Whether your kids are grown and home from college for the summer, or your kids are still young and haven’t flown the nest yet, summertime can bring a skyrocketing electricity bill with everyone spending more time inside the house in general.
It’s important at the start of the summer to think of ways to conserve energy at home for kids. Not only does it help you, but it shows them how to conserve energy and live a more conscious, greener lifestyle.
These areas of your home are places you might not think contribute to a warmer house, or an overall conservation of home energy. But little by little, they do add up, and being more mindful of your usage can reduce your use of electricity, water and gas. Use these tips on how to conserve energy for kids to help your whole family become more energy-efficient this summer.
1. Ditch the Television and Pick Up a Book
It's no secret that television and video games run on power. Turn them off to save on electricity, and pick up a book instead!
If your kids are younger, you can encourage their reading habits by making a chart. For each book they read, they earn a sticker. After 10 books, they earn a treat.
For older kids, the same can apply. You could even form a household book club with your teenager, and read a book simultaneously to keep the inspiration of reading going. The end reward could be an afternoon out to a local bakery or coffee shop, to enjoy time together while you discuss the ending. Maybe even indulge and imagine who you would cast if it were to become a film!
2. Shower with Timers
Water waste and shortages during the summer months is real, in particular for those living in states that have received little rain over the last year. Especially with teenagers and young adults in the home, shower times can become ludicrously long. The longer the hot shower, the more water and gas are used to heat up the water.
Put a 5-minute timer in your bathroom, and ask them kindly to set it each time they shower. By the summer’s end, we bet their shower habits are down to a brisk yet thorough rinse off!
3. Keep the Doors Closed
Attaching a bell on the handle of the front or back door can give your kids, and everyone in the family, an aural reminder to shut that door. It’s something you can listen for when they are running to and fro throughout the house.
It will also become a habit for them to hear that jingle of the door as they close it themselves. Keeping the door closed is one of the key components to keeping that precious cool air indoors.
4. Use the Sun to Dry Wet Clothes
Rather than using electricity to run the dryer, teach your kids to hang their wet pool towels and swimsuits on the porch in the sunshine, or on the back of a chair. After a few times of doing this after coming home from the pool, it should become a habit. You might even try line-drying everyone's clothing and linens in the backyard.
5. Bake Efficiently
Summer can be a great time to explore old family baking recipes as well as new, unfamiliar flavors. When baking anything, be sure to have the recipe mixed and ready to bake before your oven has fully reached the desired temperature.
Heating up the kitchen with a preheated oven too long before it’s needed puts more of a strain on your AC unit to keep up with cooling down your home. You may even want to skip the preheat on some recipes
It's also best to encourage their kitchen adventures to start early in the morning or later in the day. This way you're kitchen isn't heating up during the hottest part of the day when the most amount of stress is being placed on the electricity grid.
6. Utilize Natural Light
During the summer months, there’s really no shortage of daylight during waking hours.
Once the sun has moved from the east and is heading west, blinds facing east can be slightly opened to allow natural light in, and windows facing west can be opened to allow sunlight in during the morning.
Discourage your kids from wasting energy and ask them to not turn lights on during the daylight hours. Find creative ways to allow light in without theheat of the sun coming in alongside it. Window films made for energy efficiency can help reduce the heat coming in through the window.
7. Adopt an Open/Close Fridge Rule
Start by putting a sign on the fridge that says “don’t leave me open!”, and if your kids are young, make it a fun illustrative cartoon to inspire the young ones to do the same.
Encourage your kids to think about what they’re hungry for first before they open the fridge and let all that frosty air out.
8. Turning off Switches
For gamers and kids who love to watch television or use their iPads and computers to connect with friends, create a checklist of what should be turned off each time they leave their room. Think of lights, computer, and wall switch.
For each time they forget to do it, deduct ten minutes from their allowed screen time! Sometimes it takes a little extra incentive to drive the message home.
We hope these tips on how to conserve energy with your kids at home this summer work for you and reduce your usage of your home utilities! Learn more energy efficiency tips at the Live Brighter Blog!