Teaching Conservation at Home
When a person minimizes their energy or fuel use, it is called energy conservation. This includes the concept of energy efficiency, which is using less energy while maintaining one's standard of living. Conservation is an important concept because reducing energy waste also reduces individual utility and fuel bills, and it decreases the amount of pollution that people put into the environment. In addition, it cuts down on the pressure that is put on nonrenewable natural resources, leaving more for future generations. Reducing consumption, in turn, helps a society become more sustainable, lessening the risk of natural resource shortages and the crises that may result from their depletion. For these reasons, it is important for adults to teach children about the benefits of energy conservation, especially in the home. This is because the beliefs that parents instill into today's youth will make them more likely to appreciate the benefits of conserving energy when they reach adulthood.
Conservation for Kids
There are a variety of approaches that parents can take when it comes to educating children about the virtues of conservation at home. Depending on the child's age, parents can explain how electricity is produced and how reduced energy consumption benefits both people and the environment. One of the most important parts of instilling an appreciation for reducing energy waste, however, is for adults to lead by example. Adults in the household can show the way by doing things like turning off lights in rooms that aren't occupied and explaining to children how this saves energy and why it is necessary. Another important teaching method involves instilling habits into children through repetition. For example, if turning off lights when leaving a room unoccupied is a house rule, the action soon becomes a habit for the child.
Because saving energy is not the first thing that most children think of, they should be taught how to conserve energy in the activities that they participate in daily. Parents should get their kids into the habit of turning off electric items such as televisions or video game consoles when they are not using them. Children should also be taught that opening and closing the refrigerator door makes it work harder, and as a result, it uses more energy. Kids should only open the refrigerator when necessary, closing the door immediately after getting what they need. Another potential strategy for teaching children about conservation is to encourage them to be more active outside and with friends, which will also reduce their time using electricity-hungry devices. Parents can also take children on biking trips for simple errands and explain how this conserves gasoline.
Adults can turn to a number of resources to help educate children about energy conservation, including learning materials and field trips. One helpful tool can be picture books for youngsters, which you can explore at the local library. For older children, videos and conservation-based games may be available online. If the local utility company offers tours of their power plants, a field trip would be an educational and perhaps fun experience for children as well as another opportunity to learn about power conservation.
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