Teaching your kids life lessons is not always the easiest thing to do. It seems to be even harder when the consequences of the lessons don’t directly affect them or conflict with their interests. Far too often it feels when it comes time to discuss the importance of saving electricity. It can be a struggle, as explaining where your children will need to cutback in order to keep your electricity bill under control becomes synonymous with “no more fun”. The good news is that it does not have to be like this. You can help your kids understand ways to save energy while keeping things enjoyable and more importantly, saving money. To help you do so, consider these easy tips that will reduce your energy output while keeping day-to-day life unchanged.
Here are 15 ways to save electricity with your kids
- Save by Turning Off The Lights
- Use Rechargeable Batteries in Their Toys
- Turn Off the Video games and Play Outside
- Use LED Lights for Your Decorations
- Vampires Don’t Come Out Just on Halloween…
- Teach them While their Young
- Buy Energy Star Devices
- Don’t Leave The Door Open
- Use Fans
- Disconnected time
- Save by Taking Shorter Showers
- Use Alexa
- Take Family Walks
- Clean Out The Fridge
- Open A Window
1. Save by Turning Off The Lights
There’s something about being a child makes us completely oblivious to the fact we need to hit lights off. What’s worse is that if we do not know when the lights are on, like if they’re lit on the second floor and we’re on the first, it could be a while before we find out. That means you’ll likely see a nice little tick up in that electricity bill.
2. Use Rechargeable Batteries in Their Toys
Purchasing rechargeable batteries is an easy way for you to save serious energy that beats the hassle of having to constantly buy new batteries. Though there is a larger upfront cost than for their non-rechargeable counterparts, standard rechargeable batteries can be re-energized as many as 500 times. That means that in just a few uses they will pay for themselves. In addition, rechargeable batteries don’t experience the same gradual decline as other standard batteries, so their overall performance is better.
3. Turn Off the Video games and Play Outside
While your children spend hours barricaded indoors playing on consoles like the PS4 and Xbox One, it is your electricitybill that is feeling it the most. Videogame consoles are energy hogs, running up a tab even when you’re not playing them. And while the electric costs are adding up, they’re nothing compared to the bonding time you miss out on with your children.
4. Use LED Lights for Your Decorations
LEDs are an incredibly efficient lighting alternative that is almost like using no electricity at all. These lights use about half as much electricity as their fluorescent, incandescent, and even halogen-based substitutes, guaranteeing you big savings.
- The usual lifespan of an LED is around 30,000-50,000 hours, dwarfing the typical incandescent bulb’s 1,000 hour lifetime. As incandescent and other types of bulbs are gradually phased out, it is important to teach your kids about LEDs versus CFLs. You can even talk about the “old days” and the advantages LEDs have over incandescent lights.
5. Vampires Don’t Come Out Just on Halloween…
Sorry to say it, but energy vampires suck your energy 365 ¼ days per year. We’re referring to appliances you leave plugged in. This could be your laptop charger, a video game console, or maybe a charger for your kid’s toys. It’s called the phantom load or vampire power and it refers to electricity consumed by devices that have been turned off but remain plugged in.
6. Teach them While their Young
Sometimes the key to getting your kids to save energy lies not in changing behavior down the road, but rather guiding it from a very early age. This may be difficult when we as adults momentarily show bad energy usage habits and when it is so easy to forget how observant toddlers and young children are.
7. Buy Energy Star Devices
Energy Star devices were designed to be electricity saving products that both save consumers money over time and mitigate the damage done to the environment by harmful energy alternatives. They range from appliances like refrigerators and dishwashers to computers and televisions.
Savings vary from device to device but over the course of their lifetimes, most Energy Star devices have been estimated to save users a few hundred dollars, a nice bonus to the positive environmental footprint they maintain.
8. Don’t Leave The Door Open
Propping the door open for short periods of time is one of the easiest habits to get into. Whether it’s in the process of getting groceries out of the car or stepping out back to let the dog out for a moment, many families fall into the trap of the open door. And for children who aren’t as mindful about it, the door may remain open for extended periods of time.
9. Use Fans
Fans are a great alternative to the constant adjustment of a thermostat, as instead of decreasing the temperature within spaces they circulate the cool air around them. This difference requires less energy and can help to lower your electricity bill by as much as 40 percent. The only drawback is that many people (especially kids) fail to understand this and will leave fan running while they are not in the room.
- In order to reduce this waste, make sure you explain to your children that fans only have a benefit when someone is in the room with it.
10. Disconnected time
Limiting your child’s screen time is no easy feat, especially in this day and age, as younger and younger children have access to technology and a greater need for it in their everyday lives. But while they’re playing on their tablets, using their consoles and charging their other devices, they’re using up precious energy.
- To counteract this, there are a few things you can think about doing. You can prohibit certain devices from being in your child’s room so they are not using them for extended periods of time unsupervised. You can also set times for devices to be used, which can help you keep your kids off longer and reduce their overall energy consumption.
11. Save by Taking Shorter Showers
The amount of water used in a single shower can be a bit surprising as showerheads can run through as much as five gallons of water per minute. Not only does this waste a fair bit of water, the energy needed to heat the water and maintain the temperature can also be quite substantial and add up.
To counteract this, one of the easiest things you can do is reduce the amount of time you spend in the shower. When trying to get your kids in the habit of minimizing their shower time, consider making a game of it. You can set a timer and tell them that the clock is ticking. Just make sure they don’t sacrifice cleanliness for speed!
12. Use Alexa
With the integration of artificial intelligence into everyday life, more and more families are beginning to invest in personal assistants like the Google Home and Alexa from Amazon. These gadgets have plenty of neat tricks including the ability to turn devices on and off. All you need is a smart bulb, smart plug, or smart thermostat and your house can be controlled with your voice alone.
13. Take Family Walks
This tip is a great way to get out of the house and spend some time with the family. It doesn’t have to be multiple times a week or long in duration, (a quick walk around the neighborhood is fine), but taking a family walk will give you and your loved ones a relaxing break while also briefly reducing the energy used within your home.
14. Clean Out The Fridge
The refrigerator is one of a small number of appliances within your home that is on all day, every day. With that comes constant energy consumption that is increased when your fridge is unable to optimize circulation within itself, most frequently caused by food clutter.
Take the steps towards less electricity consumption by cleaning out your refrigerator. Figure out what’s good, what’s bad, and what you know you just won’t eat. Also pull your fridge a few feet away from the wall and just give the coils a quick dusting. These tiny modifications should help your refrigerator guzzle a bit less electricity.
15. Open A Window
In the warmer months when your home begins to heat up, its natural to switch on the A/C and allow it to cool back down. The only problem with this is that it often means running it for long periods of time to achieve a reasonable temperature. This requires a lot of energy and along with the cost it incurs, may not be the most efficient way to cool off your home.
When it comes to energy consumption, there are so many ways to save and even more ways to pass on the value of making easy lifestyle changes to your children. Though these methods may vary from parent to parent, at the end of the day we’re all working towards the same goal: saving energy. Whether it’s putting things in a manner your kids can understand or relying on the lessons your parents taught you, you can begin taking the necessary steps towards helping your kids understand and reduce their energy use today.
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