Face the truth:
If energy savings doesn’t already excite your family members, you’re probably facing a major uphill battle.
The problem isn’t that they don’t recognize its importance. The challenge is that they don’t see how saving energy immediately benefits them now.
For example, if you cut your air conditioning use and save another $50 this month, why should they care?
Yes. It saves the planet. And yes, your family has another $50. But how does each member of your family directly benefit?
So, therein lies the rub.
You can more than likely get your family excited about saving energy. And here’s what to do and what to avoid:
1. First, What Not to Do
Default human behavior usually goes to setting up punishments for not meeting expectations.
For example, if you don’t save another $50 on your electric bill by the end of the month, then we don’t go out for ice cream (or whatever it is).
Don’t do that.
You’ll only make your family hate energy savings and turn it into drudgery.
2. Ask Your Family for Feedback
To give yourself the best chance to succeed, have a family meeting and ask them what would motivate them to save energy.
Give them ideas of rewards they might choose for meeting certain goals. Then, let them talk about the rewards they want to get.
When they have what they want as a possible reward, that will motivate more conscious thinking and active participation in saving energy.
Maybe it’s a dinner, a treat, a family movie night…whatever. All that matters is that it’s important to your family.
3. Keep It Fun
People participate in things they find fun. People avoid things they don’t like.
So don’t make your focus,”Hey! Don’t do that. Yikes! Don’t do this. Ahhh! No more of that!”
In other words, shift your focus from punishing undesirable habits to rewarding desirable ones.
So spend your time praising and complimenting your family members for things they do right.
Catch them in the moment when you see them changing their behavior. And do a recap at the end of the day or week too.
That keeps the focus on fun, success, and change. And that motivates much more effectively.
4. Do Lay Down the Law When You Have To
Say you have 1 or 2 family members who make no effort whatsoever to participate. They’ve made it clear they could care less about saving energy.
Well, when you start dishing out rewards, make sure they get no reward at all, or at least a very minor one when compared to family members who have participated fully.
Sometimes, people do need to feel the pain of missing out to motivate them to change their behavior.
But that’s your option of last resort. Try all else first.
That’s the simple high-level stuff. You have to work out the specifics for your family. But it gives you the best chance to get everyone on board with saving energy.