Monday, December 13, 2010
Turning Utility Bills Around with Pizza
I don't consider myself an environmentalist, but I don't like seeing litter, pollution, or waste either. I try to conserve energy, but I'm mostly motivated by saving money. I think we could solve more environmental problems if we focused on saving money since money is a language most people understand. When I see my kids washing a dish by holding it under hot running water for 10 minutes (the erosion method), I think of my utility bills, more than I do any impact it may have on the environment.
I'd rather spend utility bill money on me and my family than the utility company, so a while ago I came up with a plan to get my kids on board. I put a copy our most recent utility bills on the fridge and tell my kids if they can help me get next month's bill lower than the prior month, then we will have a pizza party. It works. I don't do it because I'm worried about ozone layers, or carbon footprints or any of that crap. I just figure I'd rather spend that money on something fun, so at least this way it shifts saved money from our utilities budget and moves it over into our food budget instead.
Making my kids aware of energy conservation has helped us reduce things like leaving lights and TVs on in empty rooms, taking super long showers, leaving outside doors open, and running a load of wash for just 2 or 3 items. (At least when I'm at home). I guess I could always frighten my kids by telling them stories about polar bears dying and cities flooding instead in order to motivate them to save energy. Never mind, I think the media already has a monopoly on that approach.