Taming teenagers to reduce energy
Kids today have no idea how different their lives are from when their parents were their age – or perhaps they do, using the strange brilliance of the teen-aged mind which can figure out how to get your computer to stop doing that weird thing in seconds, but can’t ever seem to remember to close the refrigerator door or turn off a light when they leave the room. Teenagers enjoy the benefits of the modern life in a hundred ways, from having their own mobile phones to stay in touch, to having video games and televisions and computers in their rooms. It seems like everything kids today use sucks power from the walls, and as we all know they not only seem incapable of remembering to save energy, they often look puzzled and demand you explain to them why they should even bother.
Why save electricity?
The tactic of demanding detailed explanations from your parents is a classic stalling tactic as old as ‘because I said so.’ When it comes to saving electricity, teenagers are adept at forgetting and then acting puzzled as to why it matters in the first place. If you’ve got a teenager or three at home, no doubt you’ve gotten up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, spied the ghostly flicker of a TV or computer monitor under their door, and barged in expecting to catch them breaking their curfew, only to find them sound asleep like angels, but with all of their gear still switched on, humming and running up your electric bill.
It’s frustrating, because you’re working hard on your end of things to use less power, but all your work is undone by these people you created. It’s important to remember that kids are kids, and haven’t had the life experience you’ve had. You have to explain to them why things are important.
‘Turn it off at the wall’ fail
The problem, of course, is twofold. On the one hand you have kids who refuse or forget to simply turn off the electric devices they aren’t using. Their constantly running computers and stereos and video game systems are guzzling your power and your money.
But even if you do manage to get your kids to switch off through a combination of stern discipline, bribery, and perhaps a well-timed nervous breakdown, that’s only half the problem, because even in standby mode or switched off, many appliances and devices still draw power.
Even with everything in that NASA Control Center your children call a bedroom powered down, the electric meter is still silently ticking over. Things have to be unplugged or switched off at the wall to maximize your energy savings. But if you thought getting your teenagers to power down their devices was a battle, getting them to unplug or turn it off at the wall is nearly impossible.
The EcoSwitch Approach
Unless, of course, you take the EcoSwitch Approach. It’s beautiful in its simplicity. First, you’ll need two energy-saving powerboards, and two EcoSwitches. Run all of the non-battery devices (computers, video games, stereos) into one powerboard, then put an EcoSwitch between the powerboard and the wall. Do the same with a second powerboard and all the charging stations for their phones or tablets.
Then, and here’s the genius part, run the EcoSwitch up to their headboards and attach them so they’re right there at eye level. Every night when they go to bed, those haunting green lights will serve as both simple reminders, and simple annoyances. Even if they swear they will resist your parental tyranny until the end, it won’t take long for them to give in and just switch off the EcoSwitch every night when they hit the sack.
The end result is an entire evening with zero electricity being sipped from your wall outlets. You can also try sweetening the deal by offering to give your kids a percentage of the money saved on the electricity bill. A 10% bounty on energy savings can be quite inspiring, and linking a real reward with being more energy-responsible is a great way to teach your teenagers about the benefits of living a more efficient lifestyle.