Monday 9 October 2017

6 Energy Efficient Habits to Teach Your Kids

Energy Saving Graphic from Shutterstock

It's important to practice energy efficiency, especially in the summer when air conditioning can cause high utility bills. Involving the children teaches good habits and helps keep the bills down. Here are some useful ways to engage your children as household energy monitors. 

Turn it Off
Keeping lights on when it's daylight or the room is empty wastes a lot of energy. Turn your children into the light switch police, letting them make sure light switches are in the off position. Also, gaming consoles, televisions, and computers drain electricity even when turned off but especially when on stand-by, so teach your children to unplug their devices when not in use. That goes for other devices like phone chargers and docking stations, too. 

Close the Curtains
Natural light is great, but it also raises the temperature during hot weather. When the temperature climbs outdoors, make sure your kids keep the curtains closed, so their room doesn't get hotter. During cooler times, opening curtains helps reduce the dependency on artificial light. So, teach your children to use the curtains effectively during various times of the year.

Take Shorter Showers
Filling the bathtub uses more energy than showers. But showers, especially during hot months, allow heat and humidity to spread throughout the house so the best solution is to limit shower lengths. Teach the kids that letting the water pour over them for too long wastes both water and the energy it takes to heat it. Put a timer in the bathroom, so the family knows the proper length for each shower.

Cut the Kitchen Heat
During the summer months, try to cook without the oven. Everyone knows how the entire kitchen heats up when the oven is on. Make it a fun game for older kids to come up with one-pot recipes, even ones they can cook themselves. Have food left over? Let the kids think of fun ways to use up leftovers, like adding pasta to vegetable dishes to create a new meal and then tell your children how much energy you've saved by being smart in the kitchen.

Go Off-Grid for the Day
Remember when you were young and the backyard was your entertainment for the day? Encourage your children to put down the controller and play outside. It's not only good exercise, but also it uses no electricity. In the evenings, turn off the television and computer, and bring out the board games. Show your children how much fun the family can have playing traditional games together.

Doing Chores
Turn to the past when doing the laundry too. Show your children the old-fashioned way to dry clothes, with an outdoor clothesline. And, when you do run appliances, like washers, dryers, and dishwashers, make sure the loads are full. Children need to understand that running half-full loads wastes a lot of energy.

Helping to keep energy bills lower and conserving our natural resources are important jobs for kids and adults. Engage your children with ways to help like turning off lights, taking shorter showers, and playing outside. Forming these good habits in childhood means more conscientious adults later and that is a win for everyone! 


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