Saving Energy For Kids: A Guide
Kids aren’t born with the knowledge they need to live a green lifestyle, which is why it’s up to parents to teach them. Teaching your kids about energy efficiency will help them develop good habits early on in their lives that they can carry with them into adulthood.
But it can be hard for kids to understand the abstract concept of saving energy, so the best way to teach them is by showing them actions they can take on a daily basis to save energy.
Encourage your little ones to follow these tips for saving energy for kids:
Set A Timer For Showers
The average shower lasts for 8.2 minutes. The water flow on most showerheads is 2.2 gallons per minute, which means each shower uses an average of 18 gallons of water. Taking a shorter shower will not only conserve a great deal of water, but it will also save electricity since your water heater won’t have to heat up as much water.
Put a timer in the bathroom and show your kids how to set it before they jump into the shower. Challenge your kids to shorten their showers by one or two minutes to drastically reduce your home’s water and electricity usage.
Keep Exterior Doors Closed
Kids often run out the front or back door and forget to close it behind them. This may seem like a harmless mistake, but leaving the door open can let cool air escape in the summer and warm air escape in the winter. The more air that escapes, the harder your home’s heating and cooling system will have to work to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home.
To improve your home’s energy efficiency, get your kids in the habit of double checking to make sure the door closes behind them.
Close the Refrigerator Door, Too
The front and back doors aren’t the only ones that should remain closed—the refrigerator door should, too. Cool air escapes every time the refrigerator door opens, so it’s important to keep it closed as much as possible.
Teach your kids to think about what they want to eat before they open the refrigerator door. This way, they won’t waste energy by looking for food with the refrigerator door open.
Turn Everything Off
Leaving lights and electronic devices on when they aren’t being used is one of the most common energy-wasting habits among children. Get your children in the habit of turning off the lights, TV, and other electronic devices prior to leaving the room. Flipping a switch or pushing a power button only takes a second, but it can save a significant amount of energy.
Limit the Use of Electronic Devices
Many kids spend their free time watching TV, playing video games, or using their smartphones or tablets to talk to friends. These activities may keep your kids busy, but they also require the use of a lot of energy.
If you want to save energy at home, motivate your children to step away from their electronic devices and engage in energy-free activities instead. Encourage kids to read books, spend time outdoors, or paint. Help them find new energy-free hobbies that they will enjoy.
Plant A Tree
Kids love getting their hands dirty, so ask them for help planting a tree near your home. Planting a tree in the right spot in your yard can provide shade for your home and drastically reduce your cooling costs in the summer.
It’s best to plant a tree in an area where it will provide shade to your air conditioning unit. Providing this type of shade can keep your air conditioning unit running more efficiently.
Planting trees on the west and northwest side of your home can provide shade during the hottest hours of the day, the mid-to-late afternoon. Blocking the sun during these hours will keep your home cool in the summer so your air conditioner doesn’t need to consume as much energy to keep you comfortable.
Be sure to explain to your kids why you are planting trees in your yard and how the trees will help your family save energy. This is a great learning experience for your children–and a fun way to spend the afternoon together, too!
Saving Energy At Home Benefits the Whole Family
Taking the time to teach your kids how to save energy will pay off in a major way. Not only will improving your home’s energy efficiency reduce your family’s carbon footprint, but it will also lower your monthly utility bills and make your home more comfortable to live in. Everyone in your family can reap the rewards of your kids’ energy conservation efforts!