How Solar Energy Can Teach Kids about Energy Savings and the Environment

We all want to teach our kids the value of money and the consequences of wasting it. The most effective way to do this may be by showing them the world from a different perspective – via virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). With help from a solar energy company, Brilliant Electric, we can explore the impact of energy savings on the environment and how one family used VR and AR to teach their children these valuable lessons.

Why Use Virtual Reality And Augmented Reality To Teach Children About Energy Savings?

We live in a world where technology is ever-evolving, changing, and improving our lives, opening up new opportunities for us as consumers, and new challenges to face as a society. One area that has been affected is education, with both traditional classrooms and online learning having adapted to the new digital landscape.

One advantage of AR and VR is that they can be used to present students with a simulation of the real world, where they can engage with content and gain valuable skills whilst ‘experiencing’ (in this case) energy savings – and all the positive and negative impacts that this has on both the environment and their wallet.

The Positive Impact Of Energy Savings For The Environment

Where would we be without energy? Without an energy source, life as we know it would cease to exist. Our dependence on oil and gas for energy means that every aspect of our lives is touched by this precious resource. Although we may not see it directly, the impact of our energy usage is truly fundamental.

With oil prices at an all-time high and the climate changing, more and more people are focused on ways to reduce their impact on the environment through energy conservation – especially as children grow up and start to understand the impact of their actions (or inactions!). The International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts that by 2030, more than 70% of the world’s energy needs will be met via clean, renewable sources such as solar energy.

In times of financial hardship, people are turning to energy savings as an easy way to make a quick buck – and whilst we should always encourage our kids to look for savings opportunities, this is certainly not the case. The UK Government’s Sustainable Energy Savings Scheme (SESS) has seen increased participation from homeowners, with nearly 2.7 million now registered as of March 2022.

Whilst energy conservation will always be a priority in keeping the power on, many of our favourite energy-saving devices – such as light dimmers, energy-saving bulbs, draught excluders, and smart energy-saving refrigerators – can have a positive impact on the environment. When purchased in bulk, the energy cost of these items can be enormous – particularly when purchased in poorer countries where electricity is more expensive.

These items can, however, be cost-effective when purchased in smaller quantities. For example, a smart fridge can be purchased for between £150 and £300 – but the energy cost of running it for a year is only £60. In times of austerity, this can be a cost-effective way of reducing your carbon footprint whilst still being able to maintain your daily food intake.

The Negative Impact Of Energy Savings On Personal Wills And Budgets

With the world’s largest oil companies enjoying record profits and the UK Government’s fuel subsidies encouraging households to buy more fuel-guzzling vehicles, many are undoubtedly feeling the pinch as energy bills climb.

In 2022, residential energy bills were up by 6.9% on the year before – with the average home spending £173.76 per month on energy bills alone, according to research from Numbeo.

In these tough times, it is more important than ever to teach our kids about saving and about being thrifty. Whether through financial education classes in local communities or independently, we can all play a part in helping our children to build a financial future that is bright and sustainable.

How Can I Save Energy?

There are many ways in which we can reduce our energy usage and be more energy-efficient – and, as a parent, you can start by educating your children about the impact of their actions. If you want to save energy without hurting your wallet too much, here are a few strategies that can help:

Turn Down The Thermostat

One of the simplest ways of reducing your energy consumption is to turn down your thermostat. When you do this, you will notice that your energy bills will drop significantly (by up to 10%). With a little bit of planning and research, you can ensure that your home is at a comfortable temperature without having to overheat or underheat it. This can help you to save up to £60 per year on your energy bill – not to mention the comfort and health benefits that come with a well-kept home!

Consider An Energy Star Appliance

Whilst you should always aim to purchase energy-efficient appliances when buying new homes and upgrading your existing property, sometimes this is not practical or cost-effective. The Energy Star symbol (found on most appliances with an energy rating of at least 90%) indicates that this appliance is designed to reduce your energy usage and save you money. With this in mind, you can consider an energy star fridge or freezer that will help to cut down on your food waste and help you to save money. These appliances will, however, undoubtedly impact your personal life style in other ways.

Reduce Food Waste

Reducing food waste is one of the easiest ways of slashing your carbon footprint. If you purchase food that already went bad or spoiled, then this will end up in a supermarket’s bin and added to the landfill. However, if you know that something is going to go bad, then there is no need to purchase it – instead, you can use it until it spoils and then chuck it away. This is an easy way of reducing your carbon footprint whilst also cutting back on your food waste – not to mention the fact that you may have more available space in your kitchen!

Switch To LED Lighting

Lighting is one of the biggest energy hogs in our homes. When light reflects off plastic lenses or off the metal fixtures that support them, then this causes damage to the environment in the form of climate change. Fortunately, there are now more energy-efficient lights on the market than ever before – with many LED lights being ten times more energy-efficient than their traditional counterparts. If possible, you should always opt for this energy-saving light source – and if you are currently using incandescent light bulbs then it’s time to replace them!

When purchasing any new appliance or home improvement item, take into consideration how much energy it will consume. Whilst this may not seem like an easy feat, with a bit of research (and with the help of an energy company) you can ensure that your home is as energy-efficient as possible and reduce your impact on the environment.

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