Quick Tips- Energy Conservation For Kids

“I unscrew the light bulbs in my house if I see the kids leaving the lights on in their room,” says Arnold Schwarzenegger. “Every time they leave the lights on, one more light bulb goes. And eventually within a week, they end up in a dark room… Now they don’t ever leave the lights on anymore.”

While we don’t all have to be as extreme as Arnold when it comes to saving electricity, there is a certain duty that can fall on parents to teach children how to be responsible with electrical energy, especially as our electrical energy use continues to grow.

Get Kids to Save Energy and Money

Finding fun and practical ways for children to monitor electrical usage is a way recruit them into your goal to save money and conserve energy. Here’s some easy jobs to add to your child’s responsibility chart that can help them approach new chores in a fun, interactive way:

The “Off” Monitor- Your kids can patrol different areas of your home for lights and other electronics that have accidentally been left on. Computers, video games, fans, and more can no longer drain your electricity. Tell them to especially check outdoor lights and ask them for your help to unplug any electronics that aren’t being used.

little boy turning off vacuumShower Timer- Kids love being bossy. Give them a real reason to tell you what to do by allowing them to time everyone’s showers to make sure they’re conserving hot water usage. Let them set how long everyone’s shower should be so they feel in control of this responsibility. You can cut hot water usage in half with a 5 minute shower.

Light bulb Watch- Let your children tell you when a light bulb is out, so you can help them replace the burnt-out bulb with a new compact fluorescent bulb. They use 75% less energy and can last up to 10 times longer.

Thermostat Guard- Have one of your children guard the thermostat settings and try to catch someone in the act of adjusting the settings. You can teach them that good temperatures to keep the thermostat at are 78°F during warm weather months and 68°F during cold weather months. For each one-degree of change, you can save your family up to 5% on heating/cooling costs.

Appliance Inspector- You can use this job to enlist your children to help you with doing dishes and laundry. Have them regulate when you’re using large appliances (preferably after 8 p.m.) and check to make sure you have full load of laundry or dishes before you start the washer, dryer or dishwasher. Let them inspect the water temperature for the washing machine- cold water wastes less energy than hot water.

As an added bonus let your children actually police your activity and be able to write you tickets for any “crimes” you’ve committed.

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