Building A Better, Greener Home for Our Kids

Creating and maintaining an eco-friendly home environment means using resources such as energy and water wisely. Although this may seem like a simple task for some, it can be more complicated for families with young children. Educating children in the home is a necessary part of making positive changes. This means children must be taught the importance of conserving natural resources and being green. Parents must also stand as role models for their kids by not only making environmentally friendly changes to the home but also changing personal habits that are in opposition to their desire for a greener home.

Conservation for Kids

Kids can be a major source of energy consumption in the home. Parents must teach their children to conserve energy by turning off appliances when not in use. Older kids should be advised to unplug items such as cell phone chargers when they are finished using them, as they continue to consume energy simply by being plugged in. Because kids often play video games and watch television, it's important for parents to purchase Energy Star-rated TVs and other appliances. And energy isn't the only resource that requires conserving. When brushing one's teeth or washing one's hands, the water should be turned off until it is needed for rinsing. Shorter showers with low-pressure shower heads can also help conserve water use.

Home Improvements for Efficiency

Making improvements around the house can go a long way toward building a greener home for the family. These improvements can be made in nearly every room and will help increase energy efficiency and save money on electricity costs. Depending on one's budget, these improvements can be small or large in cost and scale. Some improvements can be as simple as installing ceiling fans that may be adjusted to circulate air for the winter or the summer. More expensive improvements to the home may involve replacing a hot water heater with a solar-powered heater or adding solar panels to the roof. To reduce cooling costs in the summer, families may consider planting shade trees outdoors. Check windows, ducts, and the roof for things such as drafts or leaks and have them repaired. Energy-efficient siding and insulation can also improve the energy efficiency of a home.