If you have kids, switching off lights left on by your carefree children has probably become part of your daily routine. Since kids have no financial incentive to switch off their gadgets, asking them to turn off their computers and bedroom lights often goes in one ear and out the other. How then, can you get them to actually listen?
For starters, you need to focus on energy saving goals that the whole family can participate in. To get an idea of some of the easiest ways kids can get involved in saving energy, Co-operative Energy recently spoke to Citizens Advice’s Energy Advice Service, who provides support to those experiencing difficulties with their energy costs. Their quick video highlights five ways households can save energy by only making tiny changes to their everyday habits.
Contrary to what you might be thinking, you don’t have to be Super Nanny to get your kids energy saving. Here are five easy ways you can get your children to help reduce your energy bills.
1) A little competition
Competing with each other to see who can be the best energy saver is a great motivator for remembering to switch off lights and gadgets. Simple things, such as star charts, are great for recording your family’s progress and there’s even more incentive if there’s a treat for the top energy saver at the end of each month! Make sure mum and dad are included too, to make sure it’s a whole family thing.
2) Put the kids in charge
When it comes to sneakily turning up the thermostat or indulging yourself with a hot bath, we adults are often the worst offenders. Giving your kids the power to tell you off for wasting energy, as well as vice versa, can make them more conscious of where energy is being wasted, encouraging them to switch off their devices.
3) Let them plan how they could spend the savings
For older children, you might need to offer a little more incentive than a gold star. Letting them help plan how the family could spend the extra savings is a great incentive as it’s dependent on them actually saving energy. Whether they want a new Xbox, a family day out or to put the money towards your next holiday, having a reward in sight can make it all seem far more worthwhile. If you need to, check out our post about smart ways to teach children about money.
4) ‘Turn me off’ stickers
Some of us need reminding more than others, and when it comes to our kids, they tend to forget more often than not. Adding a few gentle reminders to gadgets, plug sockets and light switches which regularly get left on can make a big difference.
5) Make it part of everyday life
Making sure your family doesn’t slip back into their old habits is the biggest challenge, but introducing little changes can make your new routine part of everyday life. Buying a washing up bowl, adding ‘turn me off’ stickers to electricals and cutting down on your time spent in the shower by only a couple of minutes are all tiny changes which can lead to big savings.
So, do you think your kids are up to the challenge? Why not have a go at kicking your energy guzzling habits this year and see how much you could save in 2016.
Since no child is the same, different methods can work wonders for different children. If you’ve got any great tips of your own to get kids energy saving, share them with us in the comments below.