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The Complete Guide to Teaching Children about Saving Electricity, Water, and Garbage


1. The Importance of Teaching Children about Saving Electricity, Water, and Garbage

1.1 Electricity Energy Conservation

1.2 Water Conservation

2. How Much Energy is Used in an Average Day?

3. A Simple Way to Teach a Child How to Save Electricity

4. How Teachers Can Use Their Expertise to Improve their Students' Environmental Awareness

5. Saving on Your Utility Bills by Teaching Children About the Environment

The Importance of Teaching Children about Saving Electricity, Water, and Garbage

Children can be ignorant with energy usage. Simply put, their lack of understanding of the bigger picture can lead them to needlessly leaving lights on or the refrigerator door open. Despite this, if we can teach them while they are young, we can help instill energy-saving behaviors early which can last a lifetime.

For the most part, the younger they are, the easier it will be to help avoid bad habits forming and instill good energy-saving practices. As adults, we should guide our children and show them the downsides of using too much electricity.

Of course, remembering too that children absorb information and are influenced by our own behaviors. By positively influencing their behaviors we can encourage them to think about how they use electricity and act to reduce their own use.

Electric Energy Conservation

  1. Encourage Them To Turn Off Lights : We should help them to understand that the simple act of turning off unnecessary lights can save energy. Many of us now use low-energy LED bulbs and other energy-saving technologies. Despite this, collectively, the amount of energy we all use can add up. So, if we can encourage children to actively turn off lights, then every small amount of energy saved can all add up to a big difference.

2. Importance of Unplugging Devices : Televisions, gaming consoles, and devices on standby out of sight in children’s rooms, therefore, all play a big part. If they leave electrical equipment on standby, explain how much energy can be saved by shutting them down completely. Simply encouraging them to unplug their devices saves energy.

Similarly, devices always on charge use electricity even when fully charged. The convenience of having their charges devices ready to use when they need them can result in wasted energy. When a device is fully charged, encourage them to take it off charge. What’s more, these small changes can also help households save money.

Water Conservation

  1. Shorter Showers : A simple yet effective route in how to save electricity for kids is the shorter shower. Simply knowing that spending less time in the shower and opting for a lower temperature can all help to save energy and reduce our electricity bills. You can also consider switching to a lower flow showerhead which means you’ll both use less water and save on heating costs.

2. Teach them not to waste water : During a water crisis, tell the children that water is going to be scarce and they must use it judiciously. So, they should :

  • take quick showers,

  • not keep the tap running while brushing their teeth,

  • close all taps tightly and keep the tap in a low-flow mode when cleaning hands and washing their faces.

  • Ask your children to fill only half a glass with drinking water, when thirsty and to take more only if they need it.

  • Store water, which you have used to clean vegetables and encourage kids to water the plants with it.

3. Talk to them about saving rainwater — Installing a rainwater harvesting system in your house or apartment building is an important step towards water conservation and can be a boon when water is scarce. To teach children the value of rainwater, ask them to keep a bucket out when it rains and use the water for cleaning and washing purposes.

4. Take them for a tree planting drive — Children learn in school that forests are important to bring rain, but unless they get a first-hand experience in planting saplings, they may not learn the long-term benefits of growing trees to make rain. Whenever there is a tree-planting drive in your neighbourhood, take your child along to volunteer in the activity. This is a long-term strategy against a water crisis, but you cannot imagine the positive impact it will make on children.

How Much Energy is Used in an Average Day?


The household electricity consumption per capita in India amounted to 206.7 kilowatt hours in 2016. Of the total power consumption in fiscal year 2018, industrial sector accounted for the largest share, at about 48 percent, followed by domestic and agricultural sectors at 24 and 18 percent respectively.


What Uses the Most Electricity in My Home?

  • Air conditioning and heating: 46 percent.

  • Water heating: 14 percent.

  • Appliances: 13 percent.

  • Lighting: 9 percent.

  • TV and Media Equipment: 4 percent.

A Simple Way to Teach a Child How to Save Electricity

Most kids love learning new things and relish the opportunity to be helpful around the house. When you explain the importance of saving energy, they’ll be more than happy to do their bit. Here are a few tips on how to encourage kids to save energy.

Educate your children

Most children will learn about the importance of saving energy at school, but you can reinforce the message by teaching them how to contribute at home. Look at the appliances around your house and explain the energy sources. Do they understand the meaning of finite resources? Where does the gas for your cooktop come from? How does it get to your home? You could research the answers together as a family project.

Make it fun to learn

Go through each room of your house together and discuss ways you can save energy. Ask your kids to write down a set of rules for the family to follow – you can allocate tasks to specific family members. This will teach your children to be responsible and they’re more likely to complete the tasks. For younger children, you can set up a reward chart and give them a small prize at the end of the week if they follow the rules. Ask children to point out if you’re wasting energy .

Easy habits to teach your kids

Keep it simple and give kids positive reinforcement when they follow the rules. Also, make sure anything you ask them to do is age appropriate.

  • Cut down on screen time. Encourage them to make up projects, play games, do puzzles and read books.

  • If their electronic devices are not in use, teach them to turn them off.

  • Encourage kids to turn off lights and close doors to rooms that are not in use.

  • Time showers and make a game out of who can have the shortest shower - while still getting clean, of course. If everyone takes showers of four minutes or less, you could reduce your water heating costs by up to 20 per cent.

  • Forbid them to leave the fridge door open.

  • On hot days, ask them to close their bedroom curtains to keep out the heat.

How Teachers Can Use Their Expertise to Improve their Students' Environmental Awareness

There is a curious naturalist in every child. School teachers can help nurture the love for the environment through formal and informal educational tools. School boards have to ensure that environmental education is a significant part of the curriculum for all classes, seminars, field trips, competitions and fairs on environmental themes help the students identify their interest in nature and choose a related career. What a child learns early in life for cleanliness, conservation and wise use of resources would stay with him all his life.


  • Voluntary nature clubs may be formed in each school.

  • Visit areas to help local community understand the concept of Blue and Green bins.

  • Assist in keeping the parks clean and green.

  • Organize drawing competitions and seminars to encourage students in the Green Good Deeds.

  • Students may see that the school/college areas are clean.

  • Plant saplings and make the area green. Inspire others also in doing so.

  • Students can join local RWAs, and identify NGOs and Nature Clubs in their area to participate in Green Good Deeds.

  • Use recyclable and reusable material.

  • Ensure proper disposal of wrappers and plastic waste.

  • Ensure optimum use of paper.

  • Save paper-use it on both sides.

  • Play outdoor - appreciate nature.

  • Don’t play electronic games or watch TV all the time-connect with nature.

  • Switch of all electronic devices from plug point when not in use.

  • Turn lights and fans off before leaving the room.

  • Maintain tradition of reuse.

  • Forbid using ‘use and throw’ pens.

  • Save water in schools and also at home - ensure to keep the water taps off when not in use.

  • Don’t waste water - when the water bottle is to be emptied, pour the remaining water to plants instead of draining it into sinks.

  • Plant and nurture trees in schools and neighbourhood.

  • Avoid cutting or damaging trees or flowers on plants.

  • Pass on the acquired knowledge to parents, grandparents, house helpers, neighbours and peer groups (friends).

  • Be a green volunteer.

  • Avoid unnecessary lights.

  • Share used books, toys, clothes to conserve the environment and reduce carbon footprints.

  • Avoid discarded books, clothes, etc. and generate unnecessary waste, better to give to the ones who need them.

  • Avoid using thin plastic bags-develop a habit of using cloth bag while going for shopping.

  • Schools may encourage – walk to school, Cycle to School, School Bus Transport Facilities, rather than personal motorized transport

  • Schools may draw attention to some of the ancient heritage buildings in India which are the epitome of low energy architecture.

  • Schools should take initiatives to develop means of reducing energy consumption by educational tools.

Schools may involve the young students in the whole process of new concepts and trend-setting requirements of the society. The idea is to go about doing this through teachers. Once the teachers are made aware of the challenges of the future, the knowledge is passed onto the students simply and easily .

Saving on Your Utility Bills by Teaching Children About the Environment

1. Demonstrate How to Care About Saving Energy

A. Turn Off Unused Appliances A widespread energy-wasting practice is leaving on appliances and TVs that are not in use. While this may only add a few cents to your daily expenses, the cumulative effect can be significant—a day-to-day energy waste of $0.25 adds up $91.25 in a year! B. Use Smartphone Apps for Solar Power Systems A solar power app gives you a daily snapshot of energy output, giving you an idea of the monthly savings you can expect. You can also observe how solar production changes depending on the weather and the season of the year. Another advantage of the app is that it detects if you are getting unusually low production on sunny days. Armed with that knowledge, you can call your PV system provider for an inspection.

C. Teach Them to Take Shorter Showers It requires a great deal of energy to refill and reheat a hot water heater. Shorter showers conserve energy and reduce costs. If you are guilty of indulging in long, hot showers, your children won’t be as likely to heed your requests to quicken theirs. Consider setting a time limit for showers and make sure you personally don’t break the rules.

D. Keep On Recycling Recycling requires a bit more effort and organization, but it’s so important. In many ways, recycling saves energy. Kids love to sort, so let them. Teaching them how to properly dispose of trash is key in teaching energy conservation.

2. Keep It Simple and Fun for Younger Kids

  • Play Energy Conservation Bingo – This easy energy conservation game for kids creates a way for younger children and toddlers to become more eco-aware. Use Bingo cards with different tasks (such as, “turn off the lights when I leave a room” and “turn off the water faucet”) in each space. After a task is completed, it’s marked off the card. When a participant’s card has four or five tasks marked off in a row or column, they get a small prize or treat. Even better, you can get the entire family involved and have a group goal that, if achieved, will culminate in a special celebration.


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