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When school lets out for the summer, having your kids home can be a challenge, and this is especially true if you are trying to conserve energy in your home.
From running the air conditioner more often to having your kids and their friends leaving windows open and lights on, trying to lower your electricity bill over the summer can be a constant battle.
However, there are a few strategies you can use for teaching your kids about energy conservation during their vacation that may help you out.
Learn four fun ways to teach your kids about conserving and saving energy this summer.
1. Make a Compost Pile
If you have smaller children, then creating a compost pile in your backyard can be an effective way to teach them about energy conservation.
Instead of throwing away your food scraps or putting them in the garbage disposal, show your kids that there are other ways to deal with them that do not require the use of electricity.
Making a compost heap can also enhance a summer garden and is something the entire family can participate in.
There are several lessons children can learn from composting.
Firstly, teaching them how to separate compost materials, such as grass clippings and fruit rinds and peels, can help your younger children practice basic concepts like sorting and colors. If your kids are in elementary school, having them create a compost can introduce them to environmentalism and scientific concepts, such as soil aeration.
2. Use a Reward System
Constantly nagging your kids about turning off lights and appliances when they are done using them can make for a long, frustrating summer. While most kids understand that mom and dad pay for electricity, putting a dollar amount on what it costs when lights are left on in an empty room might be hard for them to grasp.
To help your kids understand the cost of electricity, use a reward system that earns them money each time they remember to turn off a light or an appliance.
Make an energy conservation jar and keep it handy.
If your son remembers to turn off his bedroom light when he leaves, put a quarter in the jar. If he forgets, remove one. Over time, he will see that remembering to turn off lights and appliances can equal money saved. At the end of the summer, use the money he has earned for a pizza party or some other fun activity.
3. Teach Them About Your Home’s Thermostat
While it may be a hard and fast rule in your home that no one should touch the thermostat except for mom and dad, you might want to rethink this, especially if you have older kids.
Teaching them a few hvac tips for the summer can go a long way for how your older kids think about energy usage.
4. Make Saving Water a Game
The energy it uses to heat and deliver water to your home’s showers can be considerable, and when your kids leave water running while they prepare to shower or while they brush their teeth, it wastes more than one resource.
However, you can encourage your kids to cut back by making saving water a game. Time your kids and reward them for taking quick, efficient showers and if they remember not to run the tap while they brush their teeth.
When you make saving energy fun instead of constantly having to nag, it can make for a less stressful summer.
Having your kids home for the summer does not mean you must give up on trying to save energy. When you involve the whole family, it can be fun as well as educational.
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