate.  Instead, they are focused on new problems such as the challenges of social networking and the technological society that we live in. There are many examples of how the young generation gets involved in issues of the day, including helping others.  Students in my school raise money for individuals in need and for causes that they feel should be supported.


Older generations might have influenced being green by having  chores such as saving and reusing materials.  Our generation has not stopped doing these things they are just done in different ways. I think that there is nothing wrong with having a parent or adult influence you to do things like recycling, because you will just grow up in that habit and the cycle will continue. You will teach others and they will too! Most teens are caught up with school work and outside of school activities, so they have little time in their schedules. Through PALS and other similar groups, the young generation recycles every week. Yes, our teacher does remind us, but we take responsibility. Our job is simple but very effective. I know that students now are probably less active about the environment, but that does not mean they are not aware. Teens usually do not make this their first priority. I  disagree that school aged children are less environmentally aware than older generations. Although some people may say that it is proven differently, I think that if students are given a chance to help they will.


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