What is Energy Conservation? - Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:04 Why Conserve Energy?
  • 1:23 Energy Conservation:…
  • 2:14 How You Can Conserve Energy
  • 2:40 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Elizabeth Foster

Elizabeth has been involved with tutoring since high school and has a B.A. in Classics.

You've probably heard people talk about energy conservation, but what does it mean? Keep reading to find out what energy conservation is, why it's important, and what you can do to help conserve energy.

Why Conserve Energy?

Look around the room right now. How many things can you see that use energy?

Your list might include:

  • Computer
  • Electric lights
  • Fan
  • Heater or air conditioner
  • Clock
  • Microwave
  • Stove

Anything that plugs into the wall or runs on batteries uses energy. Other things that use energy include cars, factories, heaters, and air conditioners. People use a lot of energy every day! And we keep using more and more energy. If people keep using more and more energy, 20 years from now we'll be using almost one and a half times as much energy as we are now, every day.

Using so much energy is a problem, because it's hard on the planet. One big source of energy is oil, but using oil for energy makes a lot of dangerous smoke. The smoke from burning oil can make the air dirty and make people sick. Also, the way we get a lot of our coal and oil is by drilling for it. Drilling for coal and oil is hard on the land, the sea, and animals and people that live near the drilling.

If everyone used less energy, we could use less oil, and our air would be cleaner. That's the point of energy conservation. The word 'conservation' means 'saving.' Energy conservation means saving energy, or not using more energy than you need. It doesn't mean using no energy at all. It just means using less energy.

Energy Conservation: Big Picture

If we're going to save energy, first we have to know how we use it. Let's take a look at how we use energy in the United States. Out of every 100 units of energy:

  • 22 are used in people's houses
  • 19 are used in commercial buildings like offices and stores
  • 31 are used in factories and industry
  • 28 are used for transportation, to fuel cars, trucks, and airplanes

Energy use in the United States

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