With the colder months arriving soon, you may already have put your heating on and started dressing warmer and dreading your winter season energy bill. If you’ve got children in the house, it can be difficult to conserve energy and keep the costs down as little people have a tendency to forget TVs are on or games consoles are running and will occasionally leave the lights on in rooms no one is longer in.
While the chilly winds and freezing temperatures have yet to arrive, consider teaching your children these energy saving tips and encourage them by way of a reward. After all, every time they remember to save energy, there will be more money for treats!
Turning the Lights Off
Have you ever walked through your brightly lit home only to realize most of the rooms are empty? Even energy saving bulbs can contribute pennies to your energy bill so remind your kids to turn the lights off when leaving a room. It doesn’t matter if they are going back in, just get them into the habit of doing so every time.
If you need to, try drawing their attention to the light switch with a little sign on the door, stickers on the light switch or an eye-catching pull for pull-switch lights. Should they still struggle, consider investing in a motion-activated battery lamp that will turn on when they go into the room and turn off after a set time has elapsed after the last movement. This can lead to noticeable savings on your energy bills and a good quality LED motion-activated lamp will be long-lasting, saving you money for a while.
Keeping in the Heat
Central heating systems are a great way to stay warm but are often the largest contributors to household energy bills. While your kids aren’t likely to know how to use the central heating system (except for turning it on!) you can teach them ways to ensure that no heat is wasted by keeping windows and doors closed, keeping doors closed on rooms that aren’t in use and pulling curtains at night to trap in the heat.
If you aren’t willing to turn on the heating just yet, make a game of bundling up in one room on colder evenings. Grab the popcorn, a big blanket and snuggle down as a family to watch a good family classic or holiday movie.
Preventing Water Waste
Many children may not realize just how lucky they are to be able to turn on a tap and have water. It seems like such a small and unnoticeable aspect of daily life but it’s important to teach your kids to save water where possible, particularly as there are still children growing up in the world with no access to clean water. Teach your kids to turn off taps while brushing their teeth, to take short showers over baths and to recycle water where they can – for instance using rainwater collected in the garden to water plants or wash the car.
To really drive home the necessity of saving water, consider giving to a water charity as a family. Your children will have the perfect opportunity to learn about those who have no choice but to live without clean water and proper sanitation systems, counting themselves lucky in the process.
Make a Game of Energy Saving
On a wet and dreary afternoon where you are stuck indoors as a family, why not make a game of making your home more energy friendly? Get the kids to hunt out appliances and electronics plugged in on standby, find leaky taps and feel for drafts around the windows and doors. Not only does this help make your children more aware of the places around the home that could be costing more money, but it will help them be more conscious about what they do and use in the future.
As energy bills creep up as the cold weather moves in, plan ahead and teach your children the benefits of saving energy in their day-to-day life. They will take these habits through to their adult life, helping them save money on their own future bills and contributing to a greener earth for everyone.