In 2009, I received a book titled Generation Green: The Ultimate Teen Guide to Living an Eco-Friendly Life. Not only did I zip-through reading it (not because I wanted it to end, I just really liked it), I found myself hanging on to every word of Linda Sivertsen and Tosh Sivertsen. Not only did their prose capture my fifteen-year-old mind, their ideas for making easy adjustments to one’s lifestyle seemed practical and not farfetched.
Generation Green introduces current ecological and sustainability-related problems such as air pollution and desertification. The authors make a point that the best way one can consider making a difference begins with lifestyle changes. Becoming more conscious of the issues around us will help spread issues that may not get as much attention in the media, like electropollution. However, although the authors encourage a proactive standpoint, they do not come off as preachy nor urge you to immediately convert every single aspect of your life.
The chapters split up different areas of living, from making your home green to traveling. Witty and funny at times, each chapter has something for readers of different genders and ages. In the home chapter (chapter 3), the Sivertsens include different DIY home cleaners to replace the more chemical-laden ones. (By the way, vinegar and old newspapers are perfect window and glass cleaners.) Their reasoning and explanations are sound and simple to understand, perfect for someone who has just begun to make their lifestyle more sustainable. At the end of each chapter is an interview with a teenager that has made efforts to promote a cause or campaign.
One of my favorite parts of this book is the last chapter, “A Day in the Green Life.” It depicts three different scenarios, “typical,” “greener,” and “greenest,” of a teenager going to school. While some of the suggestions may not be completely affordable for an adolescent wallet (grease-powered car, anyone?), this chapter nicely sums up suggestions that you can start to implement.
Now that I’m in college, I feel that this book still applies to me. When I have the free time, I enjoy reading snippets and being reminded of activities or things to keep in mind. This fun read is perfect for a lazy Sunday and I highly suggest it to anyone who is looking for ideas of changes they can make.
Cover image obtained from treehugger.com