How do I get my child to turn off unused electronics? 4 parenting tips.

Turning off unused electronics is a common tip for saving money on energy bills but can be an ellusive chore. Electronics pull some amount of energy even though they are turned off. Bigger appliances like TVs, desktop computers and washers and dryers suck a lot more energy 24 hours a day. Even though it saves money to turn off unused electronics, it might not be very convenient to do so. And getting your children to help may make this chore even more inconvenient.

1. Decide which electronics to focus on.

Not every electronic lends itself well to being shut off every night or every time you are finished using it. Big appliances like washers and dryers are cumbersome to move out of the way to unplug. You obviously can’t turn off your alarm clock or the fridge at night and the DVR needs to stay on to record your favorite shows. However, appliances like the coffee maker, devices that are fully charged, laptops, irons and lights can be safely unplugged most of the day. Write down a list of all the electronics in your house and cross out the ones that you decide can’t be turned off on a regular basis. You are left with the electronics you will focus on to turn off when not in use.

2. Use power strips.

Help your child out by plugging electronics that are close to each other into a power strip. For instance, your blender, coffee maker and toaster oven can all be plugged into a power strip. In the morning, plug in the power strip. Then, after breakfast your child only needs to unplug the one power strip cord instead of unplugging all three. You can do the same thing in the office for the printer, computer and lamps.

3. Designate a mobile charging station.

Instead of having a phone charging in the bedroom, a tablet charging in the kitchen and another phone charging in the living room, you can designate a charging area. Before dinner have everyone plug in their mobile devices in a power strip. Right before bed all devices should be fully charged. Your child can unplug the power strip, and everyone can either take their devices or leave them at the charging station (unplugged) until the next morning. This technique has the bonus of enforcing the “no electronics at the dinner table” rule.

4. Make “unplugging electronics” a part of the routine.

Add “unplug electronics” to your child’s mobile chore list app and as part of the family routine. You can even set up a reward system to track how many times per week your child helps unplug unused electronics.