You might be looking for ways to cut down the cost of the energy bill at home but it doesn’t just have to be the adults' job to look out for a rogue light left on or a dripping tap - get the kids involved as well.
You can find advice and ideas from organisations, such as the Energy Saving Trust, on how to save energy and then get to work on encouraging the kids to take an interest.
It’s important that little ones view energy saving as a fun task: screeching at them when they leave the TV on when no one is in the room won’t get you very far.
Make them feel like a superhero and tell them that by turning off the lights and shutting all the doors that they are saving the world, one flick of the switch at the time. If they want to wear a cape whilst undertaking their energy saving duties, don’t stop them!
Make sure you explain to children where electricity comes from and why we need to be careful with it. Explain to them that they need to take care of their home and the energy it uses so animals like polar bears and tigers in the rainforest can continue living in theirs. Buy them a soft toy of their favourite endangered animal and make energy saving a game – so if they don’t leave the tap on whilst they brush their teeth, they are making sure their new friend is happy.
Another great way of teaching children the importance of electricity – and creating an allocated time for family – is to enjoy an electricity free energy evening each week. Wrap up in blankets, use candles and play board games as a family in cooler months and in the summer sit outside or go for walks after dinner.
Each week you could also come up with an energy saving habit of the week. Create a chart on the fridge with each family member’s name and a strip of stickers next to it and as people make an effort to keep to the habit of the week they can place a sticker next to their name. Some ideas for habits you can enforce are:
- Not holding the fridge door open
- Turning off all electronics at the wall
- Turning off the water whilst brushing teeth
- Taking five to ten minute showers instead of baths
Whilst out and about teach children about renewable energy sources you see, explain to them about solar panels and wind turbines and how they use natural energy to create electricity. Make it an 'I Spy' type game when out of the house and get them to spot these renewable energy sources.
If your kids enjoy spending time on the tablet or computer then make their allocated time beneficial by sending them to a website that features fun games about saving energy and easy to digest information, kidsenergyzone.com has some great ideas and games children will enjoy exploring.
What do you do to save energy?