Greenward Bound

Life Hacks: Reflections from a Teen

As a 13-year-old, I like to think about sustainability as the future. Reflecting on my green life has brought me to make a list of three easy life hacks that can make your life a whole lot greener.

1. Use rechargeable batteries.

Yes. We can use a lot of batteries. When not powering the remote that lets me watch the latest episodes of Attack on Titan, the AA batteries at our house can be found powering computer mice, Xbox 360 remotes, and other things. But instead of throwing our batteries out when they are used up, we recharge them. A lot of batteries nowadays are rechargeable, and battery chargers are really easy to buy and use.

2. Unplug what you aren’t using.

Believe it or not, the guy that came to your school to talk about electricity was right when he said that things still use power when they are plugged into the wall, even when they are turned off. When you are finished charging your phone, unplug the cord! You probably have heard this time and time again, but this really does save a lot of electricity. But I really don’t like having to remember to unplug the computer every time I’m finished using it. A good way to deal with this is to have power strips that have everything plugged into them. That way, when you aren’t using something, you can simply flick a switch on a power strip instead of unplugging it. I find this a more effective strategy because it is easier and quicker, which encourages more people to do it.

3. Know when to open and close.

In the summer, AC is both a costly function and a non-renewable one. At our house, we don’t use air-conditioning. Ever. But we found a solution that works just as well as air-conditioning without the drain on money and power resources. Windows. *Dramatic music plays* They are more than just a translucent wall that allow for us to see through them. Every night, we open our windows to let the cold air in, and in the morning, we close them again to keep the warm air out. This works so well, some of my friends have commented that my house is colder than their air-conditioned houses!