The energy wasted by 75,000 homes in a single year equates to that contained in the biggest oil spill in the history of the USA. Fortunately, thanks to an increase in the prevalence of energy efficient home designs, it is becoming easier than ever before to clamp down on excessive energy consumption. A home’s energy consumption can be reduced even more by getting the entire family, especially the children, involved in the household’s energy-saving efforts.
By making the necessary energy-saving changes to your house’s design while instilling a basic understanding of energy efficiency in your children you will not only protect the environment but save money which can then be utilized towards other things such as holidays, college tuition, and new gifts and gadgets for the home. There are a number of ways, such as the following, in which children can have an influence on an energy-saving home design.
By saving water, you save electricity
You can save a significant amount of energy by including solar panels for water-heating purposes as well as water saving faucets in your home design. WaterSense® faucets can, for example, save the average household as much as 700 gallons of water a year per faucet which will reduce energy consumption significantly. The entire household can contribute further towards saving energy by making sure all faucets are closed completely when not in use. By reminding your children how important it is to turn off the water while brushing teeth and to take shorter showers, you will end up seeing a significant difference on your energy bill. You can save as much as $100 a year (depending on where you live and how big your family is) by cutting shower times in half.
Install energy-saving appliances
How often do your children open and close the refrigerator door in a single day? Chances are good that you have lost count by lunchtime. Excessive opening of the refrigerator door can waste anywhere from 50 to 120 kWh of energy in a year. It is important for your children to understand the importance of only opening the fridge when it is absolutely necessary, but that is easier said than done. By designing your kitchen around energy-saving appliances including fridges, ovens, dishwashers, washing machines, and microwaves you will be able to reduce your energy consumption while exploring different strategies to teach energy efficiency to your children.
Turn the lights off
One of the worst energy-wasting habits children (and many adults) have is to switch, and leave, lights on when it is not necessary to do so. Not only does this waste energy but it also makes a room warmer which can result in a further waste of energy if your cooling system has to be turned on. By replacing your incandescent light bulbs with energy-saving halogen incandescent bulbs or LEDs that use up to 80% less energy, as well as teaching your children how to use lights responsibly you can reduce your household’s energy consumption substantially.
Regardless of how young they are, children are more than capable of contributing towards energy-saving efforts within the home. By making the task at hand interesting for them and giving credit where it is due, you may be surprised at just how eager they are to get involved in eco-friendly living.