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Top energy saving tips for the kids

Any parent will know that no matter how many times you ask your children to turn off the lights when they leave a room, on some occasions they will forget or won't go to the effort of doing so.

It can be a good idea to explain to your children exactly why you're asking them to do things, such as turning off lights, unplugging appliances and having shorter showers.

In many cases, the simple act of explaining to them why this is important for the planet - not to mention the effect electricity prices are having on your wallet - can help them to make more of an effort. If they do not already know, gently tell them that electricity generation creates carbon emissions which contribute to climate change, which in turn threatens the environment, wildlife and us humans.

Once that is understood, you might notice a big change in their behaviour. You can also reinforce to them that it helps to save money on the power bill - which just might lead to some extra treats for them at some stage!

If your children are too young to understand these concepts the moment, or are particularly unmotivated when it comes to saving power, you can always turn saving electricity into some sort of game which 'winners' can benefit from.

Perhaps before bedtime each night you can take a checklist of who has turned off all their appliances at the wall, and if it's done for seven days in a row then a 'special prize' (read: a small treat) is given out.

If you can keep track, you can run a similar prize scheme for the light switching. Really, this can be applied to any power saving activity such as taking shorter showers or putting on jumpers instead of using heating.

During the weekends you could also help the children to save power by having an 'appliance free hour' - or couple of hours! This can be a time where no computers, video games or television is allowed, and it's simply a time for your kids to have some physical activity and use their imaginations. Not only will this save electricity around the home, but it'll also encourage exercise and creativity in your family - and that's got to be good, right?

Posted by Matthew Cole