One of the most important life skills that your kids will learn is sustainable use of energy. Kids must know where their energy comes from and just how much you end up paying for a light left on during the night. The bigger idea of teaching kids about energy savings is to make them understand the basics of finance as well as environmentally safe practices. If our kids cannot differentiate why renewable energy is better than coal based energy, we are doing something wrong as parents.
How to begin teaching kids about sustainable energy use?
In the beginning, you must introduce your kids to the wonders of electricity and how appliances are used. Tell them, in a simplified manner, how electricity is generated. You don’t have to tell your kids straight away that energy costs you a lot. Instead, try to use a child’s natural curiosity to your advantage. Tell them about different ways that energy is generated and how it reaches our homes.
Introduce your kids to renewable sources of energy and tell them why these sources are better. In the end, you can tell them about energy costs too. Let them know the different costs involved in generating electricity and how much you must pay for them.
Though the wind energy sector is growing rapidly in the UK, a majority of our power is still being provided by non-renewable energy sources. Let your kids know that by saving energy, they are saving the environment from damage. Tell your kids that an irresponsible use of energy not only burns a hole in your pocket but also damages the environment.
Can schools help?
At the secondary school level, kids learn about energy and its uses in Geography, Science, and other subjects. However, this is usually not enough. Why?
Most students avoid these subjects in school. Moreover, whatever is being taught about energy use and consumption may not be enough to create responsible citizens. It is important for parents to realize that simply ‘learning’ that kids must save energy isn’t going to help in the long run. Instead, you need to create a genuine interest in energy and global power supply.
Many teachers across the UK are trying their best to engage kids in energy saving. However, until education is treated as a means to become better citizens and not just passports to getting to college, children will likely continue to be ill-educated about this subject.