Getting your kids involved in the quest to save energy is a great way to educate them about energy, the environment, and home planning in general, as well as saving money for your household. Below are some tips for things you can do with your kids to get them involved with saving energy at home.
Teach Kids about Environmental Concerns
With global warming and the issues around it likely to play a major part in your kids lives as they grow up there has never been a better time to teach them about where resources like heat, water, and electricity come from, and what the alternatives, which will become increasingly common as they grow up, are. You can translate these lessons into energy saving techniques at home by investing in fluorescent or energy saving light bulbs. Encourage your kids to turn off lights and other appliances when they leave a room and remember to lead by example! Remember to teach them that a light left on doesn’t just cost money but has an impact on your carbon footprint, which is another concept that you should introduce them to.
Involve Kids in Choosing an Energy Tariff
Many children leave home having never had any first-hand experience with things like choosing an energy tariff. This information is particularly useful for older or more curious younger children. While the average price of electricity in the USA is around 10 cents per kilowatt hour (kW/h) this can vary a lot. For example, electricity in Hershey PA can be as little as seven cents per kW/h for a residential property. Teaching children about the value of cumulative small savings is invaluable in many areas of life. Your kids can never be too well equipped for when they leave home and the best place to learn about home maintenance is from within their own home.
Teach Kids about Waste
Leaving an artificial light on during the day, opening the refrigerator door for extended periods of time, and using the thermostat where a sweater will do are all common ways that we, adults and children alike, needlessly waste our energy. During the summer months, try leaving curtains closed to reflect the heat. Conversely, during the winter months leave them open and consider putting some plastic sheeting up over your windows to trap heat inside.
This applies particularly to younger children for whom an interactive element is very helpful in reinforcing what you teach them about saving energy. Consider investing in a chart and some stickers, a tried and tested way of encouraging good behaviour in children. When your kids leave a room and remember to switch appliances off put a sticker by their name. This is more effective than doing the opposite, which is punishing children for forgetting to turn things off. If you’re feeling particularly generous you could even offer to split the difference of any savings you make with your kids.
By following these tips you can make some real savings on your bills while making it fun for your kids to get involved in household efficiency.