You want your children to adopt habits that are good for both the planet and your family’s monthly energy bill. You can admonish them to turn off the lights and turn down the thermostat, but why not go beyond the basics? Here are some creative ways to show your kids how to save energy.
Cover the Cracks
Many homes, especially older ones, have tiny gaps around doors and windows that can let cold air inside during the winter and reduce the efficacy of your AC in the summer. Show your kids where the air leaks in; this can be as simple as holding your child’s hand close to a window or the space underneath your front door.
When kids see for themselves how those little spaces can be major air movers, they’ll want to help stop that leak. Perhaps they can help you install weather stripping or caulking. At the very least, they’ll be more likely to listen to you when you ask them to close the curtains or blinds over the windows.
Turn Everything Off
Think about going electricity-free for a few hours every week. You can do this indoors or outdoors. If you do it indoors, you’ll have to turn everything off. You can use candles and oil lamps for illumination if your kids are responsible enough to handle them. You can use this time to tell stories or play games as a family. If you’re outdoors, you can make it into a camping adventure complete with a fire and some yummy snacks.
Doing this will instill in your kids that they can have fun without using excessive amounts of electricity to play video games or watch TV.
Take Public Transportation or Walk
If your kids are used to you driving them everywhere in a car, they may think it is a fun adventure to take the bus or walk to their next playdate. Seize the opportunity to explain to them how they save energy by taking public transportation or using the good old Shoe-da-baker. When your kids are old enough to drive, they may opt to forgo asking you for the keys to the car and instead hop on the bus.
Show Them Where Energy Comes From
Image via Flickr by L. Richard Martin, Jr.
Explain to your kids what electricity is and where it comes from. You can do this by watching videos, performing fun science experiments, or reading books. If you live near a dam that provides energy for your community, take a trip to it. Some dams even offer tours and have visitors’ centers that can provide fascinating insights. You can also search for wind farms and nuclear power plants in your area that you could see as part of a lesson.
When children see where electricity comes from, its environmental impact, and why it costs so much money, this knowledge can set them up for a lifetime of energy-saving habits.
You want your kids to grow up to be environmentally responsible citizens who know how to save money on energy. Point them toward success when you use creative ways to teach them about energy usage.