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Simple Energy Conservation Tips
f o r  K i d s

Energy is the stuff that makes things happen. It comes in many forms like light, heat, electricity, sound, and motion.

You can think of it this way: food is a great source of energy. Have you ever tried skipping a meal and feeling weak afterwards? Then you lack energy! You need energy such as that which comes from food to do your daily activities and to make things happen.

Energy exists all around us. It comes from the food we eat, the sun in the sky, and the hunk of earth we're standing on.

We use energy to power things like appliances and gadgets found in our homes. There are two kinds of energy: RENEWABLE and NON-RENEWABLE. Renewable energy is often cleaner and more earth-friendly compared to non-renewable sources of energy.

Things that won't run out (wind, water, sunlight, and so on) are sources of RENEWABLE energy. And because they don't run out, they can be used again and again. It is very important that we do our part in saving our planet (it's the only one we've got!) by using energy wisely. Using too much energy, especially NON-RENEWABLE energy, adds to pollution in our planet.

For example, the energy we use in our homes comes mostly from non-renewable energy like fossil fuels, which in turn, comes from large coal power plants that emit black smoke and add to air pollution. If we use less energy, we also lessen the damage we inflict on Mother Earth.

Also, remember that the sources of non-renewable energy now can be gone in many, many years to come, so it's never too late to start being smart NOW!

But how? Remember these simple tips, practice them everyday, and tell your friends to do them as well:

1.

Don't forget to turn off or unplug your PC, laptop, TV set, radio, or gaming console (Playstation, Nintendo, or, Xbox) once you're done with them. Also, check your gadgets from time to time while charging them, and unplug these once they're fully-charged.

Kids, sink your teeth into this important fact: As long as the chargers for your gadgets and gizmos are plugged in, they will still consume energy. This is called "vampire power"--it can suck the life out of your parents' savings because of high electricity bills. Creepy, huh?

2.

The air conditioner or A/C is a cool invention because it keeps your room cool and comfortable. However, if you don't want to lose your cool (or your parents' cool at that—with a high electricity bill and all), always remember to keep doors and windows closed when the A/C is switched ON. That way, you won't let the cool air go to waste, and everyone stays as cool as the A/C.

Remind Mom and Dad to have your AC cleaned every month. Also, don't wait for the AC to get broken before you have it checked by the pro. It's better to keep track of your AC's performance every now and then, so you'll know that it's using energy the best way it can (this is what they call "energy efficiency").

When it's not that hot in the room, you don't always have to use the AC. An electric fan will keep you just as cool!
 
3.

Use energy-saving light bulbs, like Compact Fluorescent Lamps or CFLs. They use less energy, and your parents will save more money by using them.

Plus, they look more awesome compared to Incandescent Bulbs or IBs!

4.

Here's an easy way to recycle paper: write or doodle on both sides.

It takes a lot of energy to produce  paper (think about the trees that were cut down to make raw materials, the factories that process raw materials to paper, the trucks that deliver the finished product to stores... the list goes on!), so be sure to make the most of that single piece of paper. Yup, every single sheet counts!

When printing out stuff for book report or a copy of your recitation piece for school, ask your teacher if you can use recycled paper (that is, paper that's only printed on one side). Also, try to ask if you can print your work on both sides of the paper.

5.

Another way to save energy at home is to keep the refrigerator door closed as much as possible. So, don't open and close it as if you're playing with it—everybody knows that the fridge light turns OFF when you close the door.

Also, make sure you know what to get before the opening the fridge so you won't waste a lot of cool air (remember the tip about how cool A/Cs or "energy efficiency"?). Take note: the fridge is a place for food and beverages, NOT human beings, so you can forget about sticking your head inside the fridge—even if it's a hot day.