Coming up with ways to reduce energy consumption and be more energy efficient in the home is a simple method to reduce a household’s budget. Plus it can be a great learning opportunity for the kids too.
When it comes to setting sustainability habits, it’s important to start early. You’re never too young to learn about saving energy, and by taking the time to educate your children, you’re creating values that last a lifetime.
It can be difficult for kids to get motivated to save energy if they don’t understand why they’re doing it. Have a chat with your children about where electricity actually comes from.
If you’re up for it, you can even explain the big picture stuff: that by saving energy at home and reducing your home’s energy consumption, you can also help save the planet, preserve our resources, reduce pollution, save money, and create healthier living environments for everyone.
After talking to your children about the big concepts, it can be good for them to actually be immersed in natural environments. That way they can see a a practical example!
Let them get to know and understand the natural enjoyment of the outdoors. Encourage them to ask questions, investigate what’s in the dirt, streams and under bark on trees. Watch out for spiders and snakes of course, but get them to interact with the great outdoors!
See if your family can keep all electricity and electrical devices off for a couple of hours per day or per week. Consider it a challenge!
Get your children involved in planning how they’ll get by. They'll have to think creatively, and it might even feel a little like camping!
Working on a garden with your child is a fun opportunity for some hands on learning. Planting veggies and native flora can really help kids feel directly connected to the environment, giving them a better idea of why saving energy and being eco-friendly is so important.
Understand the time it takes to grow something from scratch will also bring an appreciation for food and its value. Most families waste a lot of food, but if they grew it themselves most children wouldn’t be throwing it out because ‘they don’t feel like it’.
Check out what your children are actually learning about energy savings, by testing their sustainability and energy know how in a fashion similar to a pop quiz.
Have your children point out energy saving devices when you see them and reward them when they get the answers right!
As a parent, I’m often time poor and focused on simply getting myself and my family from one destination to the next. But teaching kids early that there are more energy efficient ways to travel can be super helpful.
Whether it’s carpooling to soccer, taking your family on a bike ride, or using the bus together, it all adds up! Just make sure your children understand why you’re changing things up.
Don’t be a hypocrite! If you’re setting rules in the house about energy, make sure they’re ones that everyone can follow.
If you tell your children to turn everything off at the wall to avoid using standby power, you need to do the same. Include everyone in the family in your energy saving endeavours and you’ll start kicking your saving goals sooner than you think.
Have your kids go ‘air’ hunting in your house to help discover where air is leaking in or out of your home. You can work this out by holding a ribbon up to the edges of your home’s windows. If air is leaking into—or out of—the house, the ribbon will move. The kids can then report it to you and you can take steps to address it, such as doing an energy audit.
Alternate putting your kids in charge of the thermostat. Have them check it a few times a day to make sure it’s on the right temperature. You can also purchase a programmable thermostat, or schedule your heating and cooling systems with carbonTRACK.
Whether it’s complimenting your kids when they remember to turn off a light, or even tallying their eco-friendly decisions on a sticker chart, rewarding your kids is the best way to let them know you recognize and appreciate their efforts.
Being eco-friendly doesn’t have to be difficult, and the best way to show that is by inspiring your kids through your own actions. Even these little differences can make a big change overall, both in your own mentality and your energy bill!
Wondering what else you can do to save electricity? At carbonTRACK we’re passionate about combing energy management with sustainable living. If you’re interested in finding out more, you can learn about what we do here.