Kids have a wild imagination, but one thing no one could ever be able to imagine is a world without energy. Whether you are making a slice of toast, playing a video game or watching your favourite series, much of our daily activities are powered by an energy supply like those here at Ampower. Energy has become one of the most used and relied upon resources worldwide, so how could we possibly cope if we ran out?
But what we have all grown to learn is, if we don’t begin to alter our lifestyle to take a more mindful approach, running out of energy is no longer a thought but a definite, possibly even in our lifetime. This makes it more important than ever to teach not only ourselves but our next generations, the generations that will face the raft of these actions, how to create a brighter, more sustainable future through energy conservation.
How To Teach Children About Energy Conservation
Whether it may be home or business electricity, our everyday lives use a significant amount of energy, and in most cases, it is far more than we need. Not only this, but we regularly find ourselves paying for power that we haven’t actually used. This may include the energy wasted by leaving a device on standby or even walking away from a game to have dinner but keeping it running in the background. But, if we are planning to prevent this by becoming more environmentally friendly, it is important that we spread the word to both grownups and children. Everyone in the house, even the littlest members of the family, can make a difference; it’s all about the way that you encourage these lifestyle changes.
If you are hoping to begin teaching your little ones about energy conservation, then you’re likely to find that the job is far easier than you expected. Children are always excited to learn new things, so by finding fun, creative ways to grab their attention, saving energy will become a more exciting idea. As passionate ambassadors of taking a greener approach, we have spent many years helping customers to become more sustainable with their home and business gas plans. So, we have created a guide with all of the resources you need to start teaching energy conservation!
When it comes to teaching children about anything, you’ve always got to be prepared for the “but, why?” questions. So, if you are somewhat new to the idea of energy conservation, we’d recommend spending time familiarising yourself with the different topics. This way, you’ll be armed with the knowledge to answer any questions your little ones may ask.
What Is Energy Conservation?
So, what is energy conservation? In simple terms, energy conservation refers to the prevention of wasting energy to ensure that we can protect it for future use. Unfortunately, fossil fuel energy, which is the most common energy form, is non-renewable, which means that we have a limited supply, and when it runs out, we can’t produce more. One day, we will eventually run out of fossil fuel energy, which can cause a dark world, quite literally. Without energy, we can no longer power our lighting, heating and devices that require plugging into the electricity mains.
The limited supply of energy means that it is more important than ever to ensure that we are not wasting energy in our homes. This is where teaching your children to turn lights off as they leave a room and fully power-down TVs or games consoles when not in use can be beneficial. In fact, not only can it help the environment, but it can also help to reduce your energy bills. According to uSwitch, households in the UK collectively waste around £277m of energy a year just by leaving our appliances on standby.
What Is Gas?
The gas we use in our homes and businesses are typically derived from “natural gases”, which are sourced from fossils deep under the earth’s surface, such as methane. These fossils are used for many things, not just for energy. For example, they can be used to create materials or chemicals, which means that without them, we’re not just risking our energy running out. These natural gases are formed over millions of years, if not longer, from animals and plants that have been buried under thick layers of the earth, which are all compressed to change into coal, and in some cases, oil.
What Is Electricity?
Electricity is a flow of electrons and can be produced using friction – that’s why you might get an electric shock after rubbing your feet on the carpet or get static hair after rubbing a balloon on your head. It is produced through an electric generator, where two magnets rotate to produce an electric current. This is what powers pretty much anything that you plug into your sockets. An electric generator can also produce electricity through wind turbines, where nature simply turns the windmill to create a current.
Why Should We Save Energy?
One of the questions that you are likely to be asked is why it is essential for us all to save energy, but there are many different answers. The first, of course, is that the resources we use to create energy are non-renewable, so once we run out, we cannot get them back. Nowadays, we have a very limited supply of these resources, so we need to be smart about conserving them.
Along with ensuring that we do not run out of resources, we must also save energy to improve the health of us humans, the animals around us and the planet we live on. Every time that we use fossil fuel, we add a little more pollution into the atmosphere, which can make us unhealthy, animals sick and make it difficult for plants to thrive. By using less energy, we prevent the nasty contaminants from entering the atmosphere, helping us to have a healthier planet.
Not only can fossil fuels impact health, but they are also the most significant contributor to global warming. The warmer the planet is, the more countries will run out of water, will experience droughts and run the risk of natural fires. There are also many animals, from turtles to tigers, whose habitat is being damaged by global warming. They find it tricky to adapt to the changes in climate and therefore become at risk of extinction.
For more ways to explain to your little ones why they should save energy, we suggest showing them the video below!
Now that you have all of the information needed to answer the weird and wonderful questions that your little ones may come up with, here are several different ways that you can begin teaching energy conservation while also making it fun!
The Best “Saving Energy” Teaching Platforms
After almost a year of homeschooling, every parent now understands more than ever how tricky it really can be to encourage children to get into “learning mode”. However, one thing we can all agree on is that, by far, one of the best ways to grab their interest is through using interactive, fun learning styles. Luckily, there are now many excellent teaching platforms that cover all energy-saving topics utilising a selection of games and informative videos. Just some of these great platforms include the following:
- Nico’s Activities – Nico has a variety of workbooks that you can print out, encouraging kids to colour in pictures and complete word searches. This offers a creative way to learn about all things energy, from saving power to keeping safe from electricity.
- Ingenium Games – Choose from various online games to play to teach children about clean air, renewable energy and powerplants.
- Learning Games For Kids – A selection of games and interactive songs can help children learn in a fun and memorable way. This site includes word searches and matching games.
- Energy Kids – From puzzles to science experiments, there are tones of activities to keep children busy while also learning on Energy Kids.
The Best Energy Saving Games To Play At Home
We all know that children just love to play games, which makes it the perfect opportunity to sneak in a little bit of learning. There are many games you can play with your children, some you can complete together as a family, and others are perfect for keeping them quiet while you have an important business call. Some of these games include:
- Energy Bingo – perfect for kids between 4-8; the bingo game has a selection of images such as showerheads and appliances, which kids can tick off if they’re not on.
- Word Search – you can either create your own, or you can find tones of energy-related word searches on The Word Search.
- Spot The Difference – draw out a bright and green future, and then use the same image but remove things that you won’t be able to use in the future without energy.
- “I Spy” Energy Waste – instead of looking out for objects that start with a specific letter, use the “I Spy” concept to spot things that are wasting energy.
- Plant A Tree – although this may not necessarily be a game, children love to get stuck into outdoor activities, so why not plant a tree together in your garden?
Child-Friendly Ways To Save Electricity & Gas
Children can be one of the biggest culprits for wasting energy without realising, so putting in place easy ways that they can get involved in saving electricity and gas will always work towards your advantage. It will also give them a sense of responsibility, so you may even want to consider giving them their own small energy-saving jobs around the house!
Turn Off The TV
Although the pandemic has brought a wealth of negatives, a positive is that it has made us truly value family time. So, next time that you go to turn on the TV in the evening or at the weekend, consider whether there is an alternative. Could you play a board game, get creative with an activity, go for a walk or even just relax and read a book. There are tones of ways that both children and adults can stay occupied without electronics, which will not only lower your screentime but also your energy usage – just remember to turn the TV off from the mains and not leave it on standby!
Play Songs At Shower Time
We can all be guilty of staying in the shower too long when really, there is no need. A great solution is to either set a timer or make the idea a little more fun for the children by creating a playlist. Before jumping into the shower, they can choose two songs that they would like to sing and dance to, then when they both end, they will know its time to come out. Shortening shower times is a fantastic way to dramatically reduce your energy bills to save money and lower your carbon footprint. Tech Radar has put together an excellent guide to the best waterproof shower speakers of the year!
Energy Saving Baking
Everyone loves the smell of freshly baked goodies, and decorating some cakes is a great pastime for younger children. However, baking can become costly with the oven constantly running, wasting energy as you bake your Victoria sponge and brownies. One straightforward solution to this is to mix up your ingredients before putting the oven on. By doing this, you can ensure that you are using your oven once it has reached the required temperature, rather than leaving the oven on, wasting energy while you mix up your baking.
Turn Lights Off
Turning the lights off when leaving a room isn’t something that everyone has at the top of their mind, but it can save you a significant amount of money. A fun way to make sure that all of the lights are off during the day is to play a game where everyone runs around the house to see how many lights they can turn off, how many unused appliances they can unplug and more, giving the winner a prize. This not only helps you to keep your energy usage as low as possible, but it can also be a fun pastime for the whole family.
Let’s Work Together To Build A Better Future!
It is important to learn about energy, as it has a significant impact on our daily lives, and without it, we could struggle with simple tasks. One of the main benefits of teaching children is that it means that they can pave the way to a bright and greener future, protecting our planet and reducing climate change. Not only this, but working together as a family to save energy will also lower your energy bills, giving you a few extra pounds to put towards your holiday fund. If you would like to know more about how you can save on your energy bill or switch to renewable energy, please feel free to contact the team about our home and business gas or electricity plans!