I’m sure I’m not the only parent who is always telling her kids to “Turn off the lights when you leave a room!”. Or how about “Unplug your phone charger when you’re not using it”. Why? Because we are wasting energy and money!
Guest blogger, Josh Stoddard has created a great list of ways to help kids get on the ‘Save Energy’ band wagon.
You can be the most frugal-minded person in the world, with all of the best habits for saving on energy. Though, This can easily be undone if you don’t teach your children these habits, as well. A concept such as saving the environment or cutting down on the energy bill are rather abstract concepts for a child, so teaching energy-saving habits in a kid-friendly context is essential to getting your entire household on board.
Photo by Flickr user James Emery
Make It a Game
Your kids might not understand saving $100 on electricity is enough to make you do a happy dance around the house. What they will understand is that you can make this into a game they’ll want to get involved in. Give points every time a child performs an energy-saving habit, such as turning off the lights or unplugging their video game systems after they’re done with them. Give special rewards once a child has reached a certain level of points. You can use a chart in the kitchen with gold stars to track each energy saving category. Not only does this help you see who is helping out with energy saving, it also allows you to show the children a quick list of everything they should be doing.
If you want to get your children invested in the power-saving process, give them a financial incentive. Use the money you’re saving on electricity to augment your budget for their allowance, toys or events. When they keep up with their energy-saving habits you’re teaching them, they’ll be able to take advantage of the additional money directly. You can increase that amount by using electric.com or another company to switch your utilities to a less expensive option, if available in your area.
Provide Kid-Friendly Education
Energy Star and Touchstone Energy both provide energy-saving information in a format that is fun and easy for children to read. They teach kids about energy, such as how it’s made and how much it costs, through colorful cartoons, coloring books and games. Energy Star explains the types of changes that can be made in bedrooms for energy efficiency, with an interactive and colorful webpage that is similar to an adventure game. Your local electric company might also have kids’ games and activities to help them grasp all the concepts you’re attempting to teach. It might take some time for the kids to truly understand what you’re trying to do, and why it should matter to them, but it’s well worth it when you come together as a family to keep saving money.
Take the Science Experiment Approach
If your kids have more curiosity about electricity and energy and how it gets into your house, you can teach your kids about the science behind it all. Science Kids provides you with a variety of experiments that demonstrate the scientific principles behind electricity. For example, a balloon experiment to teach kids about static electricity is a good starting point for any age range.