Inspiring energy-saving habits in young minds

Inspiring energy-saving habits in young minds

By: Dr. Abbas Mohammed Ali Al-Ghaili

According to a study led by a team at Brown University, children were found to learn faster than adults and have the advantage of continuously applying what they learn from an early age. Consequently, teaching them a variety of useful things is highly beneficial, as it capitalises on their rapid learning abilities and enables them to consistently apply and benefit from acquired knowledge throughout their lives. To benefit from their rapid learning abilities, it’s a good idea to teach them a variety of useful things that can benefit our lives and the planet we live on. one of the important and lively concerns that can be taught to them is how to perform energy conservation since it is a matter for all of us.

There are several methods that can be taught to schoolchildren, enabling them to effectively apply the concept of energy conservation:

The first one is to inform schoolchildren about the necessity of energy efficiency in buildings. It is important to educate schoolchildren about energy efficiency in buildings because buildings are significant energy consumers, and reducing their energy consumption can contribute to overall energy conservation efforts. We can also provide examples and practical demonstrations to help them understand the importance of energy efficiency in buildings. According to an article conducted by a research team at North Carolina State University, it has been highlighted that: “energy savings ranging from 5% to 50% per segment and 14% to 18% at the system level can be achieved, based on 100 simulations”

Second of which is to teach schoolchildren to switch off lights, fans, laptops, and other electronic devices while not in use. Educating schoolchildren about the importance of switching off devices when not in use helps instil habits of energy conservation and reduces unnecessary energy consumption. According to a study conducted by a research team at Kyung Hee University, it has highlighted that the substantial reduction in energy consumption achievable through advanced lighting solutions. Meaning, lighting solutions could reduce the energy consumption from lighting by 50% (i.e., 50% more light using 50% less energy).

Third of which is to inform schoolchildren about “energy vampires” and encourage unplugging devices. It is good to explain that many electronic devices continue to consume energy even when turned off or in standby mode, contributing to wasted energy. This is conducted by explaining the concept of “energy vampires” to schoolchildren and provide examples of devices that tend to drain energy in standby mode, such as chargers, gaming consoles, and other electronics. Given an example, according to a study conducted by the University of California and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, it has reported that Televisions, set-top boxes, and printers were identified as the appliances with the highest standby losses.

The fourth one is to teach schoolchildren about proper control settings and the importance of properly operating cooling systems. Proper control settings and efficient operation of cooling systems in buildings can contribute to energy conservation. That can be carried out by teaching them about the importance of insulating windows and doors to prevent energy loss.

And finally, discuss the advantages of using natural light and ventilation in buildings to them. Utilising natural light and ventilation in buildings can reduce the reliance on artificial lighting. This can be taught to schoolchildren by encouraging them to open windows, and utilise daylight whenever possible for activities that do not require artificial lighting.

Let us begin a joint journey toward a greener future by acting now. We must transfer our understanding of the need of empowering kids and encouraging sustainable behaviours into tangible measures. Engage with local schools to give comprehensive energy education programs that will teach youngsters on how to conserve energy. Every individual has the ability to make a difference, from basic actions like turning off lights to investing in energy-efficient devices. We can harness the potential of the younger generation and leave a lasting legacy for the future by working together to ensure a thriving world with plentiful resources and opportunity for everybody.

(The author is a Senior Lecturer at College of Computing & Informatics (CCI), and Researcher at Institute of Informatics and Computing in Energy (IICE), Universiti Tenaga Nasional (UNITEN). He may be reached at [email protected])


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