I developed this win/win challenge as a way for my young son to take some more responsibility at home, develop environmental consciousness and earn extra allowance. This program produced fantastic results. Consider offering this challenge to a child of yours. If they decide to give it a try and are successful, they will achieve . . .
1) A savings on your family's electric bill
2) A powerful understanding of how saving energy really pays off
3) The habit of conserving energy that could last a lifetime
4) The satisfaction of doing their part to reduce pollution and global warming
An increase in their allowance
Light Switch OFF = Money Switch ON
I explained to my son how my Lights OFF = Money ON challenge worked. If he conserved electricity at home, he would get paid 100% of the savings over the same month from the prior year. He gave it some thought, then reluctantly agreed to give saving electricity for money a try. Thirty days later our much-anticipated electric bill came in the mail. We did the math and it showed that he had saved $30. I immediately gave him the $30 in cash. This made a big impression on him. He enthusiastically exclaimed, "Now I know why you were always after me to turn out the lights!" He learned in a powerful way the direct relationship between not wasting electricity and getting extra money.
For the next three months, my son saved electricity and made over $100. For my child, turning off lights has become a habit. At our home, if no one is in the room, a light or TV is seldom left on. Believe me, this was not so before we began this program. Now my son admonishes me for leaving on a light - - I'm costing him money!
Kids figure out fast that there are many money switches at home. They're all over the house. In fact, every electrical switch is a money switch, each with the potential for making or loosing them money. The more money switches that are ON (lights OFF), the more money is saved. This is a meaningful lesson in economics and conservation.
"Turn off the lights!", especially when proceeded by, "How many times do I have to tell you," is a tired expression that can "turn off" kids instead of lights. I present a more positive message, "turn ON the money switch". Now that's a win/win deal!
If you decide to allow your child to save electricity around your home, I recommend that you formalize the program by putting it in writing. You can use the same
Agreement Form with program rules and the savings worksheet that I put together and use.
If you like the results your child achieves, spread the word. Maybe your kid's friends will want to increase their allowances too! All I ask is that you email me feedback. Tell me how the program can be improved and how it is working in your family. Maybe altogether we can make a big positive difference and feel better for doing our part for the environment!