Hi everyone, my name is Heather! I am a green-minded educator who spends her summer break removing the cell phones from our teenager's hands and replacing it with a curiosity for change. Ask me anything!

Jun 18, 2017

Like many millennial children, I spent a lot of time indoors. After finding outdoor education as a teenager, I was immediately hooked. Now I take kids 12-18 on outdoor trips, teaching them about the world around them. Showing them how beautiful and fragile the world really is!

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What is your advice for choosing appliances with a green focus?

Jun 18, 10:32AM EDT0

when choosing appliances make sure that you do you research not only in the machine but the things you use in it. Look for environmentally friendly appliances and cleaners. Try to find something that is water conscience and biodegradable 

Jun 18, 1:13PM EDT0

Did your teens ever thank you for taking away their phones?

Jun 18, 2:42AM EDT0

Not for taking their phone per se, but for showing them a part of life that they have missed out on if they had their phone, yes! 

Jun 18, 1:12PM EDT0

Would you consider banning their phones after the summer break?

Jun 17, 12:52PM EDT0

Entirely....no. Summer break is a social time for many teens. They need to be in contact with there friends in order to make plans and maintain relationships. But a summer break phone schedule would not be a bad idea. 

Jun 18, 1:11PM EDT0

Did you consider restricting their phone time rather than taking it away?

Jun 17, 5:26AM EDT0

In regards to the camp, no. They need to be fully seperated in this setting. As a parent I think that would be a great idea. I think keeping it a overnight, meal times, and during family functions would go a long way! 

Jun 18, 1:09PM EDT0

Should teens have to earn the privilege of having and using a phone?

Jun 16, 12:43PM EDT0

Absolutely! Teens need to realize that in life there are no hand outs. But they have the ability to earn what ever they want for themselves. If used correctly parents can implement this mind set with phones. In my opinion phones are one of the most powerful rewards for a teen! They can also be the biggest concequence!

Jun 18, 1:08PM EDT0

How can we make 'going green' appealing to kids?

Jun 16, 11:12AM EDT0

By showing them they can make a difference. Get them involved and make it relevant to their life.  Show them that they can be just as importas adults in making this world a better place!

Jun 18, 1:06PM EDT0

Did you notice your teens reduce their phone time after they were returned?

Jun 16, 4:22AM EDT0

Yes! Although it increases immediately upon receiving their phone many parents state thier children have better control of their children's screen time. 

Jun 18, 1:04PM EDT0

What kind of cell phone plan do you have for your family?

Jun 14, 10:07PM EDT0

I have a data plan that a share with my husband. 

Jun 18, 1:03PM EDT0

How do you practice green living in your household?

Jun 14, 4:16PM EDT0

I recycle and repurpose materials. I do my best to use high efficency appliances. Reusable grocery bags, meal prep, etc.  I also educate myself on ways to be green. 

Jun 18, 1:03PM EDT0

Do you have advice for choosing a family cell phone plan?

Jun 14, 3:40PM EDT0

I do not have any advice on the carriers, but I would make sure that as a parent you have full administrative access on your child's phone through the carrier.

Jun 17, 9:26PM EDT0

How did your teens' friends react to loss of the phones?

Jun 14, 7:23AM EDT0

The children were given the opportunity to message their friends and notify them that they would not be available for the duration of the camp. Mostly their friends feel the same way as the campers in the beginning, "I can't believe your parents are making you do this." I have heard stories where the friends begin to put their phone down more when they spend time with campers after the camping experience.

Jun 17, 9:25PM EDT0

What is your advice for parents deciding whether kids should have phones?

Jun 14, 6:52AM EDT0

I personally believe that a child should not get a personal phone until they understand the responsibility of having a phone, they are able to make calls independently, and they can recognize it as a tool versus a toy. It all depends on the maturity of the child.

With that being said phones are a great reward for good behavior and an even better consequence for bad behavior. 

Jun 17, 9:22PM EDT0

At some point, did your teens stop missing their phones?

Jun 14, 6:06AM EDT0

For the most part, they miss their phone the entire time, but not the item, they miss their connection to their friends and family. 

Jun 17, 9:17PM EDT0

How do you get whole communities to go green?

Jun 14, 12:49AM EDT0

Parents sign their children up for the camps they can sign up independently or with a referral from a counselor or doctor. 

Jun 17, 9:15PM EDT0

What age do you think is too young to have a phone?

Jun 13, 8:49PM EDT0

In this day and age that is a tough one. I personally believe that a child should not get a personal phone until they understand the responsibility of having a phone, they are able to make calls independently, and they can recognize it as a tool versus a toy.

Jun 17, 9:14PM EDT0

What are some of your favorite green living tips for families?

Jun 13, 6:56PM EDT0
  1. When buying things, buy them to last, even if they are more expensive.
  2. Reusable grocery bags
  3. Meal plan and prep to prevent food waste
  4. When shopping look at the label
  5. Recycle and repurpose items
Jun 17, 9:12PM EDT0

What kind of sacrifices does your family make to go green?

Jun 13, 12:15PM EDT0

The only thing that I sacrifice is my time, educating myself on ways to go green and changing my bad habits. 

Previous bad habits

  • Paper Plates
  • plastic grocery bags
  • Bleaching everything
  • Not meal planning and wasting food
  • etc.

Jun 17, 9:09PM EDT0

What kind of activities did your teens replace phone use with?

Jun 13, 10:08AM EDT0

They learn survival skills, fun camping games, journaling, socialization games, problem-solving games, exploring, and hiking.

Jun 17, 9:07PM EDT0

Do you restrict your teens' use of other digital devices?

Jun 13, 8:30AM EDT0

I personally do not have children. If you are discussing the camp they are not allowed to have anything electronic.

Jun 17, 9:05PM EDT0

What is the bigger lesson you wanted your teens to learn?

Jun 13, 6:04AM EDT0

I want them to learn that they are a piece of this world and they are the only person who can decide how to their piece fits into the overall puzzle. 

Jun 17, 9:02PM EDT0