With the cold snapping our heels and the temptation to whack the heating up growing by the day, our Smart Mums project in association with British Gas could not have come at a better time.
Taking the idea of being energy smart and running with it, many of our bloggers have found innovative and fun ways to talk to the next generation about saving energy. Here are there top 11 tips that can lead to a greener lifestyle and savings on your energy bill:
1. Make energy awareness a part of the lessons your child learns about the home and money, says Lynne from HonieMummy Blog. “So that saving money should come naturally to them and credit will become something that is managed much more effectively in the future.”
2. Recall the practices from your own parents (possibly passed on in more austere times). Mirka from All Baby Advice remembers the lessons her own mum taught her, so turning the tap off while brushing teeth and making sure lights weren’t on in empty rooms is second nature.
3. Get the kids to contribute their own energy-saving ideas, like Wendy from Inside The Wendy House did when enlisting the help of her eco-aware nine-year-old. Her daughter devised a list of energy-saving tips that mum hadn’t thought of, including making sure they “dirty out” their clothes before washing.
4. Drum the message into them early. Marianne from Mari’s World opens up about the surge in her fuel bill since summer, and how she’s getting the kids to help bring it back down – while they’re still young.
5. Put your thinking cap on and get organised. Penny from Alexander Residence brainstormed ways to get the whole family on board with energy saving. The family made turning lights off a game, created a shelf for chargers when not in use so they’re not tempted to just leave them plugged in, and finally put the thermostat timer on GMT so it reflects their routine.
6. Look at the bigger picture, and you and your family’s place in the world. Michelle from Mummy From The Heart points out that we all have a responsibility to save, and it goes beyond our own fuel bills.
7. Start talking about it. Energy wastage affects us all, and there is plenty of information and advice available to use it wisely. Nickie from I Am Typecast goes on to put the onus on her readers, asking for their top tips for conserving energy and utilities.
8. Did you know that chargers for handheld game devices continue to use electricity while plugged in and out of use? Cass from Frugal Family is making sure her children’s current Mario Kart obsession doesn’t cost the Earth.
9. Don’t be afraid to nag them. Kat from 3 Bedroom Bungalow is: “constantly having to go behind my children and turn off the lights”.
10. Acknowledge that it’s an effort. You may be like Karin from Cafe Bebe, who admits that she is very bad at saving energy. Like her, you can make it a mission to improve.
11. Put pen to (recycled) paper. Cheryl from Madhouse Family Reviews was rather impressed with the list of top tips she managed to brainstorm. Do you have others?
Check out how you can get involved and meet our Smart Mums ambassadors: