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Saving Energy is a Family Affair

by ClickGreen staff. Published Tue 03 Nov 2015 09:39

As a parent, the pursuit of reducing your home’s energy consumption can be frustrating. While you may do an impeccable job of maintaining responsible behaviors, your kids probably don’t think with as much care and precision. From turning off ceiling fans and lights to keeping doors closed in the dead of winter, getting kids onboard is more challenging than most realize.

Getting the Kids Involved

For parents, getting children involved in energy efficiency is no small task. However, it doesn’t have to be painstakingly difficult. With a little persistence, you can train your children to be environmentally conscious stewards of the community. Here are some helpful tips to encourage best results.

Start with the ‘why.’ Parents may find a child’s endless stream of questions aggravating at times, but the reality is that many of the questions they ask are important. When it comes to topics about energy, you need to clearly provide answers to their ‘why’ questions. This allows them to understand the purpose behind what you’re doing as a family.

Help them understand energy. For a child, the concept of energy is a difficult one to grasp. It’s up to you to help them gain a better understanding. “Explain that energy is an invisible force,” suggests John Moore Services, a Houston, Texas-based plumbing company. “People get energy from food and use it to walk and play. Fireplaces use energy to heat the house. Houses get energy from burning things like natural gas and coal, and use it to run the refrigerator, heat the water, and turn on the lights.”

Teach specific habits. The concept of energy efficiency can only take a child so far. Before too long, you need to show them what it looks like by providing tangible suggestions. Teach them to quickly close doors behind them, turn off light switches and ceiling fans before leaving rooms, and to take shorter showers. Once they’re able to see the changes, they’ll understand more about what it takes to reduce energy dependence.

Establish a reward system. Most children are competitive by nature. They love being able to win something – especially if other siblings are involved. By establishing a reward system for completing certain tasks, you can make a game out of it. While you’ll eventually have to stop the game and show your children that energy efficiency is a lifestyle, this is a great way to spark initial involvement.

Let children study energy efficiency. In many elementary school science classes, children are able to choose topics for science fairs and end-of-year assignments. Encourage your children to look at the topic of energy efficiency. You may be surprised how much they can learn about the issue. In fact, they may teach you a thing or two about it.

Take a field trip. Nothing impacts a child more than hands-on experience. One fantastic strategy for encouraging your children to think about energy is to take them to a local power company for a field trip. Most power plants will be happy to set up a brief tour and this is an awesome way to show your children what goes on behind the scenes.

Raising Children to be Energy Efficient

As you can see, saving energy around the home not only requires effort on your part, but also involves your children. They must understand why energy efficiency is important, how it impacts the home they live in, and how their actions and choices play a role in the bigger picture.

Using these tips, you can not only make your home more efficient, but you can also ensure that your children grow into mature adults that grasp the significance of saving energy and developing sustainable habits.


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