The teen years are a time of growth. Girls begin puberty and their internal chemistry is dramatically changing. Their bodies begin producing higher levels of estrogen and progesterone, their reproductive tract undergoes change to prepare for pregnancy, and their breasts go through rapid development. These changes allow their bodies to be extremely vulnerable to environmental contaminants.
Women on average use approximately 12 personal care products a day while teenagers use 17. The use of so many products such as cosmetics, nail polish, shampoo, soap, deodorant, lotions, perfumes, body sprays, etc. may have cumulative effects on the body. This puts teenagers at risk for exposing themselves to potentially thousands of chemicals daily. There are easy and safer alternatives for choosing personal care products for teens. Refer to the Green Resources section for more information.
What You Can Do to be “green” teens
- When you’re done surfing the internet and updating your Facebook status, turn off the computer to save energy.
- Consider using fewer personal care products daily and use non-toxic makeup and body products that do not contain phthalates, parabens or sodium lauryl sulfate.
- Avoid the tanning beds - in 2009 the IARC classified tanning beds and ultraviolet radiation as a carcinogen.
- Recycle your old clothes and electronics.
- Car pool or ride a bike to your destination.
- Eat at least one veggie meal a week.
- When you’re done in a room, turn out the light behind you.
- Plant a tree or have your own garden.
- Talk to your parents about greening up the house, for example changing to compact fluorescent light bulbs and recycling the trash.
- Not Just a Pretty Face by Stacy Malkan
- The Green Teen: The Eco-Friendly Teen’s Guide to Saving the Planet by Jenn Savedge
- The Low Carbon Diet: A 30 Day Program to Lose 5000 Pounds--Be Part of the Global Warming Solution! by David Gershon