How to Teach Young Kids About Energy Efficiency, Sustainability, and Conservation

Conservation isn’t Hard; It’s Fun!

Being energy efficient and saving energy when possible has become more and more common.  It’s not that we’re using a lot more individually; it’s more because there are so many more people on the planet.  Each one of us must do our part to ensure that we’re using resources in a safe and sustainable fashion.

Just like we teach our kids from a young age how to interact, how to play nice, and how to be good people; we should be teaching them from a young age about how to save energy and make sure they’re treating our planet with respect.

Here are a few ways you can teach young kids about energy efficiency, so that when they are old enough to make their own choices, they will continue the good habits.

Show Them Where Energy Comes From

Young children know that when you flick the light switch up, the lights come on.  But for many, they don’t understand that electricity is what powers those lights.  Fortunately, they don’t really need to know all of the details on how it works; they just need to understand that electricity isn’t free, and it needs to be made at a power plant.

Here is where a field trip, or perhaps watching a YouTube video, is in order.  If you are close to a power plant, you can drive by and explain that as the coal is burned, it turns massive turbines. — Those turbines generate the electricity, but the byproduct is all that smoke coming out the top.  We need to have electricity, but the more we use the more smoke we put into the sky.

If your kids are old enough, you can go into more details. For the young children, however, emphasize that smoke is bad for the environment, and we should do our best to keep it at a minimum.

Explain How We can Use Sustainable Sources

Telling children that we want to keep the smoke to a minimum is a great segue into explaining that electricity doesn’t have to come from a coal fired power plant.  In fact, there are multiple ways to make electricity that don’t cause lots of pollution.

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