Making Energy Conservation a Family Goal for 2021

The new year is finally upon us! For most of us this is a time of self reflection and goal setting. Here are a few simple energy conservation tips you and your household can put in practice to be more energy-conscious this year and maybe even bond closer as a family in the process. These tips are great for saving money on the power bill while also educating kids about the importance of reducing waste!

Invest In Fun, Warm Sweaters And Clothes

Everyone loves a cozy sweater in the wintertime! Every winter I’m decked head to toe in fuzzy sweaters not just because they’re the comfiest thing in the world, but they also help me conserve energy around the house without me even noticing. 

Use the sweater weather to your advantage and wear sweaters, stockings and other fun winter clothes around the house so you can lower your thermostat by a couple degrees while staying just as warm. If buying some new clothes means you can keep the house a degree or two colder, you can sleep well knowing you’re doing your part to save energy and the environment. 

Make Energy Conservation A Game

Even though lowering your carbon footprint is important to you, it’s not automatically a priority for your kids. Try turning energy conservation into a game! For example, make little tasks like turning off lights as you leave a room, not leaving the sink running, or powering down your computer at the end of the day into a game by awarding points to those who do them. Keep track of these points on a whiteboard. Prizes are always good! After a while, these games will strengthen the development of good habits. Staying energy-conscious during the winter doesn’t have to give you a headache or become just another lecture for your kids to sit through.

Adjust Your Thermostat Throughout The Day

Sure, everyone wants to come home to a toasty house at the end of a long day. But heating a home during the day when no one is inside is a large waste of energy. Turns out, the idea that it takes more energy to heat up a cold house than to maintain the temperature is a myth—you’ll actually save energy by turning down the thermostat during the day and heating everything back up when you’re back home. 

In my home, we have an automatic thermostat that we’ve programmed to lower the temperature at specific times during the day. This way, I conserve without even realizing it. And isn’t that everyone’s dream? Keeping your thermostat at around 68 degrees when you’re at home, and then bringing it down to around 55 degrees when you go to bed or leave for the day will help you conserve energy without giving it a second thought. 

Seal Cracks In Windows And Doors

Chilly air can leak into your home from even the smallest of cracks. You can seal those cracks in your windows or door frames by using caulk or with weatherstripping. Take a weekend afternoon with your family to check around your house for possible air leaks and you can save a lot on your heating bill. It’s also a fun game for you and your kids to run around and figure out which doors are leaking cold air.

On my journey to a more energy efficient home, I took a weekend to seal my own drafty doors and windows. I preferred using the weatherstripping tape more than the caulk since it was a lot less messy, but either one should help you keep the hot air in your home and your carbon footprint down. 

Teach Your Kids About Preserving Energy And Helping The Planet

The new year is a perfect time to teach your children about their carbon footprint and proper energy practices. Remember, it’s never too early to teach them about how everyone’s actions can impact the environment.

This doesn’t have to be a scary, anxiety-inducing talk about how using energy is bad. Try starting the discussion while doing a fun family activity. Once your kids understand why they should be aware of their energy consumption habits and why it’s important to limit them, they’re more likely to help out around the house and be conscious about their own energy use.

Natasha Ramirez

Natasha is an avid writer, storyteller, and dog-lover. Her work has carried her from the bustle of New York at Inc. Magazine to the Santa Fe deserts at Outside Magazine. She enjoys writing about family-focused and community-centered stories.