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The buzz about renewable power seems to be everywhere – from the news to pop culture and everywhere in between. So now is the perfect time to teach your kids about renewable energy.

Consider Their Ages
Depending on their ages and how much your kids already know about renewable power, you may need to start at the beginning – what renewable energy is and why it’s good.

Or you might be able to skip the basics and go right to advanced topics – like what it might mean to the political landscape, the global economy or future generations.

Cover the Basics
If you’re covering the basics of renewable power, you can explain them this way:

  • Wind-generated power converts wind into a usable form of energy. Wind turbines, windmills and wind pumps generate power that is sent to the power grid.
  • Corn ethanol is actually created from corn through fermentation and distillation. It’s primarily used for creating ethanol fuel, which can be mixed with gasoline or used on its own in some cars’ gas tanks.
  • Hydropower is created when the energy from moving water or rapids is harnessed and used to generate electricity. This method doesn’t actually make any of the water disappear – it just uses its movement to create electricity.

Don’t forget to show your kids photos of each type of renewable power. It will help them picture how each works and may bait a few questions you can talk about or research on the Web.

Beyond the Basics
If your kids have a good understanding of renewable power, you can talk to them about how the political landscape is changing due to our own energy struggles, discuss the pros and cons of each type of renewable power or take a look at the latest headlines and talk about the newest developments around the world. Even if they don't have an extensive knowledge of the issues, you'd be surprised at how well they understand the core principles.

Get Your Kids Involved
Once your kids understand the importance of renewable power, you can help drive the point home by signing them up to volunteer with community organizations that plant trees, pick up trash and recycle. The Arbor Day Foundation or the Texas Trees Foundation are great places to look if you need help finding a group in your local area.

You can also check out the TXU Energy Solar Academy, which partners with National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project to help Texas schools incorporate their nationally recognized solar energy education program into their curriculum.

Another great place to look is the kids section on the Environmental Protection Agency Web site, where you’ll find environmental clubs for kids that include service projects based on:

  • Garbage and recycling.
  • Plants and animals.
  • Air quality.
  • Clean water.

Explore the other articles in our series on helping kids live green:

Using Renewable Power at Home
Because there’s no better way to show your kids that renewable power is important than by using it yourself, at TXU Energy we offer plans with 100% renewable wind energy.