Teach children to save energy and resources
If children learn to use our resources sparingly from an early age, it’s better than a change of habits in adulthood. Here’s how parents teach valuable energy-saving tips.
At the latest since the student strike movement initiated by the Swedish climate protection activist Greta Thunberg "Fridays for Future" is the Climate protection is also on everyone’s mind when it comes to children. Children and young people are raising their voices in peaceful demonstrations around the world Climate policy grievances Attentive and demand Do more to protect and preserve the environment. Make it clear that in the lives of our children the topics Sustainability, ecology, alternative energy and resource-conserving life will play an increasingly important role. That’s why you should Raise awareness of responsible use of natural resources from an early age. Families make a valuable contribution to environmental protection, for example, by saving energy in their daily lives.
What is energy?
Children first need to understand what energy is and why it should be used responsibly. Energy cannot be seen or touched, but we need it in everyday life to survive. Make it clear to your children that electricity can be generated by gas, oil, coal, water, wind or the heat of the sun, for example, and does not simply come out of the socket. All electrical appliances, such as toasters, radios and televisions, consume electricity, but they do not all consume the same amount, but vary in their energy efficiency.
To make it even more vivid for your children, you can use an appropriate measuring device to search for power guzzlers in your own home. It quickly becomes clear which devices are energy efficient and which are not.
Why save energy and resources?
In the next step, teach your children why it pays to save energy and what positive effects their actions have on the environment:
- Saving energy slows the depletion of natural resources such as gas, oil and coal
- Saving energy protects habitats, such as biotopes and forests, and saves living creatures from extinction
- Saving energy reduces climate-damaging emissions and slows global warming
- Saving energy reduces energy costs
Concrete energy-saving tips
Whether brushing our teeth, taking a shower or doing the laundry: We have an important influence on energy consumption through our behavior in our four walls. There are some things parents can teach their children to save energy:
Put on sweaters
Sitting in the living room with a T-shirt on in December? This does not have to be. Teach your children to put on a thick sweater instead of turning up the heat. This saves heating energy and is easy on the wallet at the same time. By the way, a room temperature between 18 and 21 degrees Celsius is recommended.
Avoid stand-by operation
Point out to your children that devices such as laptops, clock radios, game consoles and televisions still consume electricity in standby mode. It is therefore always better to press the off button, shut down laptops completely and pull the plug on the clock radio. Chargers for smartphones that are plugged into the socket all the time also consume electricity continuously, even when no cell phone is plugged in.
Turn off the lights
Children love light switches and like to provide full lighting throughout the home. Explain to your offspring that light is only necessary when it is dark outside and is only needed in rooms where someone is staying.
Turning off the water tap
The water tap should be turned off while brushing teeth or washing hands. The water temperature is also crucial, because significantly more energy is consumed to heat water.
Showering instead of bathing
While a full bath can consume 120 liters of water, a shower uses "only" 70 liters. In addition to water consumption, bathing naturally increases electricity consumption as well. A full bath uses about 600 kilowatt hours more electricity than showering would require.
Air-dry instead of tumble-dry
Clothes dryers are real power guzzlers. Those who have a balcony or basement room should switch to letting their laundry air dry. So that the drying does not take too long, can already be taken care of when washing clothes, that the clothes are well spun and contain only little moisture.
Sensitize your offspring to shop consciously and to avoid plastic waste. This means: avoiding tear-away bags, using large storage packages instead, avoiding plastic bottles, buying soap in one piece, putting the groceries in cloth bags that they bring with them, etc. To avoid food waste, prepare a shopping list in advance, listing exactly which ingredients are needed for which meals.
Repair instead of buying new
It’s much easier and more convenient to dispose of broken things than to fix them: the broken washing machine, the torn pants, or the wobbly chair. Children should learn that damaged items do not go straight into the trash, but can often be made to work again with a few simple steps. This saves resources and protects the environment.
Parents as role models
Parents will only be able to convince their children of the importance of saving energy in the long term if they themselves set a good example and model energy-saving behavior for the little ones in their everyday lives. Because they are the greatest role models for their offspring, especially in early childhood. Only when children understand the origin and meaning of energy are they motivated to use this resource responsibly and thus protect the environment.
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