Children must learn about sustainable energy at home. Children are the future, and every parent should want their child to understand how sustainable energy will make everyone’s future brighter. Making sustainable energy a part of your home and speaking to your children about it will help to shape a future where sustainable energy is a fact of life.
Age Appropriate Conversations
Children are inundated with a lot of information today. Whether it is chatter about ransomware attacks (about 90% of 1100 IT professionals report their clients have sustained an attack in the last year) or celebrity news or upsetting news about world affairs, kids are constantly exposed to information. You want some of that information that they are learning at home to be about how sustainable energy can change the world.
It is important that when you are talking to the children at home about sustainable energy you use language that they can understand. Age-appropriate terms are important because they will help your child to ingest the information and store it in long-term memory. You can start talking to a child as young as three years old about energy consumption, conservation, and what sustainable means.
Defining Energy and Sustainability
Talking to your children about what energy is and what it means to be sustainable is an important first step. Simple explanations work best. For example, when you turn on the lights you can talk about how energy supplies the light bulb with power, like breakfast supplies the body with the power to get through the day.
Defining sustainability is just as easy as talking about energy. It is a big word for a little kid but you can break it down into easily digestible information by explaining that when something is sustainable it means that it can last forever. You must explain these two core concepts so you can build on them as you go.
Define Different Energy Sources
Very young children understand what the sun is. They understand that when it is sunny out they can go out and play and they can feel the warmth of the sun on their faces. Talking about energy from the sun and how it can be converted into energy for the home is a great way to start talking about different energy forms. Solar power is a sustainable source of energy, so much so, in fact, if only 0.6% of the land area in the US had PV panels it would generate enough energy to deliver power to all the US.
Talk to your children about the energy that can be generated from wind and water. Use visuals to show them what windmills look like. Get them interested in learning more about the different alternative and sustainable types of energy.
Of course, you should also talk about the most popular energy source and why it is not sustainable. Most kids are very interested in dinosaurs and most of them understand that dinosaurs are no longer roaming the earth. You can use the example of the extinction of the dinosaur to explain how fossil fuels will not be able to power the lightbulbs forever.
Use Online Resources
Luckily, today there are quite a few online resources that can help you to teach your kids about sustainable energy. NASA has a great page for kids that teaches them about climate and energy sustainability. The Department of Energy offers free worksheet downloads to help teach your kids about sustainable energy at home. There are a ton of resources that you can tap into to help your little one understand how sustainable energy can have a positive impact on the planet.
The average age of houses in the US is about 37 years, largely depending on where you live. Most of those homes were built before the push to conserve energy. Someday, our children will inherit these homes and hopefully make the changes necessary to convert to sustainable energy sources. Children are our future, it is important that we set them up for success. Talking about sustainable energy options is a simple way to plant the seed for a brighter future.