There are ways to teach your kids about saving energy at home without constantly nagging them to turn off lights or shut the front door. It’s not just about having rules and enforcing them, although that is a good idea too. It’s also about teaching your kids the principles of saving energy and instilling that in them.
Here are 8 easy ways to teach kids about saving energy, and make getting the point across fun for both of you!
- Educate your kids. Go to the local library (an eco-friendly thing to do in itself!) and borrow books and media on the subject of energy. The purpose is to show your kids where electricity and energy comes from. Knowing how energy is manufactured and what goes into its production is the first step in understanding why we need to conserve it.
- Go electricity-free once a week. For young children, this can really be a fun adventure. Just make sure you explain why you are doing it. Agree to a regular time of electricity-free entertainment: have a family game night, go outside and play or attend a local event such as fairs and festivals, or the symphony.
- Go outside more. Take a hike or walk together in a local nature preserve. Ride bikes as a family. Let your kids experience nature and help them make the correlation between saving energy and preserving the planet.
- Create an energy-efficient playroom for your children. Include their input. Older kids will have a good (and educational!) time designing and implementing an energy-efficient bedroom.
- Do energy-saving projects with your kids. Let them help with putting on weather stripping, for example, or caulking windows. Have them help you hang out laundry. Explain how this saves energy.
- Include your kids in your energy-saving efforts. If you are timing your showers, for example, time theirs, too. Make it a race to see who finishes their shower in the least time, and have a treat or a prize for the daily winner.
- Make using alternate modes of transportation an adventure. Get the family on their bikes for short errands. Show your children how to use the bus and map the route together online.
- Turn saving energy into a game. Remember playing “I Spy” as a child? Play that, only look around for energy-saving or energy-wasting items. You can play this game anywhere, and it is a great way to attune your child to look for those kinds of details.