Guest post written by Uma Campbell
Ten Ways to Teach Your Kids How To Save Energy
Are you an avid recycler? Do you always remember to flip the light switch off as you leave the room? Adopting these energy efficient habits goes a long way when it comes to helping the environment—especially when you can get the whole family involved. How can you get your kids on the road to a greener life? Teach them how to save energy with these tips:
Explain the importance.
Kids need to know what they’re doing has purpose, so explain why conserving energy is so important in a kid-friendly way. Visit Physics4Kids or check out books at your local library to help kids understand where energy comes from and why everyone on the planet should be concerned with how much they are using.
Limit screen time.
When kids have free time, don’t let them sit on their smartphones, computers, or tablets. Instead, encourage them to save energy by getting outdoors and enjoying nature. Be sure to also tell your kids devices should be turned off and unplugged when they are done using them.
Turn off lights.
Show your kids that the last thing they should do before leaving the house is turning off all the lights to save energy. Do this with your kids every single time you all leave the house so it becomes more of a habit and less of a chore.
Switch light bulbs.
If your kids are a bit older, put them in charge of replacing light bulbs around the house with energy efficient bulbs. This is a simple task that shows kids how easy it is to start making energy efficient changes around the house. Plus, giving them this responsibility helps them feel more grown up and trusted.
Take a walk.
Next time you have to bring your child to school or a friend’s house, skip the car and take a walk or bike ride instead. On the way, explain to kids how they should rely less on cars and try to find alternate forms of transportation to help the environment.
Show your kids how to conserve water throughout the day by turning off the faucet as they brush their teeth or taking shorter, more efficient showers. You can even turn it into a game by timing each other’s showers to see who can wash up the quickest!
Now that they know the basics of saving energy, challenge your kids to cook dinner for the family using as little energy as possible. This will help kids put their skills to the test as they figure out how to create delicious food without the microwave, oven or grill.
Are you planning on caulking the windows or adding insulation in the attic? Next time you tackle a DIY home energy project, ask your kids to help out. They may not be able to handle the power tools, but they can read the instructions to you while you do the work to become more familiar with energy efficient projects.
Set up a reward chart.
Assign different energy saving tasks to each of your children and then create a chart that clearly shows who is responsible for what. When your child completes a certain number of tasks, the chart should lead to a reward for him or her. This will encourage kids to make sure they are completing these tasks if they want to earn the reward.
Go on a treasure hunt.
Once kids are knowledgeable about the many different ways to save energy, send them on a treasure hunt. Have your kids explore the house to find as many energy wasters as possible, such as appliances that are plugged in but not in use or leaky faucets. The kid who can find the most wins!
Remember, the habits that kids develop in their childhood will carry on with them through their adult years. That’s why it’s so important to teach your kids how to conserve energy now!