How To Explain Waste-To-Energy To Kids in 2017
Kids today! They know so much more than we did when we were their age. They consume so much information, mainly online, every day. Since many habits do develop early on, it is our responsibility as parents, older siblings, teachers, mentors and role models to direct kids to the subject of renewable energy.
Kids who learn about renewable energy will understand that we are stewards for Mother Earth and will probably make more environmentally-conscious decisions growing up. When they get to be adults, they will probably be in a better position to make the right energy choices.Here are a few fun and creative ways to engage kids on the subject.
8 Ways to Get Kids Excited About Waste-to-Energy:
1 – Harness a familiar media channel: YouTube
Ask them to search cool Waste-to-Energy clips on Youtube and find more fun videos like this one:
2 – Use NASA’s online resources
NASA is doing a great job on Twitter and Instagram, which many kids follow. They also have an excellent website for teaching kids about everything from how to become a farmer’s market manager to renewable energy.
3 – Use analogies in your explanations
When you tell kids about waste-to-energy, talk about how their bodies ALSO produce energy by digesting food. Micro-organisms decompose organic material in biodigesters creating biogas. Guess what kids? Your bodies do the same thing, except you release farts. Yes, talking about farts always entertains children!
Lastly, be creative! Try to tell a story from the bacteria’s point of view; you can even take turns acting out each biological process.
4 – Visiting an energy plant
Find out whether you have a waste-to-energy biogas plant in your area and try to schedule a family visit. Some plants have visitor centers that engage kids in cool educational activities. If you don’t have an energy plant in your neighborhood, try taking a tour virtually. Here is a 3D animated video tour of a biogas plant:
“How does a biogas plant work?” on the BioConstruct channel
6- Recycle waste to other great stuff
Kids typically don’t like crusts. Store the crusts from uneaten sandwiches in a Tupperware box in your freezer. Use the crusts as bread crumbs for a homemade dish: sprinkle them on top of casseroles, toss them into soups and stews or add a crunchy layer over a pudding. Prepare it with your kids and don’t forget to take a photo of the dish to share with their friends! You’re not creating biogas here (yet), but you are showing kids how to recycle food and you’re energizing them as well…
7 – Explore related climate & environmental issues
It is important to contextualize waste-to-energy. Teach kids about other related environmental issues, so that they realize that everything is connected. Start with a special learning kit for kids, like the Thames & Kosmos Alternative Energy and Environmental Science Sustainable Earth Lab. Alternatively, you can create your own lesson plan that will walk a youngster through different topics.
8 – Set a positive example
Collect organic waste in your kitchen and recycle it via your municipality services, or create renewable energy with it in your backyard. The HomeBiogas system can accept all food waste (even oils, meats, bones) as well as animal waste.
What a powerful example to set: making your breakfast eggs on the gas made from last night’s leftovers.
Written by: Inbal Elad