Yep, I’m the dad that is always telling the kids to turn out the lights and turn that thing off when you are not using it. I’m telling you, it is like trying to teach puppies calculus! I grew up shutting things off when I was done using them. The kids tell me how things use electricity even when off. I countered with how I know that’s true, but they do use less when off. I fixed their reluctance to comply showing them an electric bill and sending them an email advising them to click here for more information about electricity rates.
Here is how it worked for me. I showed them how much an electric bill costs per month, and I gave them a task to find a lower rate for electricity. That was easy for them using the website. Then I had them read all of the fine print and report to me the details. I switched us over to a new electricity supplier after they did their research. Our daughter showed the pros and cons of going with a green supplier versus one that uses coal-fired power plants for electricity generation. Then we did the next step.
We multiplied out how much we were saving per month for a year. Then we did five and 10 year calcualtions. It really added up. Then I showed them how much electricity their grandparents were using per month versus how much we were using. I even showed them the spikes in kilowatt hour usage at their grandparents when they were visiting them. They were starting to see how plugging in is use. Electricity is not a free commodity. And, how it is generated has an impact on the environment. Slowly they were getting it. After they started shutting things off and unplugging, I showed them the difference in the electric bill. Then we decided how to use the savings. I gave them a choice of spending it on themselves or someone less fortunate than them. They made the right choice.