In today’s world, it is more important than ever that a child understands the importance of saving energy from a young age. Getting your kids involved will not only reduce both your carbon footprint and your energy bill but also educate your children on the importance of doing these things themselves. Below are some simple ideas you can introduce your kids to and habits you can encourage to make your household more energy efficient.
Switch Appliances off When You Leave a Room
Make sure televisions, games consoles, and lights are switched off when not in use. Many modern electronics that require a persistent power supply can be put into a standby or low power mode.
Minimize Your Use of Artificial Light
Avoid turning lights on while daylight is available, invest in some fluorescent or low energy light bulbs to make sure that when they are on they’re using as little electricity as possible.
Weatherize Your House
On a hot day, close the curtains to block the sunlight, on a cold day keep them open. Block cold drafts to conserve heat by putting plastic sheeting over windows.
Teach Your Kids that Energy is Not Free
Many children are simply not aware that water, electricity, and heat all cost money. Teach them the value of these resources and how much they cost. If you live in a state with a deregulated energy market you could introduce your kids to the idea of shopping around for the best deal. Pittsburgh electric rates, for example, can be as much as 63% lower than the national average.
Fix Leaking or Dripping Faucets
A faucet dripping one drop of water per second will waste 165 gallons of water a month! As long as there’s no hot or boiling water involved you might want to show your kids how to perform simple repairs like these themselves.
Avoid Leaving the Refrigerator Door Open
Every time the refrigerator door is opened the light comes on and cold air escapes. Try and encourage your children not to leave the door open for longer than is necessary and try and avoid standing and staring in the fridge yourself!
Switch Your Thermostat for a Programmable One
A programmable thermostat can be set to automatically turn off during any hours that you know your house will be empty and because you do not have to manually adjust it throughout the day, you are less likely to leave it on a needlessly high setting for extended periods.
Reward Your Children for being Energy Conscious
Keep a chart on your refrigerator and invest in some stickers. Put one by your child’s name when they remember to switch the lights off on their way out. If you’re feeling generous and your savings are big enough perhaps offer your kids a percentage of the money you save month-to-month.
By making these changes to your household and encouraging your children to be more energy conscious both you and they will reap the benefits in both the short and long term.