Prom is a night with a lot of impact -- on your young lives and on the environment.
Just think of the clothes bought and used for one night and those gas-guzzling limos, and then extrapolate that to the number of proms happening every spring across the country. The waste adds up and it's not pretty.
If every high schooler around the country went green for prom, our carbon footprint would be decreased.
Fortunately, there are many ways you can go green for prom while possibly saving some of your own green. It may be as simple as buying one product vs. another.
We collected a few simple suggestions that can make your prom night greener for Mama Nature's sake.
Be conscious of your beauty products
One way to go green for prom is to buy all-natural makeup or hair products that also use recycled materials for packaging. It is better for the environment and often your skin.
Also, make sure the products you buy are not tested on animals. Companies that bother to go organic probably also produce their products without blinding bunnies in test labs, but make sure.
Some brands that produce all-natural products include Sally Hansen Natural Beauty, Bare Minerals and Mineral Secrets. For mascara, check out Miessence Pure Black Mascara at bodysoul.mionegroup.com. Stella McCartney's Care is also a good way to go using only organic ingredients and recyclable containers.
Don't have the cash to get all new makeup? That's fine; get a piece or two. Everything you do helps.
Buying more Earth-friendly products helps bring on change at the corporate level; if they know there's a market, more companies will get on board to treat the planet better.
Another thing to check is that your hair spray does not contain CFCs, or chlorofluorocarbons. A tight style isn't worth a hole in the ozone layer.
Look cool, look green
Another item to think about is your clothes: dresses, tuxes, suits, whatever.
Finding an amazing but affordable outfit for prom can be difficult and usually leads to hours of digging through malls and fashion districts.
Forget about it.
Head to a local vintage clothing shop or thrift store. Vintage has never been cooler, and it's a sure way to avoid wearing the same thing as someone else at the prom. No way someone else will be sporting that velvet suit you got at Goodwill.
Why? Because used clothing wasn't likely gunned out of a big factory recently. You won't find your dress in eight other sizes and colors; you are guaranteed to be unique. You will also be making real use of post-consumer products instead of buying all-new materials. That's reducing your footprint.
Another added benefit is that vintage clothes are more often than not far cheaper than new clothes.
And face it -- you were only going to wear that suit or dress once. It might as well be for a lower price and a good cause.
If you do go new, make sure that after prom, you recycle your gear by donating it to used clothing retailers.
Ditch the limo
Another way to go green for prom is to not splurge on that stretch limo.
Such vehicles are not fuel-efficient and can have high rental fees.
It may sound lame, but carpool. Get the person in your date group with the nicest ride to drive so you don't skimp on the glam.
If your friends insist on the limo, make sure to get as many people possible riding in it. More people riding in the same vehicle translates to less fuel being consumed per person.___
Victoria Viksne attends Vista del Lago High School in Moreno Valley, Calif.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun