Below are some ideas to help discuss sustainable living with your child and why saving energy is important.
Know the facts: Sustainable Living
There are many different ways to live sustainably and reduce our impact on the environment and the speed at which we are consuming the Earth's resources. The way we live in our own community has an impact on people in other parts of the world.
Some people are almost entirely self-sufficient in how they live, only eating food that they grow (including meat, milk and eggs), using energy efficient transport (buses, cycling, car sharing), and reusing and recycling everything from clothes to household utensils.
However, you don't have to be self-sufficient to make a contribution towards living a more sustainable lifestyle, and just being aware of lifestyle decisions is a big step in itself. You can take action - in the home (e.g. using less energy), by how you shop (cutting down on packaged goods), what you buy (local rather than exotic produce which has been transported from around the world), how you travel and how you use energy. By taking action in these small ways, each of us can make a difference.
How energy is made
- Electricity and gas are generated mostly by burning fossil fuels.
- Coal, oil and gas are all fossil fuels. Burning these fuels creates energy that we use to power our homes and cars.
- Burning fossil fuels releases carbon emissions (CO2) which are harmful to the environment and cause global warming.
- Electricity, gas and oil are all expensive to buy as well as being harmful to the environment.
- Nuclear power, although not a fossil fuel, can still be very harmful to the environment if the radioactive waste is not disposed of carefully.
- Fossil fuels are also non-renewable sources, meaning that they are used at a faster rate than they are produced - one day these sources will run out.
- Energy can be made by sustainable, natural means, such as solar, water or wind power.
- Solar, water and wind energy are renewable sources, so are created as fast as they are used. Relying on these sources more will help to protect the environment.
Why it is important to live a sustainable lifestyle
- As most of us rely on fossil fuels to provide our energy needs, it is important that we try to use less and are careful not to waste our energy.
- The harmful emissions produced by fossil fuels are adding to global warming.
- By living a more sustainable lifestyle, you are helping not to overuse the Earth's resources
- Waste and overuse are two huge problems facing the planet - in order to protect the planet for future generations, it is important that we all learn how to be more sustainable.
- Recycling, reducing and reusing things are all ways we can live more sustainably.
- Energy is financially and environmentally expensive, so trying to live a more sustainable lifestyle not only helps to save resources but it saves money!