Caitlin Cosper / September 20th, 2016

Teach your kids to save energy.

[Sunny Studio]/Shutterstock

 

When you have babies, you start off by doing everything for them. But as they grow, they start taking on more responsibilities, whether it’s feeding themselves or picking up their toys. Part of their family education should also include helping save energy. Follow these tips so your babies – no matter their age! – will help both your family and the planet.

Little kids

Set a good example

Kids love imitating what adults do. If they see you always turning off the lights when you leave a room, they’ll do the same.

Teach recyclables from trash

As kids learn to sort colors and shapes, they can learn that bottles, cans and paper can go in the recycling bin rather than the trash can.

Start a compost pile or bin

As your little ones are separating trash from recyclables, they can also divert leftover fruits and veggies to the compost pile. Extra fun for kids is vermicomposting, where worms are used to break down the food into rich fertilizer for your garden.

Find an LED nightlight

Most kids require a nightlight in their rooms, so make sure it holds a long-lasting, energy-efficient bulb. If you use a sound machine or some other sleep aid, put it on a timer so you don’t need to remember to turn it off.

Turn off the water for teeth brushing

Better yet, don’t teach your kids to turn on the water to begin with. They only need water for rinsing. A small, reusable cup kept in the bathroom can help limit the water used for brushing.

Turn off the water to wash hands

Teach your kids the right way to wash their hands: Turn on the faucet, quickly get hands wet and turn off water. Get soap and rub hands together for a count of 20 (or just sing Happy Birthday). Then turn on the water and quickly but thoroughly rinse hands.

Bigger kids

Keep a snack list handy

Attach a note on the refrigerator door as to what snacks are available inside. This will keep kids from standing in front of the open refrigerator door, deciding what to eat.

Give them eco-friendly chores

If kids see their daily impact on the planet, they should recognize how important it is to save energy and resources. Assign your kids to take out the trash and recycling or to make sure all the electronics are turned off or unplugged before going to school.

Set a timer for the shower

If your kids are taking too much time in the shower, set a timer. Let them set the time at first, but if they ignore it or set the timer for too long, you will need to step in to set a reasonable time.

Tape over light switches

Say your child can never remember to turn off the hall light. Tape over the light switch for a week and see if that helps them remember to turn it off or perhaps convinces them they don’t need it to begin with.

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