At Like a Boss, we know how much teens care about the environment. Just take a look at Hayley Hoverter, who invented eco-friendly sweetener packets, or Rachel Beckwith, whose 9th birthday wish was to raise money for clean, safe drinking water. (Rachel died just after her birthday, but her touching wish has has inspired donors to give more than $1,204,695 to Charity:Water.)
But sometimes even when you’re passionate about a cause, it can be hard to know where to start. That’s why we were excited to find out about Lexi Petronis’ new book, 47 Things That You Do for the Environment, which gives advice for not only greening your own life, but also inspiring others. The book is out in January, but we thought we’d provide a little preview now, used with permission from Zest Books:
18: Paint the Halls Green
If you are the creative type, you might find all the scientific and statistical stuff related to the environment boring. That’s probably one reason why some people tune out when it comes to learning about it — terms like “cholorinated hyrdocarbons” and “petroleum derivatives” can be a little off-putting.
But it doesn’t have to be all science-speak. You can promote the idea of green living to others by using your creativity. Are you a poet or an actor? Can you compose music? Whatever your art, you can make the environment your muse and get your message across in a unique way. Then, develop it into an event in which you can raise money for your cause.
How to Do It
Everyone has an environmental cause that’s near and dead to their hearts. If you are a surfer, it might be protecting the beaches. If you love to go backpacking, you may be committed to preserving open spaces. One you know your message, decide how you want to communicate to the world.
- Write and put on a play. A play with an environmental bent doesn’t have to be serious. On the contrary, it can be hilarious, inspiring, and artistic and still communicate a good message. Contact the outreach coordinator at your local community center or the manager of your school’s performance space and recruit local actors to help you put it on.
- Write and perform a song. There’s a reason commercials have jingles — snappy songs are hard to forget. But your ode to the environment can be something way more soulful. Practice what you preach by performing your masterpiece with acoustic instruments so you won’t have to use electricity when you perform!
- Paint a mural. A mural is a big project, but one that’s well worth the time. If you want to paint a mural on a private piece of property (like the outside wall of a local store), talk to the owners or managers of the building about your idea. Be specific and even provide sketches to help persuade them to let you do it. To get your work on public property (in a park or public school wall), contact your city’s youth, public arts, or beautification committees to see what opportunities are available. In some cities, art non-profits like San Francisco’s Precita Eyes and Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Program specifically work with the city to create murals. Once your mural is done, organize a big opening day to draw people to publicize the new work.
- Hold a reading. If you have a way with words, write a poem or story about your cause, and ask other writer friends to do the same. Reserve a coffeehouse or local bookstore and have a public reading!
- Write a blog. Use a free blogging platform like WordPress, Tumblr, or Blogger to take your message to the masses. Incorporate videos, photos, and audio clips to offer a multimeda experience.
Thanks to Zest Books for giving us permission to print this preview! Let us know which ideas you find most exciting — and any other creative thoughts you have for getting attention for your environmental cause!
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