August is National Back to School Month. As you wrap up your summer vacations and do some last-minute school supply shopping, don’t forget to put healthy habits into motion for the school year. Here are some easy ways your child(ren) can conserve energy at home — and potentially help lower your Texas electricity bill.
Start with a handful of energy-saving tips to conserve energy.
You don’t need to come up with a list of 100 ways to save energy at home in order to help your children make an impact on the environment and your electric bill. Just start with 5 ways to save energy at home and build from there. Try these easy home energy-saving tips that any student can get on board with.
Tip #1: Flip out.
Lighting accounts for about 15% of an average home’s electricity usage, notes the U.S. Department of Energy. So, help youngsters remember to flip the light switches off when a room is empty. It’s an easy way to chip away at a portion of your electricity usage.
Make it fun: Time your kid(s) as they race around the house turning off the lights.
Tip #2: Load less.
The average U.S. family does about 300 loads of laundry per year. That’s a lot of water and electricity. Do your children add to your workload by tossing mostly clean clothes into the hamper (or on the floor)? If so, you could be doing fewer loads each year. Start a new habit: if shirts, sweaters, pants or shorts look clean and smell fresh, they go back into the closet — and not into the washing machine. (Underwear and socks get a free pass straight into the laundry, though!)
Make it fun: Have your child(ren) keep track of how many loads of laundry are done per week. That way, you’ll all know if your efforts are working.
Tip #3: Unplug.
How about a screen-free, device-free night with the family? Whether it’s game night, a reading party, or an outdoor adventure, unplugging a few times a month (or week!) helps conserve energy. In fact, this is one of our favorite conservation of energy examples. That’s because it doubles as a way for everyone in the family to escape their ever-present screens for a while.
Make it fun: Go totally electricity-free by using candles to light up your night.
Tip #4: Suds up standing up.
Did you know that an 8-minute shower uses around 16 gallons of water? Meanwhile, an average bath uses between 35-50 gallons. The answer is clear: a quick shower can save both water and the electricity required to heat it, making it the more energy-efficient option.
Make it fun: Fill in page 2 of this worksheet with your child(ren) to show them just how much they can help save by cutting their shower time by one minute.
Tip #5: Study in natural light.
Instead of using a ceiling light or desk lamp during homework time, have your child(ren) sit by a bright window. This helps conserve energy. Bonus: there are many health benefits of natural light like boosting vitamin D and improving both mood and sleep.
Make it fun: Turn on some classical music and place an after-school treat at the workspace to make homework time a positive activity.
Celebrate your successes as you save energy at home.
Let your child(ren) know that hard work pays off, whether it’s in the classroom or at home. For example, if you notice your electricity bill is going down each month, show them how they’ve made a difference. Or, if you receive a home energy neighborhood comparison noting that you’ve been more energy efficient than your neighbors, plan a reward for the family. Acknowledgement and positive support can go a long way in creating lifelong energy savers.
Conserve energy together for a brighter future.
In addition to possibly lowering your electricity bill, when you conserve energy at home, you’re helping the planet. That’s because using fewer kilowatt hours (kWh) means fewer carbon emissions and other greenhouse gasses get released into the earth’s atmosphere. By teaching the next generation the importance of conservation, you’re helping to reinforce a sustainability mindset.
Keep it going: Continue working toward energy conservation by following even more energy-saving tips together.
Find the best electricity plan for your family.
While creating new back-to-school energy conservation habits with your children, stop by Everything Energy. You can see if there’s a Texas electricity plan that better meets your family’s needs. Shop and compare electricity rates, and get personalized pricing in an instant.