How to Teach Your Kids the Importance of Conservation

Environmental-Education

Most parents have a small window of time when they can teach their children about the importance of energy and water conservation. Once they get a little older and go off to school, they’re more likely to be teaching you a thing or two.

Environmental-EducationNevertheless, understanding the value of our natural resources and the importance of conserving them is a valuable lesson best learned early.

To help you instill an understanding and appreciation for water and energy in your children before they head off to school, the Energy Resource Center offers a few pointers here.

Practice what you preach.

Your children will do as you do. You can tell them to turn the faucet off while they brush their teeth, but if they catch you running the water, they’re likely to do it themselves. Turn off lights when you leave the room. Turn appliances off when you’re not using them. Apply the good habits you want your kids to adopt.

Explain the world.

This is a big undertaking. It will take time and patience, but you can teach your children about where the water in the faucet comes from and how the electricity for the nightlight gets to your house.

Take every opportunity you can to create a learning moment. When it rains, explain to your child what happens to the water and how it comes back to the house. As water drains out of the bathtub, explain that it goes to a treatment facility and is recycled. When you flip on a light, tell your child about your local utility company and how it produces electricity.

Show and tell.

Consider taking a trip to the local utility. Colorado Springs Utilities and many other Southern Colorado utility companies offer tours and demonstrations. They’re often geared toward a young audience and aim to help kids understand the importance of their conservation actions.

Let them do it.

Many kids learn best by doing. Let them turn the lights off as you leave a room or separate the recycling. The more they do, the more conservation will become habitual for them.

Get them excited.

Use media to engage kids in the concept of conservation. There are many great children’s books with conservation themes. Movies like The Lorax illustrate the importance of conservation.

Games, such as the Environmental Protection Agency’s “Know Your Water Wasters” computer game, make saving water into a competitive sport personifying some of the worst ways we waste water.

Make a difference in your own home

If you want to make your Colorado home more energy efficient, exposing your child to the whole process can help him or her understand the importance and how much money you can save by using resources responsibly.

The Energy Resource Center performs home energy audits and weatherization improvements. Our services are free for income-qualified residents of El Paso, Teller, Fremont, Elbert, Douglas, Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Mineral, Saguache and Rio Grande counties.

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Our Loveland office has moved! If you are in the Weld, Boulder, Larimer country service area please contact our Sterling office at 970-463-7020 or email lovelandinfo@erc-co.org