Learning how to be more energy efficient is a practice that starts at home, but it goes beyond shutting off lights and turning down the heat. Those practices are absolutely part of making your home more energy efficient, but it extends to how we use the appliances, devices and gadgets in our everyday lives.
We need to understand:
Why are we using those appliances?
When are we using them?
And, how can we better use them?
Now is a perfect time to do some home learning and discover new ways to make your living space more energy efficient. Instilling eco-friendly habits in our children is made simple by educating, executing and entertaining them on all things energy. We’ll point you in the direction of some great tools and tips that will help you get started!
So, where do we start? Learning what conserving means and why it’s so important is a good place.
- Generation Genius has a great page on renewable vs nonrenewable resources. They even include a fun clip on a science experiment (spoiler alert: sparks fly and objects are shot through the air!).
- This activity book from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has fun ways to teach kids about saving energy throughout the house. It’s educational for all levels and shows you new ways to help our environment.
- National Geographic Kids has an online page devoted to learning about pollution. It includes games, videos and all sorts of ways to explore how we can make our planet cleaner and greener.
- The EPA has a page that teaches kids all about water conservation and how they can save by doing simple things around the house. They start off by asking kids if they are “thirsty for knowledge.” Get it?
Call this the practicum section of our home schooling. Take a collective trip around the house and find ways the whole family can save energy. This is a fun way for the kids to show off what they have learned and leads to even more discoveries.
- Family room: Turn off the lights or TV when no one’s in the room.
- Bathroom: Take a quick shower and try not to use too much hot water. Here are some fun ways to swiftly get in and out of the shower and still be clean.
- Kitchen: Make sure you have your recycling station up and running. The Earth Science Communications Team at NASA put out this fun and interactive video about recycling.
- Entry ways: Keep doors and windows closed when the heat is on. Do you have a child who loves science? Try this page from Cool Kid Facts about heat.
- Bedroom: Don’t leave mobile devices plugged in to charge overnight. Find out from Time Magazine why it’s not necessary, uses excessive energy and isn’t good for your phone.
Time to bring it all together and have some fun using all this great energy-saving knowledge we have accumulated. Try a multitude of activities that will engage your children, reinforce good energy-saving habits and create some family fun time. Here are a few ideas:
- Kid-Powered Dinner: Encourage children to make dinner without the use of any electricity.
- The Light/Thermostat Police: Assign thermostat/light duty for the day to your child, putting them in charge of all lights or regulating household temperature.
- Energy Treasure Hunt: Have the kids go hunting for energy wasters, such as cords still plugged in, faucets dripping, electronics left on, etc.
Help your kids be more energy aware and make your home more energy efficient. You may even learn a thing or two.