Tips to Teach Kids How to Save Energy at Home
Whether it’s turning off the lights, shutting doors and windows, or recycling an empty water bottle, it’s the
little things we can do that add up to big energy savings this winter. Some adults often struggle with turning those tasks into habits, so how do we teach our kids how to save energy at home? Just like kids, you need to start small.
Educate Your Kids
There are tons of ideas out there for parents who are looking to teach their children energy saving lessons. Using online resources and books, you will find no shortage of fun ways to learn why saving energy around the house means saving energy for the whole planet.
Think back to the stories and lessons that resonated with you as a child. Learning about how electricity works and how energy is powered (coal, gas, wind, solar, etc.) is a great first step to knowing why we need to conserve energy. Energy Star has a children's interactive website designed specifically for kids and the common questions they ask. It’s a great resource for both parents and their children to look at together.
Lastly, turning saving energy into a game helps kids learn, too. Whether it’s imagining you’re a superhero tasked with saving the world by picking up litter at the park, or an NBA player shooting baskets with plastic bottles and cans into your recycling bin, kids love games! Energy Star has a free activity book for kids that would make a great rainy day activity, too.
Look Around Your Home
You are the greatest example for your children, so include them in your energy-saving efforts around the house. If you are winterizing your home with weather stripping or plastic window coverings, let them help. Switching out old light bulbs with compact florescent ones? Tell them why. Hanging your laundry out to air dry? Explain how it saves energy.
On the Energy Star kids section, children can discover ways to make big changes starting in their own bedroom. Ideas like:
- Turning off lights, TVs and other electronics when you are done with them.
- Keeping air vents clear from furniture, toys and piles of laundry, so heat can flow easily.
- Unplugging chargers when done with them, because even when not in use, they can still suck energy.
- Shutting doors and windows to stop heat loss.
- Taking shorter showers and turning off running water when you’re brushing your teeth.
During the holidays, have your kids look for ways to save energy during a time of year full of energy consumption with Christmas lights, parties, frequent trips to the store, and lots of cooking.
Look Around In Nature
Finally, exploring nature is one of the best ways to learn about why you are conserving energy. Go to a nearby nature center, zoo or park and show them firsthand what your energy saving efforts are for – a better planet for the plants, animals and humans to enjoy.
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