With the colder months around the corner and the rising cost of energy, we know many families are feeling the pinch this winter. Making energy efficiency a family focus isn’t just good for your budget, it’s also good for education, future generations and helps give them the best start in life.
As part of Quality Area 3 of the National Quality Standards (NQS), Busy Bees’ 150 childcare centres across Australia care for the environment and support children to become environmentally responsible. Busy Bees has developed some great energy-saving tips and how to encourage children to play their part.
- Encourage the whole family to turn the lights off when they are not needed. For example, if there’s enough natural light in a room or when leaving a room. Every year, Busy Bees centres also participate in the Earth Hour campaign to encourage everyone to switch off their lights for the environment and to help children to connect to and respect nature.
- Did you know? Kettles are one of the most overused appliances in any household and most of us fill the kettle to the top. Only fill the kettle with the amount of water you need so you won’t waste energy heating up water you don’t need.
- Another commonly used appliance in households is a dishwasher. It’s best to wait for a full load of dishes before running a cycle and try washing at the lowest recommended temperature.
- When it comes to cooking for the family, aim for at least one energy-free meal per week holding off on using kitchen appliances such as blender, microwave and oven. Need meal ideas? Our Guacamole Recipe is energy-free!
- When it comes to children, we know it can feel like there’s endless washing to do. Why not switch to a cold cycle instead of a higher temperature? Washing clothes in cold water can save around $115 per year. Avoid using a tumble dryer for your clothes too.
- As many of us are hybrid working, it’s important to switch off your laptop via the start menu at the end of each day and switch off all monitors via the mains plug. You could even think about investing in a smart plug so you can turn all your appliances off standby at once. Set a good example for your children and teach them to turn their electronic devices off when not in use.
- It’s best to have your thermostat set no lower than 26 degrees in summer and no higher than 20 degrees in winter as every degree higher can add 10% to your heating bill. Consider if air cooling/heating is needed before adjusting the thermostat or switching any additional units on. Choose a family number, monitor and give your child the responsibility to check the number. Research shows it’s that this kind of responsibility helps children engage with an energy-efficiency mission.
- Defrost your freezer at least once a year or more frequently if prone to ice build-up to allow it to function as efficiently as possible.
- Try swapping toys and screens that are battery operated or require charging for playtime using everyday household objects like boxes, pegs, bowls, or recyclable items. This can encourage your child’s creativity and imagination as well as developing essential skills like communication and hand-eye coordination. Getting children outside for short periods of time to engage in active outdoor play can also help to reduce time indoors with the heating on, whilst helping children exercise and burn off energy! Many activities are available on the Busy Bees Unleashing Potential app, ask your Busy Bees Educators about it!
There are so many ways to teach your child about saving energy. Why not try these activities:
Be a Food Hero
Last year, the United Nations teamed up with Peter Rabbit and his friends to encourage their fans to be Food Heroes. It’s a great way to encourage children to learn more about choosing healthy food and reducing food waste. Why not try sorting the waste with your little one and talk about why the objects are being recycled?
The UN Climate Action Superheroes
Children love learning through play and this activity is great for children. This Climate Action Superheroes activity encourages children to take part in several missions and gain eight superhero certificates. From Recycle Ranger to Energy Expert, this activity teaches your child about saving energy in a fun and creative way.
Busy Bees welcomes your family to tour every day of the year. Find your nearest centre and give us a Buzz or book a tour online.
Are you an education superhero looking to inspire the next generation of lifelong learners? Whether you’re an experienced Educator or looking to start or change your career, we’d love to talk to you about joining our Hive.
Sources: Energy Australia, Energy Victoria, Origin Energy