Earth Day is coming up, and we need your passion to keep the Earth healthy. We know you're super educated on how to save energy and other ways to protect our planet, but your parents might not know as much as you do. This Earth Day, celebrate by teaching your parents about how to save energy at home. Use these tips to help your parents be a "STAR" for the environment, just like you.
Teach your parents about lumens. When your parents learned about light bulbs, in the olden days, they learned about something called "watts". Watts measure how much energy a light bulb needs to work, but when there was only one type of light technology, it was also used to understand a bulb's brightness. Today, lumens tell us how bright a light bulb is, and efficient light bulbs come with different amounts of them. The bigger the number of lumens, the brighter the light will be. (You can share with them our "Lighting Made Easy" infographic for a breakdown!)
- Teach your parents about LED light bulbs. A long time ago, most light bulbs were either called "halogen" or "incandescent." The name of newer light bulbs is much easier to remember: most of them are called LEDs. Say it with us: ell-ee-dees! Ell-ee-dees! LED bulbs use way less energy than other light bulbs. In fact, the best ENERGY STAR certified LEDs can last at least 15 times longer than an incandescent bulb. Ask your parents if you have LED light bulbs. If you don't, tell your parents to change to ENERGY STAR certified ones to brighten our planet's future. (While you're at it, help them save a few bucks by looking for rebates on them in your area)
- Unplug cords. When your parents aren't using their chargers or the coffee machine, do they stay plugged into the wall? Many families leave cords plugged in when they're not using them; and that uses a lot of extra energy that's just going to waste. (The sciency term for it is "standby power"). Take your parents on a tour around your house and show them different things that could be unplugged like the guest room TV or bedside lamp. Bonus points if you get them to use a power cord with an off switch to turn "unplug" them all at once!
Remind your parents to turn off the lights and space heaters. Most parents know to turn off the lights when you leave a room, but it's still a good idea to remind them once in a while. For rooms with baseboard or plug in heaters, air cleaners or air conditioners, leaving them running in a room when you're not there can use a lot of extra energy. So, help protect the earth with the flick of a switch! Simple, right?
- Ask your parents to use the microwave. Your parents might use your stove or oven to reheat foods, but the microwave actually uses less energy. In the summer, it also keeps the house from heating up, which helps you use less energy for air conditioning. Tell your parents this and see if they can microwave your leftovers instead of using all of that energy from your oven!
Now go be an energy "STAR" and spread the word to help save the planet!