Summer is over, but your power bill might say otherwise. Air conditioning, leaving the door open, and staring at an open fridge can increase your energy costs - and your household’s footprint.
Helping your children to become mindful energy users doesn’t have to be a chore. Follow these tips to get your kids on board.
Kids love challenge, and what better way to tap into their competitive spirit than to turn conservation into a game?
If your children tend to take long showers, you can use a timer and assign points based on who can reduce their shower time the most.
You can apply this to a variety of scenarios, such as timing how long your kids use the hairdryer or heater. They’ll become more aware of the time they’re spending, and they’ll learn how to save energy in the process.
Good hygiene is important, and you can show your kids how quickly they can go through their bedtime or morning routine with a fun game or contest.
Even if you think that you kids understand how they’re using energy, they might not know why these behaviors matter.
Talk with your children about why saving energy is important, and how they can do their part.
Visual aids are great tools that can help your kids create positive habits. Arts and crafts time is the perfect excuse to paint posters or signs that you can hang around the house.
Your children might be less likely to leave lights on or idle at the refrigerator with visual reminders all around them.
It might be effective to punish your children for being wasteful, but that is unlikely to push them toward a conscious and responsible lifestyle.
If you want to make the transition a positive one, you can treat energy use like a game of “truth or dare.”
Fill a box or hat with funny challenges, and tell your kids to select one if they break an energy-saving rule.
You can also add more risky penalties, such as additional chores, to raise the stakes. Knowing that they might pull out an extra set of doing the dishes or mowing the lawn might help your kids prevent energy-wasting slip ups.
Lighten up the consequences while still teaching them good habits that they’ll take with them after they’re grown.
If you want to make a larger impact in a shorter amount of time, practice black-out time.
Schedule time during the week when no one is allowed to use or charge certain devices, such as phones or televisions.
To make it more effective, plan eco-friendly family activities during scheduled blackout times. Board games, cards, and even going for a walk will pull your family away from their screens and into the present.
This will drive your kids to associate energy saving with fun, which is another way to bring them on board.
Electricity-free time is beneficial for parents, as well. Taking a break from our devices and indoor light can improve our wellbeing as well as our environment.
As a homeowner, saving energy is crucial for your wallet and your conscious. It can be easy to let a few left-on lightbulbs accumulate into a major chunk of your power bill. Save money, and the health of the environment, by teaching your kids about using energy responsibly.