Brrr! Winter is on its way, and the chilly air serves as the perfect reminder to start preparing for the colder weather. Just like we swap out our shorts and t-shirts for toques, scarves, and gloves, we need to make changes to our homes, too.
There are many ways that you, your students, and their families can save energy during the colder months. Keep reading for tips and resources that will make this topic more engaging for your students.
HOW STUDENTS CAN SAVE ENERGY AT HOME
Learning about energy efficiency and helping your students take action is incredibly important — and it’s never too early to develop energy-saving habits. Even the youngest Manitobans can become part of the Generation E movement by saving energy and the environment. Reducing our energy consumption is good for the planet and our budgets. Saving energy can help cut down on greenhouse gas emissions, and lower heating bills.
While there are many factors that affect how much energy your home uses — like the size and age of your home — we can all play a part in reducing our province’s collective energy use. Here are a few simple ways you and your students can become more energy efficient at home:
- Take shorter showers. The hot water used when you take a shower is warmed up by a water heater that’s powered by electricity or natural gas. Taking shorter showers can help reduce your energy use by limiting the amount of water that needs to be heated.
- Optimize your heating. You don’t need to keep your home at the same temperature all day and night. In fact, most people love sleeping with the temperature a bit cooler, and it can lead to an even better sleep. Save energy by turning down the temperature down by 3°C or more at night, when you leave the house to go to school, or go on vacation. Use a smart thermostat to create automations and schedules that will change your settings for you.
- Unplug your devices. Your electronics and appliances are consuming a small amount of energy even when they’re not in use. Say goodbye to this wasted energy by unplugging your devices when they’re not being used.
- Close those windows. On average, home and water heating makes up about 75% of your monthly energy bills. If you have the heating on, keep your windows and doors shut to prevent heat and energy from escaping.
Tip: Have your students choose one idea from the list above to share with their families at home. They can write it down in their agenda so they don’t forget!
BRAINSTORMING IDEAS TO REDUCE ENERGY USE
Ready to start the learning journey? One simple way to get your students in the right mindset and the creative juices flowing is to hold a brainstorming session.
As a class or in small groups, have your students brainstorm the many winter activities they can take part in that don’t require any energy. Anything from cross-country skiing to building snow forts or volunteering are great places to start.
Get the conversation started today by watching this short video in your classroom.