Help me out - going green

What does it mean to ‘go green’?

Going green means doing what we can to take care of the environment.

It also means understanding that the way we live, the things we do and the products we use all have an impact on the planet – and that by making positive changes we can help to lessen that impact.

Our place in the world

We all have to live together on this one planet, and we share it with all the animals, birds, plants and other wildlife, so it’s really important that we look after it.

As human beings, we are just one part of a big system where everything works together. Living sustainably means living in a way that doesn’t put strain on the planet, or doesn’t use up lots of resources (like fuel and materials) which can’t be replaced.

Our world is a little bit like your body – if you look after it and give it all the healthy things it needs, it can thrive.
But if you feed it rubbish and don’t treat it with respect, it can get sick and stop working properly.

What happens to the planet if we don’t look after it?

If we don’t take good care of our planet, things can start to change for the worse and the environment can suffer.

When we dump our rubbish without taking care to recycle it, it can pollute the world around us – from little things (like old crisp packets dirtying up the park) to big things (like spilling oil in the sea). That can harm plants and animals, and damage the environment.

Human beings also use lots of natural resources, like coal, gas and oil.
These resources are limited, which means that in the future they will run out – so it’s really important that we don’t waste them and re-use items whenever we can.

Our world is also getting warmer (called climate change) which is causing weather all around the world to change, which then has an impact on the humans and animals who live there.

As the world’s population gets bigger, and we use more and more resources, it has never been more important that we take care of our planet and keep it clean and safe for the future.

What can you do?

All the challenges our world faces can seem pretty big and difficult to tackle – but there are loads of things you can do every day to help the environment.

You can –

  • Re-use products whenever you can – rather than buying a new bottle of water every day, why not keep one and refill it? Or take the same bag to the shops, rather than getting a new plastic one every time.
  • Recycle all your old paper, plastics, bottles and tins, so the materials can be used to make new things.
  • Save energy by switching off lights, TVs and consoles when you’re not using them.
  • Feeling chilly? Put on a jumper, rather than turning up the heating!
  • Walk or cycle when taking short journeys – it’s much better for you and the environment than going by car.
  • Save water and energy by having a shorter shower – and turn the tap off when you’re brushing your teeth.
  • Don’t print out loads of paper if you don’t need it.
  • Keep your local area free of rubbish by going on a litter-pick or a beach clean day with your friends.
  • Don’t throw out clothes which no longer fit – take them to a charity shop or clothes bank.
  • Get involved in activities in your school or community to help make things better.

And there are lots more!


With everything you do, try to think ‘how could I make this better for the environment?’

It all adds up!

The world faces big challenges, but if we all make small changes to the way we live it can make a real difference.

For more information about organisations which offer advice and support, check out the Advice Helplines page.

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