12 July 2012

Turn off the Lights

Since the first of July we’ve heard nothing but “the cost of electricity is going up”. Well yes, we who pay the bills know that!  We can ask and beg and plead and even nag, and often have to all of them, to get family members to turn off the lights and still that bill just gets higher and higher.

Turn off the lights! How many times have you found yourself saying (or yelling) just that to your kids (or your husband)?  You're trying to save money, and the environment, but you often feel like you're in this all alone because everyone is forgetful. Except you!

While we are all probably already in the habit of turning everything off at the wall and keeping the thermostat low, the lights tend to be forgotten by everyone else.

So how can you get everyone to turn lights off? Try one or all of these ideas to get the other members of  your household into the habit of turning lights off and keep your lighting bill down.  

  • Set up a utility fee jar - Find an old large coffee jar and put a sign on it such as "Utility Fees". Explain to everyone in the house that any time you have to say "Turn off the lights!" to them, they will be required to put a designated amount of money in the jar.

  • Put lights on timers - If you can't get the above to work make rules about what times lights can be on and what time they should be off and put them on a timer to make it stick. Timers won't teach anyone the value of electricity though, but it will save aggravation and money.

  • Put up notices - Place notices with post it notes beside all lights that say “Please Turn Me Off” when leaving the room. The notes will be a reminder to do the action that you desire.

  • Make it a habit - Make it a rule that when leaving any room the light is switched off, even if you plan to go back in the room later. This creates a habit. Once a habit is created it's hard to break!

Whatever you can do to cut down on your carbon footprint is an important action. It doesn't matter if it's just a small amount. Each thing, when combined with the others, counts. Turning off the lights matters. Just like not using bottled water bottles matters. Even if other people don't see the importance of it, everything you do to live more naturally counts. Conserving energy is one of the most important lessons we can pass on to our children.

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