10 Ways to be an Energy Efficient Family

As a mom I often wonder as to the legacy that I am leaving for my children. After all the things that I do today would have an impact on the generation of tomorrow.

I look at what’s happening today and frankly I am amazed! I hear scary adverts about the next world war being fought over water. I look at the energy crisis and quite frankly I am afraid… What am I doing about it? Can I as one individual make a difference? How can I change a bleak future?

And then it struck me… it takes one little raindrop to start a flood, one little footstep to start a journey then I think that it can take one little mommy to make a change, and I believe that the way to do it is to teach these values to my children. So the question remains…

10 Ways to be an Energy Efficient Family

Do you practise what you preach to your kids?

Growing up, I remember learning about the importance of saving electricity and water, recycling and the significance of Arbour Day. I did tons of school projects around these topics but was it enough? I learnt about it, studied it but never really applied it until I was old enough to understand that the teacher wasn’t just blabbering to me. She was preparing me for reality.

I was quite disappointed when I came across some shocking comments while catching up on my one of my favourite Mommy You-tubers. She showed a clip of her brushing her child’s teeth while the water just kept running… Someone commented asking her why she does this as we see it often in clips and asked her if she could close the tap instead because there are so many people longing for clean water worldwide.

The people who replied to this girl and the ignorance they showed was just shocking! One of the common replies was: “I’m paying for it so I can waste it if I want.” Really? What happens if you can’t afford to “pay” for it anymore? What was more shocking is that these answers came from “Parents”.

I’m not starting a debate here but I just want to share my views on what’s happening currently in South Africa. One of our biggest problems right now is that our demand for energy is rising and so is the cost to produce it. This has resulted in our earth’s resources being pushed to the limit and it is increasingly becoming scarce. Although this isn’t completely the fault of the “people”, we need to prepare for the worst.

This was a wakeup call for me. It made me realise we are all contributing towards energy being pushed to the limit… How often do you leave lights on in a room you aren’t sitting in? I admit, I used to until I had a child and realised that she’s bound to copy everything I do.

I think it’s extremely important to show changes in your lifestyle rather than just teaching your child. After all children do what you do not just what you say.

I discovered www.rubybook.co.za that has stories which will teach your child about being energy-efficient plus it will be exciting to read with all the different colours and characters.

Ruby and the Powerpals

I’m starting a routine with Kitana and hope that you could join me in educating our kids about the importance of being energy-efficient. Simple steps make a huge difference.

1. Bath time – Teach the importance of water. They’re never too young to learn about how we can save water as a family.

Ruby and the Powerpals

2. Dressing up for bed – The importance of electricity and what happens when we don’t have any.

Ruby and the Powerpals

3. Story time – Ruby and her Power Pals teach little lessons that Kitana can relate to and learn without realising it.

How to be an energy efficient family

Visit www.rubybook.co.za and download the 4 stories. It answers the need to teach young children about wise electricity use, as early as possible and in the most entertaining way possible. Using rhythm and rhyme, the stories introduce South Africa’s children to Ruby, a little girl who learns how to save electricity by interacting with her special friends at home – Laaitie the Lightswitch, Hottie the Hot Tap, Freddie the Fridge and TiniRimote, the television remote. The best part is you can download the e-book with audio or read it online if you want.

Today we might have an electricity problem but tomorrow it will be a water shortage and then eventually our food supply. We as parents can set the example for our kids.

There’s simple things we can do at home that will help save energy and money! With the cost of living so high, it’s a no brainer.

10 Ways to be an Energy Efficient Family

1. Use a solar powered geyser.

2. If you are using an electrical geyser you can also install timers with your geyser so that the electric element warms in time for morning and evening baths. This also includes switching off at night when not in use.

3. Dress appropriately. We can also limit the usage for fans/heaters if we actually make the most of natural light (leave the windows opened until the last-minute of light during summer) or leave the oven door opened after usage during winter so the heat can travel through the kitchen and nearby rooms.

4. Use LED Lights. My husband religiously believes that LED lights makes a big difference and I only believed him when our electricity bill arrived. He even says the colour balance of LED’s provide a warm white ambience like sunlight… who knows what that means… 🙂

10 Ways to be an Energy Efficient Family

5. Did you know by keeping your fridge and freezer full means they don’t have to work as hard and therefore they use less energy? Empty space in your fridge or freezer wastes not only space but energy too.

6. Use timers on switches for Pools and Koi ponds. We have both and they take up loads of electricity. My husband has scheduled times for the pool pump and we set a timer for our lights to run by the Koi pond.

10 Ways to be an Energy Efficient Family

7. Use a Gas cooker instead of an electric. I actually wish I invested in this when my husband told me too. With load shedding, we have to schedule cooking and sometimes it just doesn’t work out plus Gas cooking food tastes so much better! No idea why! 😛

8. Use day/night lights so it will automatically go on/off during appropriate times. We’ve done this for our outside lights and it works the best when you’re traveling for days and have to leave those switches on.

10 Ways to be an Energy Efficient Family

9. Unplug all the appliances that you aren’t using regularly. Did you know chargers continue to use electricity when they aren’t charging?

10. Buy solar lights for the garden. These are perfect for big gardens.

10 Ways to be an Energy Efficient Family

There’s so much more you can do to help make a BIG difference. Let us make our tomorrows better by investing in our todays….

What do you do at home to save energy?

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Hi, I’m Shan. I’m an entrepreneur and a sucker for good adventures. I was listed in Forbes Africa 30 under 30 2019 and just recently launched my start-up – MomSays.

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  1. 2015-03-27 / 16:29

    What a smart thing to do, teaching baby about electric. AND in a way that’s entertaining. I like it a lot.

  2. 2015-03-27 / 16:41

    These are great tips! I especially love your tip on what I like to call “wall worts”. Any cord that has the big box at the prong draws power, even when you’re not using it.

  3. 2015-03-27 / 17:38

    These are some great tips! We unplug anything we can easily get to the plug on that isn’t being used for awhile. I don’t use many lights during the day if we are in the main part of the house where it’s light, and talk to my children about why. I hadn’t thought about some of these you mentioned, though!

  4. lameez
    2015-03-27 / 18:22

    Love this post ,so true and its important to teach our kids 2 it all start with us as parents , I start using small lights that work with batteries and stick on the wall when we read ect and thank u for sharing ur tips 🙂

  5. 2015-03-27 / 18:41

    These are such great tips! I didn’t know about keeping the fridge full. My hubs owns a solar energy company, so we are all about energy efficiency! Thanks for the great ideas!

  6. 2015-03-27 / 23:16

    This is so adorable for kids! Plus, a great reminder to be more savvy! You had some tips I hadn’t thought about before!

  7. 2015-03-27 / 23:57

    I didn’t know the thing about keeping the fridge and freezer full! These are amazing energy efficient tips!

    • 2015-03-28 / 06:14

      Yup, we keep bottled water frozen in ours. As an added bonus, when the power goes out, they help keep it cold longer and as it melts, you have water to drink if the power is out for extended times (as it is known to do in northern Michigan).

  8. Jamie
    2015-03-28 / 00:30

    I know that I can do more…but do try to do things that occur to me! We try to keep the lights off, the thermostat scheduled and try to combine trips out of town to decrease gas usage.

  9. 2015-03-28 / 00:42

    These are very great tips and very important. Thanks for the website information, I’m going to check it out.

  10. 2015-03-28 / 00:58

    I’ll have to start thinking about these tips from now on. Those stories sound like great teaching tools too.

  11. 2015-03-28 / 01:06

    I think being energy efficient is so important. Thank you for the great ideas.

  12. michele d
    2015-03-28 / 03:06

    We try to be but over electric bill shows otherwise in the summer. These are great tips!

  13. 2015-03-28 / 03:09

    These are some seriously great tips! I had no idea about a few of them…I think this is such a great way to teach kids about this topic too!

  14. 2015-03-28 / 07:12

    Love the photos and the ideas. I’ve made it a resolution this year to practice what I preach and live the lifestyle I want my children to have an example of! This was a great read!

  15. Elizabeth O.
    2015-03-28 / 11:48

    I try to buy energy efficient appliance! It’s really important to care for the environment.

  16. 2015-03-28 / 15:52

    Great post! Teaching kids in a very young age is very important. I still remember my mom taught me so many things about in life and I’ve been passing it to my daughter,

  17. 2015-03-28 / 17:16

    Great tips! These are all really great and important. Some we already do, others I will have to implement!

  18. 2015-03-28 / 17:23

    First of all, your little one is the cutest thing ever! Most of our appliances are energy efficient, thank you for these tips!

  19. 2015-03-28 / 17:43

    Last summer we changed all our light bulbs to the energy efficient ones. We did everything we could think of to try to reduce our Hydro costs. Our bills since the summer have gone down by $50 a month.

  20. 2015-03-28 / 18:44

    These are all great tips. We’re taking a lot of steps to become more energy efficient as well.

  21. 2015-03-28 / 19:23

    We try to be energy efficient and have bought appliances that are Energy Star rated. I still need to work on the heating and air conditioning aspect of it though.

  22. 2015-03-28 / 23:04

    These are awesome tips to teach out next generation and us the current generation should practice what we preach.

  23. 2015-03-29 / 11:38

    Electricity isn’t cheap at all. Therefore, I’m all about being energy efficient. 🙂

  24. 2015-03-29 / 15:36

    Great article. and yes it’s extremely important that we teach our children the importance of conserving our energy supplies. Sadly I think that we went through a period of so-called ‘plenty’ where people just used as much as possible, and this was exacerbated by the big corporations who in the quest for making a huge profit ‘sold’ people on the idea of all these necessities.
    Water is a precious commodity.. yes there will be wars fought over this. The problem is getting worse and it drive me mad when I see people pouring gallons of water down a sink or while washing a car or whatever…..I make sure that ever time I turn on a tap I think of the young women and girls who have to walk miles to get their water, and it’s not even clean. We have been spoiled.
    The Western countries in particular are thoroughly arrogant in their me,me,me culture without a thought to other people’s welfare.
    I now live in the UK and I can tell you that they, especially the older generation are the biggest wasters of water….it’s a disgrace. I have often asked people with children if they actually care about their kids or grandkids….and if they say yes, I then ask why it is then that they waste so much electricity and water?
    I took part in the Earth Hour project again last night…and I think about my family living in South Africa who have to manage with load-shedding……that’s the consequence. One day it’s going to be water too.
    Thanks for sharing this…It’s just a shame that so many people are still so arrogant…they will be the first to scream and shout when they can no longer just turn on a tap or flick a light-switch. frankly I think water and electricity should carry a premium charge with the money going towards development of ways to generate savings of these commodities.
    p.s. your daughter is gorgeous.

  25. 2015-03-29 / 15:41

    Those are great pointers! I am after my family ALL THE TIME about all those things because I come from one of those countries where resources could not be wasted and I grew up “saving” energy. Thanks!

  26. 2015-03-29 / 16:13

    I think it’s very honorable the lessons you are trying to instill in your children. Living in Costa Rica and owning a bar here, we feel very responsible for teaching our employees and the community about the importances of recycling, picking up trash and composting. It has been a bit of a struggle but slowly but surely we are getting there and my daughter and nephew are learning through it all too! Keep it up!

  27. Kristen
    2015-03-29 / 18:25

    What great advice! Sometimes its the little things that make a big difference!

  28. 2015-03-29 / 22:37

    Oh! This really great and this one all I need to my kids. This isn’t cheap but a good quality.

  29. 2015-03-30 / 00:18

    I tend to unplug things because I know there are many things that are still on, even when off. LIke our tv. There is a light that still stays on. The computers are the same.

  30. 2015-03-30 / 01:34

    Our family is all about recycling and saving money. In our home there is a rule that we only keep the light on in the room we are currently in or as needed. We are always looking for ways to save energy.

  31. 2015-03-30 / 01:46

    I need to work on being more energy efficient. I hope to use some of these tips!

  32. 2015-03-30 / 04:43

    These are some great tips. With four kids and husband that walks around and cuts on all the lights in the house, I need to change some things up in our casa.

  33. 2015-03-30 / 05:55

    We actually decorated all of our yard with solar lights and it was so much better on our energy bill. We’ve recently started switching out indoor lights to LED to further help. I’ll have to look implementing more of these great tips.

  34. 2015-03-30 / 06:44

    These are awesome ideas indeed for saving energy as well as teaching the children about saving. I love your analogies of how to being to make changes in the world and how it beings. It is so true indeed. Thanks for sharing.

  35. 2015-03-30 / 10:34

    It’s hard not to practice what’s being preached because as kids grow more mature, they will tend to question a lot of things. Being a good role model who acts as a lead example is important. Teaching kids about the importance of saving energy is always good.

  36. 2015-03-30 / 16:58

    Great tips you got here and great information too. I had no idea that keeping the fridge and freezer full means they don’t have to work as hard, therefore using less energy. Thank you for these!

  37. 2015-04-08 / 17:34

    These are all fabulous tips! I can always use a reminder to be more water conscious and energy conscious!! Thanks for sharing!!

  38. 2015-04-08 / 22:12

    Wow I absolutely love these tips they are great!!!! Thanx for the link to download the 4 stories of Ruby! My boys love stories and my oldest son loves reading and more so will be eager to practice what they read! Thanx for the awesome and efficient information!!! #MomandBrands

  39. Esda
    2015-04-14 / 14:25

    We have it the 5year plan to be off the grid. This means a huge capital outlay, but also a energy saving way of living. We will be replacing appliances with more energy efficient ones.

  40. 2015-04-28 / 04:17

    Great tips! Saving energy isn’t just good for the environment, it’s good for your wallet!

  41. 2015-04-28 / 17:52

    First of all, gorgeous pictures of your littles! Also, this is brilliant! Thanks for the tips.

  42. 2015-04-29 / 17:28

    These are great tips! I definitely incorporate most of them in my daily life! I also love the Ruby books!! They are super cute ways to teach my family to save energy! Thank you!

  43. 2015-04-30 / 01:16

    This is so helpful

  44. 2015-06-23 / 18:13

    Really great advice. Loved it. Will definitely try and incorporate some into our lives

  45. Jamie-Lee
    2015-06-24 / 08:43

    It is so important to teach our kids to be energy effective. My house hold is pritty good at this. We never leave water running while brushing our teeth. Got certain lights on timers, never leave lights on where we are not sitting. The geyser is on a timer and we very seldomly use the oven. Got a microwave that does it all for us. We dnt use electric heaters or fans. Gas for us. Rather cuddle down under a blanket then use a heater. We try do our part but cn still do beta.

    • 2015-06-24 / 08:52

      So glad to hear that Jamie. I’m trying to avoid heaters too, they take up a lot of electricity and contribute to load shedding now which is really sad if you have a newborn… 🙁 Thanks for reading. 😀

  46. 2015-06-25 / 20:58

    I read about this article in Mary O’Malley’s blog and hopped over to see the suggestions. Energy conservation is definitely a way to give a good future to the ones we love. I need to remember to unplug the phone charger. I didn’t think of it still drawing electricity.

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