Make energy saving part of your family plan
Far too often in our efforts to be responsible and forward-thinking, we become very pleased with ourselves. After all – we’re doing the right things. We’re pursuing energy efficiency in our homes, using energy efficient appliances and other energy saving products. We take short showers and we use the right light bulbs, we have everything in the house hooked into a standby power switch like the EcoSwitch, we wear sweaters in the winter and close the drapes in the summer and always have our thermostat set a few degrees higher or lower because we know the impact that can have. These are all good things. So what’s the problem?
Simply put, there’s too much ‘I’ in those sentences.
Teach Your Children how to Save Energy
Saving energy is a group effort that involves everyone in the world – but it also involves every future generation that will live on this earth. It’s not crazy to say that our children will have to live with our mistakes as well as our good decisions, but it can’t be that passive. The work involved can’t just be undertaken by this generation, and whatever we manage to accomplish is what our children get. We have to involve them in the process today, and start teaching them everything from the simplest ‘why save electricity’ reasons to the most complex concepts in how to save power, how to ensure adequate energy for a growing world, and how to make sure their future – a future in which they’ll be raising their own kids – will have enough resources to go around.
Lead by Example
The best way to teach your children anything, of course, is by example. It isn’t enough to instruct them – you have to demonstrate to them that not only are lifestyle choices immensely important, but that these choices are important enough for you to follow through on them.
This means involving your children in the day-to-day conservation efforts of the home and being prepared to answer their questions about the efficacy and implementation of recycling programs, energy saving devices, and alternative methods of energy generation. If you’re trying to teach your children about resources, teach them how much things cost and where things come from. If you’re going to put rules into place, like short showers and efficient thermostat settings, make sure you follow the same rules.
Additionally, involving your children in interesting and hands-on activities can help them to understand the stakes and why these actions are necessary today to ensure the stability of their future world.
Instead of making recycling simply a special bin for plastics and metals, get the family together and collect bottles and cans from the neighbourhood, then drive everything to the recycling centre. This can show them the infrastructure that exists specifically for this purpose and can demonstrate to them how important recycling is. Re-using bottles and other containers in creative ways can be a fun way to bring the lesson home – many bottles can be re-capped with simple kits you can buy online, meaning that the leftover lemonade from the kids stand can be bottled and stored, and drinking water can be run from the tap instead of wasting resources on more plastic bottles.
Visit the Landfill
One of the most effective ways to demonstrate how much waste is involved in the daily lives of modern people is to simply show your children the sheer scale of waste being collected. While no one thinks of a trip to the dump as a fun day activity, it is a striking and effective image your kids won’t soon forget.
Put Things On Their Scale
If your children earn pocket money from you, sit down one night and teach them this simple concept: Show them a utility bill and calculate how much your electricity costs. Then look up on the Internet how much electricity your average television uses. Then show your kids how many minutes of television their allowance would buy them, and ask them to imagine they had an electric allowance each week of just a few hours. Explain to them that there are many countries in the world where this is a common occurrence, because there are so many blackouts.
You can’t simply tell your children one thing while doing another – they see how you behave and will model themselves after you. Make energy saving and being responsible for the future of our planet part of your family plan.