Energy usage and the environment as a whole are issues we can all be mindful of. Here’s how our family is learning more about them.
A few weeks ago I signed up for an energy saving program with San Diego Gas and Electric. The deal is that every so often, they’ll send me an alert a day in advance of a special energy-saving day. If we use less than a set amount of energy in the time frame they set, we get a discount on our energy bill.
It was an eye-opening experience. We unplugged everything in the house (except for the fridge, freezer, TV/media center, and the internet router). We used no appliances except for letting the dishwasher finish its cycle. In retrospect, we could have unplugged the media items and the router, but they are finicky machines and I didn’t want to take the risk of losing our internet.
The results were a little surprising. While we did use less than they asked us to (RYU), our overall energy use for that day was higher than average for this billing cycle. Further more, on looking at the entire month, I’m stunned that June 30, a day in which we were completely gone from our home on a vacation, registered so much energy use.
It was also a little disappointing to see that we only got $2.25 in discounts for basically powering out for a day.
The experience has made us wonder what is causing high energy use and why. We’ve since purchased a Kill-a-Watt Electricity Usage Monitor. It just arrived, so I don’t have results to report, but we’re going to check different appliances that we use and see if there’s something that’s sucking the energy more than it should. My guess is that it might be the freezer.
Regardless, it’s made us all more mindful about turning off lights and using less energy.
The Lorax had some good lessons, too.
The Lorax comes out on Blu-Ray and DVD today. My kids loved watching the review copy we received last week. Here’s the synopsis of the film that gets you thinking about environmental issues, according to my favorite ten-year old:
The Lorax is a movie about a guy named Ted. He wants to impress this girl that he likes so he finds the thing she wants to see most, a real tree. The place they live in is called Thneedville where everything is fake. There are no real plants or anything that grows. Everything is made of plastic or filled with air. There are no trees.
The air is really bad without any trees. This guy, O’Hare, makes money selling air to people.
Ted asks his gramma for help. She advises him to talk to the Once-ler.
Seeing as the air is controlled by Mr. O’Hare, the most powerful man in the city, Mr. O’Hare built a wall around the city to keep the truth about trees from the people. He doesn’t want the people to know how good trees are. The Once-ler will tell him about the trees.
Ted goes outside, past the wall, and goes to where he sees a big, dark house. He asks the Once-ler about the trees…. his tale is the tale of the Lorax.
Here’s what FishBoy10 had to say about the film as a whole:
The Lorax is a good movie for young children to learn about the importance of the environment and the funniness will make older people like it as much.
I would have to agree! I really enjoyed it. The “funniness” made me laugh. More importantly, the story of the Once-ler and his mistakes and how he finds redemption drew a few tears. Like Wall-E I found it to be a light-hearted, yet important reminder to care for this Earth that God has given us — and to appreciate the nature that He has filled it with.
If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend a family viewing. We thought it was really cute.
You can click on the image before to print out activity sheets to do with your kids after the movie. The sheets give kids ideas on how they can save energy.