Families today are looking at any ways available they can lower how much they are paying out each month to live. One of the best places to look is how much is being spent on utilities as this is something which, though necessary, can be monitored and kept under control. You would be surprised the difference if you can remain conscious of what you’re spending.
The easiest way that home energy bills build up is through using more than is necessary. Here are a few ways that this can happen:
- Having multiple devices on at the same time as well as charging them
- Having friends over means that more people need to charge devices
- Everyone watching something different in each room, which uses up electricity through lighting each room and whatever device they might be using
- Heating and Lighting each room that is being occupied
- Other things like leaving lights on in rooms or hallways which aren’t being occupied
So the key is to doing more as a family in one or fewer rooms of the house instead, and with less things that require power. Here are a few activities you can do as a family which will also not take up as much energy:
Watching Television or a Film
Just because we’re trying to be eco-friendly, doesn’t mean we should shun all electrical devices in favor of rudimentary forms of entertainment. We can still enjoy television or a DVD like everyone does. However, rather than everyone in the house sat in a different room watching what they want to, curb that.
Sometimes, you’ll find in some households people watching the same thing in different rooms. This makes no sense, and if you’re watching television through dinner till you go to bed, that can be up to four hours of energy usage, multiplied by each person. There is also the case for lighting and heating each room. If you can find something to watch to cater to everyone like a family film night, you’ll be sat together and enjoying the same thing.
They’re not just for the Christmas holidays. A board game night is a more traditional and fun way to pass the time. It’s a lot more active than sitting in front of the television and means you can actually interact with each other and talk. Board games teach good skills like team-building, analysis and problem-solving as well as counting and trivial knowledge which can be effective as an educational tool if you have young kids.
You also have so much to choose from, and can pick up new games cheaply from garage sales, carboot sales and charity shops (just make sure all the pieces are there). Again it means everyone is in the same room of the house.
Many find that talking at the table during dinner actually segues nicely into the rest of the evening and they pass the time very quickly. Conversation can simply begin with how everyone’s day is; you can go into people you interact with and tell your family about them. You’d be surprised how many parents don’t know the names of their children’s friends or teachers. For kids, you can tell them about what you do (it might even be something they end up aspiring to be if they know enough about it).
While a lot of schoolwork requires the internet or a computer, younger kids will still be using trusty pen and paper to do their maths and spelling. A homework club where everyone sits down around the table doing theirs, means they can ask each other for help and use the same resources. It also means you’re less likely to be in another room watching television all evening. As you can see, some of these tips also mean for being a better parent and being more involved in your child’s life.
While the weather isn’t great now, when it is, make the most of your neighborhood. This can consist of going for a walk if you live in the suburbs or a particularly nice area that is scenic. Alternatively, you can help your kids organize neighborhood sports which everyone can take part in. It gets you out of the house and also encourages exercise and socializing in the community.
Paul is currently researching initiatives and methods which households can take up to improve how much they’re spending on utilities each month. This is as part of his work concerning the green deal initiative that has recently gone into effect, alongside a national green deal advisor.