Thursday, 22 December 2011
Over the next few weeks I will be working with British Gas as one of their Smart Mums ambassadors, thinking about the significance of energy conservation this winter.
This project comes hot on the heels of the energyshare campaign, where I saw the hard work of communities who are trying to create energy from renewable sources. With all the complexities of such a project, it's a far cry from the simplicity of flicking a switch in our homes to immediately emblazen rooms in light or to turn up the heat.
With the festive season being one of the coldest times of the year and now the boys are off school, it's been a good time to have a chat with them about how we can save energy over the holidays.
I caught them by surprise, this Sunday, just as my youngest came home from swimming and my eldest was about to embark on a Pokemon Fest at the computer, wearing just a short sleeved top - his choice - brrrrr. The house was not particularly warm that day.
"What should you do if you get cold?" I asked.
A simple question.
"Turn up the radiators!" shouted one.
"Dive under a blanket!" called the other.
The first was just being a frivolous tease. He knows we have a permanent choice of blankets in our living room, which are always put to good use whenever we're sat around watching television, or using the laptop. Aside from the technology, it takes us right back to an era when central heating wasn't available. I'm snuggling under one, whilst writing this post.
Of course, being just seven and ten, when the boys are not sat around, they're tearing around the house, using their own energy to keep warm.
It's just a shame I can't harness that and divert it back into the National Grid.
Or the sound of their laughter too, just like in Monsters Inc.
We're actually pretty good at managing the heating and putting on extra layers. However, our particular downfall is leaving the lights on, especially in the children's rooms, when they are rushing around to get to school. It's always the bedside lights that are a pain to remember to turn off.
So he who laughed about turning up the radiators has now got his nose to the grindstone, designing mini-posters to remind him and his brother to turn off the lights!
And if that doesn't work, as a back-up plan I'm busy gathering together a load of pennies as a financial incentive, so that each time they remember to turn them off, they will physically be able to visualise the saving too.
The problem with that last strategy is that I can see them turning on the lights especially to turn them off again.
Best not tell them about that one yet then!
This is a sponsored post for the British Gas, Smart Mums project. More posts are also available at the BritMums Smart Mums Blog.